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A Guide To Wrong Medication Negligence Claims – How To Claim Compensation For Wrong Medication

When you visit your GP or a hospital, you have to put faith in their expertise. You have to trust that the treatment they provide will be beneficial and suitable. Also, you have to trust that the medication they prescribe is correct. Wrong medication negligence claims could be made if a medical professional provides you with the wrong medication and that causes you to suffer. Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to look at when you could claim for being given the wrong amount of medication, the wrong medication dosage or the wrong type of medication.

Wrong medication negligence claims guide

Wrong medication negligence claims guide

Legal Expert specialises in helping with personal injury claims, including those for medical negligence or medical malpractice. Our advisors provide a no-obligation assessment of your claim and also provide free legal advice on your options. To discuss your claim right away, please call us on 0800 073 8804. If your claim is strong enough, you could be connected to one of our no win no fee solicitors.

If you’d rather find out more on how much compensation could be awarded for the wrong medication being given, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Making A Wrong Medication Negligence Claim

If making any form of personal injury claim, you need to be able to show:

  • That you were caused to suffer (an injury, illness or worsening of a condition).
  • Somebody who owed you a duty of care caused the suffering through negligence
  • And that the suffering was caused by a negligent act which could have been avoided.

Also, you’ll need to claim within the personal injury claims time limit. In normal circumstances, this is a 3-year period from the date of the incident that caused your suffering. However, with wrong medication negligence claims, you might not actually realise it was incorrect medication that caused you to suffer until a review is carried out and the mistake is spotted. Therefore, in these cases, the time limit could begin from the date you found out what caused you to suffer.

Throughout this guide, we’re going to look at when compensation could be claimed for medication errors. We’ll look at doctor negligence, hospital negligence and also pharmacy negligence. We’ll try to answer the following questions:

  • What happens if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication in the UK?
  • What happens if you are given the wrong medication?
  • Can you sue a pharmacy for giving you the wrong medicine?

We’ll also review the types of medication errors that could happen and what effects they can have on patients. Then we’ll review your patient rights and what amounts of compensation you could be entitled to.

After you’ve completed this guide if you believe you have a valid compensation claim, why not call the number at the top of the screen to begin your claim? Our advisors won’t put any pressure on you and there’s no obligation to proceed even after we’ve provided you with a free assessment of your claim.

What Is A Medication Error?

It’s important to point out at this stage that, being given the wrong medication doesn’t automatically entitle you to compensation. For instance, if the medication was incorrect but caused you no harm and didn’t make your existing condition worse, then you might not be able to claim.

However, the cases we’re looking at are where a medical professional gives the wrong medication and that mistake leads to some form of avoidable suffering. This could the negligence of a doctor, a pharmacist, nurse negligence or a mistake within a hospital.

How Commonly Is The Wrong Medication Given Out?

You might think that medication errors are rare and not likely to happen to you. However, according to an article by Manchester University, researchers claim that over 237 million medication errors happen each year in the NHS in England. The article estimates that 712 deaths occurred to an adverse drug reaction (ADRs). They also claim that ADRs contributed to between 1,700 and 22,303 deaths.

The NHS has in fact carried out its own study into prescription errors by GPs. They reviewed just over 6,000 prescriptions in a 12-month period the study took place in 15 GP surgeries from three areas of England,

Their results found, amongst other things that:

  • 1 in 20 prescriptions written featured an error.
  • 1 in 550 prescriptions had a severe error.
  • 18% of prescribing errors were connected to dosage or the strength of the medication.
  • 11% contained incorrect timing of dosage.
  • 42% of errors were minor, 54% moderate and 4% were severe.

Potential Causes Of A Patient Being Given The Wrong Medication

There are a number of different ways in which the wrong medication could be given. These include:

  • Incorrect drug being prescribed.
  • Wrong dosage (strength) of medication being given.
  • Receiving somebody else’s medication.
  • Incorrect labelling on the prescription compared to what’s been dispensed.
  • Drugs being administered in the wrong way.

If you’ve suffered because of any of the above, then you could be entitled to claim compensation. Try and keep hold of any packaging or labelling to use as evidence to support your claim.

Wrong Medication Negligence By A GP

GP’s have a small amount of time, usually around 10-minutes, to assess, diagnose and treat each patient. While many patients receive good levels of care if mistakes happen they could cause ill effects on a patient. Some scenarios in which a GP could be liable for your suffering include:

  • If you’re prescribed a medicine which you’re allergic to.
  • If you’re provided with the medication that’s not suitable for your illness. This could mean you suffer side effects. It could also mean your underlying condition remains untreated causing additional suffering.
  • If the GP gives you medication that reacts to other medication you’re already taking.

Even if these mistakes are made due to time pressure, a claim could still be possible if you suffered in some way and liability could be proven. Please call to discuss your options with one of our advisors.

Wrong Medication Negligence By A Hospital

When visiting a hospital for any form of treatment, medication of some form might be required. This could include anaesthetic during surgery or antibiotics to clear up an infection. If medication is required it is vital that it is the correct medicine for you, if there’s a mistake with a prescription, it could potentially be life-threatening.

Here are some ways in which hospital negligence could lead to prescription errors:

  • When a nurse administers somebody else’s medication.
  • If you’re given the wrong dosage of anaesthetic during surgery.
  • When medication is administered intravenously instead of intramuscularly.
  • If medication isn’t given at all because of inaccurate record keeping.

Again, when any type of negligence leads to your suffering because of a breach in the duty of care owed to you, you could claim compensation against the hospital. Medical records can be used to help prove what happened. You could also ask any witnesses who saw what happened or heard what was discussed for their contact details in case a statement is needed in the future.

Wrong Medication Negligence By A Pharmacy

Even though a pharmacist doesn’t necessarily treat you for your ailments, they are still classed as medical professionals. The dispensing of any drugs is an essential part of the treatment chain and any mistakes could cause you to suffer. Therefore, it could be possible to claim against a pharmacist if their negligence led to any form of illness or suffering that could have otherwise been avoided.

The types of negligence by a pharmacist that could lead to a claim include:

  • Where the wrong drug is dispensed.
  • Labelling errors where the bottle says one drug is contained but the contents are different.
  • If the wrong dosage is dispensed from what is on the prescription.
  • Transcription errors where the doctor’s handwriting is misunderstood. This type of error is less likely with computer printed prescriptions.
  • Poor advice from a pharmacist about over the counter medications.

It is possible to sue a pharmacy even if it was their staff who made a mistake. That’s because you are owed a duty of care. Therefore, if a member of staff dispenses incorrectly, the pharmacy could still be liable for any mistakes that cause you to suffer.

Impact Of Medication Errors And Negligence

In some cases, a medication error can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions such as anaphylactic shock. This could be the case if a patient is given a drug that they’re allergic to. In other cases, symptoms can be much milder. For instance, side effects could include headaches or tiredness. In between, there could be vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps.

As well as the immediate symptoms, the underlying illness probably may not be being treated. This could mean that the patient’s condition gets worse, they suffer more than they had to had the negligence not occurred.

Your Rights As A Patient Or Customer If Given The Wrong Medication

As discussed already within this guide, if you are given the wrong medication, and that leads to you suffering further health problems, your rights include being able to make wrong medication negligence claims.

This means you could claim if you’re given the incorrect medication or the wrong dosage. It could also mean that the wrong medication has caused your underlying condition to worsen and led to additional suffering.

To discuss your options, please call one of our friendly advisors. They’ll happily review your evidence on a no-obligation basis. If they believe you have a strong enough case, they could introduce you to one of our personal injury lawyers who’ll work on a no win no fee basis.

Our team of solicitors are specialists in personal injury claims. They know what evidence is required to make a successful claim and will always be honest with you about your chances of winning compensation.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Given The Wrong Medication?

If you believe you’ve been given the wrong medication which has caused you to suffer there are a number of things you could do to help if you decide to make a claim. These include:

  • Taking photographs of the prescription.
  • Photographing the label on the bottle.
  • Keeping a sample of the medication in case testing is required.
  • Reporting the mistake to the pharmacist, doctor or nurse. They will need to record the incident. Their record can be used to support your claim.
  • Providing witness details.
  • Visiting a doctor or A&E to have any side-effects treated. Medical records could then be sought as evidence of your suffering.
  • Writing down what suffering was caused by the wrong medication given by the pharmacy.

When you have as much of the evidence as possible, you could call our advisors to see if you need anything else to begin your claim.

Wrong Medication Negligence Compensation Claims Calculator

In this section, we’re going to consider how much compensation might be payable for wrong medical negligence claims. The personal injury claims calculator provides figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document used by solicitors, insurers and courts in England and Wales to base compensation settlements on.

Claim TypeCompensation RangeFurther Information
Illness£36,060 to £49,270Non-traumatic injuries such as adverse side effects that cause severe toxicosis leading to acute pain, fever. Hospitlisation may be required up to a few weeks and there will be an impact on the ability to work.
Illness£8,950 to £18,020A non-traumtic injury (like side effects to the incorrect medication) leading to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea which clear up over 2 to 4 weeks but with some discomfort over a few years.
Illness£3,710 to £8,950Illnesses caused by medication errors that cause significant discomfort. Hospitalisation is likely for a few days and symptoms will last for a few weeks. Complete recovery will happen within a year or two.
Illness£860 to £3,710Illnesses that last for a couple of days to a few weeks.

It’s important to note that it’s impossible to provide a true estimate until our advisors have assessed your claim. A full settlement amount will take into account other factors that the table doesn’t cover such as loss of earnings, medical costs, travel costs and so on and so forth.

To try and ensure you receive the right level of compensation, our solicitors insist on a medical assessment by an independent doctor. This will usually be carried out locally so you don’t have to travel too far.

Special Damages Included In Medical Negligence Claims

If making wrong medication negligence claims, your solicitor can ask for general damages as well as special damages. The table in the previous section covered general damages. This is compensation awarded for pain and suffering. In this section we’re going to look more at special damages. This is compensation paid for financial costs you’ve incurred as a result of prescription negligence. The types of elements special damages claims can consist of include:

  • Medical Costs.
    While most people will be treated for free on the NHS, it’s possible for prescription costs to build up. Also, you could include the cost of over the counter medicines and other treatments not provided by the NHS.
  • Care Costs.
    Should you require the assistance of a carer while recovering, you could claim back any costs you incur. This could be a professional carer’s fees or for the time of a family member who’s looked after you.
  • Travelling Expenses.
    You may have to travel to medical appointments on various occasions while recovering. Therefore, you could claim back the cost of fuel and car parking associated with these trips. Furthermore, if you’re unable to drive while you’re recovering, it might be possible to include the cost of other travelling arrangements.
  • Lost Earnings / Future Lost Earnings.
    In some cases, you may need to take time off work to recover or for medical appointments. If that means you lose income, you could be entitled to claim the loss back. For injuries that affect your ability to work in the long-term, you could claim for future lost income too.

We advise that you keep hold of any receipts that help prove your expenditure. Also, if you’re unsure whether a cost can be claimed back, check with your solicitor before committing to it.

No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Negligence Claims

It’s true that some medication negligence claims can be tricky to prove. Therefore, some claimants might worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. However, there’s no need to worry if you use Legal Expert. That’s because our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis for any claim they handle.

They do so to allow as many people to claim as possible without worrying about the cost of doing so. No win no fee reduces the financial risk and stress involved with claims too.

When your claim has been assessed, if the solicitor is happy to proceed, you’ll be offered a conditional fee agreement to sign. This is your contract. It has lots of information contained within it including two key points:

  • A statement that says you’ll not have to pay your solicitor’s fees if the claim is lost.
  • The level of success fee payable when compensation is awarded.

Success fees are used to pay for the solicitor’s time and effort in making the claim. They’re expressed as a percentage of your compensation. Should the claim be won, the solicitor simply deducts the success fee before the compensation is paid to you.

How We Could Help Victims Of Medical Negligence

We’d really like to work with you on your claim for pharmacy negligence. Here are some reasons why we believe you should use Legal Expert to make your claim:

  • Our solicitors work on a no win no fee basis for every claim they handle.
  • The advisors on our claim line offer free legal advice. They also offer a no-obligation assessment of any claim.
  • Our claims line is open 7-days a week and 24-hours a day.
  • We have received excellent feedback from previous clients.
  • Our team of solicitors have up to 30 years’ experience of making personal injury claims.
  • The solicitors work hard to try and ensure the claim doesn’t drag on. They’ll also keep you updated throughout your claim.
  • Also, our solicitors always aim to ensure you receive the correct level of compensation for your injuries.

Start Your Wrong Medication Negligence Claim

We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful. Furthermore, we hope you’d now like to use Legal Expert to help you with your claim. If so, here’s how to contact us:

When you reach out to us, our advisors will start by assessing your claim. They’ll review the evidence and provide free advice on your options. You’re under no obligation to proceed at this point. However, if they believe your claim is strong enough, they could connect you to one of our personal injury solicitors. They’ll offer a no win no fee service if they take your claim on. You can begin your claim at any time because our claim line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Supporting Information

Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide about wrong medication negligence claims, we’ve provided you with links to some more of our guides that you might find helpful.

Hospital Negligence Claims – Information on how to make a personal injury claim when injured by hospital negligence.

GP Negligence Claims – This guide looks at the different types of personal injury claims that might be possible if a GP’s negligence leads to suffering.

Medical References.

Finally, here are some links and guides from external sources that you might find useful:

NHS Medication Errors – A response to a freedom of information request in 2017. It shows the number of reported medication errors that led to fatalities.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – The body responsible for reviewing hospitals and NHS trusts.

General Pharmaceutical Council – The body that inspects and regulates pharmacists in the UK.

Written By Brett

Edited By Melissa.

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