By Danielle Graves. Last updated 4th December 2023. Have you suffered an allergic reaction due to a pharmacy error? Has a hospital provided you with the wrong medication, causing your pre-existing condition to get worse? If that is the case, you may have been the victim of medical malpractice, and you could have grounds to make a claim.
A medical error can create a series of health complications, and in severe scenarios, medical negligence could cause death. If the negligence of a medical professional has caused you or a loved one a degree of suffering, you could be entitled to compensation.
This guide shall provide useful and impartial advice regarding the claims process, discuss how a third party could neglectfully cause you harm, and outline how our panel of solicitors could assist you.
In doing so, this guide aims to provide all the relevant information regarding the claims process by answering questions such as:
- What is medical negligence?
- How could a medical professional cause me harm?
- When am I able to claim for medical negligence?
- How long do I have to make a medication error claim?
- What is a No Win No Fee arrangement?
- How could Legal Helpline assist me?
If at any point when reading this online guide, you have additional questions, or when you are ready to discuss your claim, why not speak to an adviser from our team? Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Select A Section
- What Is Wrong Medication Or A Prescription Error?
- What Are Your Rights If Given The Wrong Medication?
- When Can You Make Medication Error Claims?
- Examples Of Medication Errors
- What Evidence Could Help Me Claim Medication Error Compensation?
- How Much Compensation For Wrong Medication?
- No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Compensation Claims
- Contact Us For Free To See If You Can Make A Medication Error Claim
- Further Resources
When visiting a medical professional, it is understandable to anticipate a high quality of care. After all, medical professionals have an obligation to the health and well-being of their patients, which is referred to as a duty of care. As defined by the General Medical Council (GMC), the responsibilities of medical professionals include:
- Be knowledgeable
- Be safe
- Uphold high quality
- Have strong communication
- Maintain a level of trust
Being given incorrect medication could cause you harm and potentially be considered medical negligence. Medical negligence is when a patient receives negligent treatment or incorrect medical advice that causes them a degree of suffering that could have been avoided. If you have sufficient evidence to prove you have been impacted by medical negligence, you may be able to claim medication error compensation.
If you have been given or advised to use incorrect medication and it caused you additional health issues, you might be questioning if you have grounds to make a claim, and what your legal rights are. It is possible to make a medical negligence claim against a negligent pharmacist; however, they must have caused you a degree of pain or suffering.
To claim against a negligent pharmacist, you must have:
- Had an adverse reaction to the wrong medication
- Have a pre-existing condition get worse
- Had an allergic reaction to the wrong medication
However, remember that isn’t the only example of when you could suffer from prescription errors. A GP could write the wrong medication down or request that you be provided with the wrong dosage. In these instances, you may also be able to claim.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Medication Error Claim?
This section will outline how long you have to make a medication error claim. The standard time limit when claiming for prescription errors or medication errors, in general, is three years. This will either be from the date the medication error occurred or the date you became aware that your symptoms were the result of medical negligence.
If you are under eighteen and want to claim for a prescription error, a litigation friend will need to claim on your behalf. The three-year time limit would only apply from the date of your eighteenth birthday.
Furthermore, a person who lacks the mental capacity can also make a prescription error compensation claim. In this instance, a litigation friend would need to be used to claim on their behalf. The three-year time limit would only apply if the person claiming regains mental capacity and has not yet claimed.
To learn more about how to make a medication error claim, you can contact us for free using the above details.
This section will outline the importance of a medical professional’s duty of care in medication error claims.
Pharmacists have a duty of care to their patients which they must uphold at all times. Pharmacists must be fully qualified to dispense medicine. They are also responsible for ensuring the medication that is supplied is of an adequate standard.
These obligations are outlined within the Standards for Pharmacy Professionals by the General Pharmaceutical Council, which states that Pharmacy professionals must:
- Provide person-centred care
- Have a strong sense of communication
- Maintain and develop their skillset and professional knowledge
- Use their professional judgment where applicable
- Respect confidentiality
This means they shouldn’t be providing you with the wrong prescription or the incorrect dosage. However, if this does occur, it may not always be the pharmacist who is liable.
It isn’t just a pharmacist that has a duty of care. GPs, doctors and medical professionals, in general, have a duty of care to treat patients to a standard that will not cause unnecessary pain or discomfort. You could be provided with the wrong medication because a GP did not listen to your symptoms or consider your family’s medical history, for example. This could be considered a breach of their duty of care.
Furthermore, nurses in care homes also have a duty of care when dispensing medication to ensure it is the correct medication you are supposed to be taking. As such, it’s important to note that it isn’t just an error from a pharmacist that could cause a medication error. To learn more about claiming medication error compensation, contact us for free using the above details.
There are various examples of medication errors that could cause injury. The General Medical Council state that those who prescribe and dispense medication must follow protocol, have a basic understanding of medicine, raise concerns (when they see fit), and conduct themselves with precision and carefulness. A failure to uphold this standard could create areas where medication errors could occur. Medication mistakes could happen in:
- Diagnosis errors – If a patient were to be misdiagnosed, they could then be provided with medication for an illness they do not have.
- Prescription errors – If a patient is prescribed with medication that is incorrect or not applicable for their health condition, it could cause harm.
- Transcribing errors – If the instructions for a prescription have not been written clearly, it could create confusion and lead to misinterpretation. Doctors have a responsibility to provide clear handwriting that is precise and readable.
- Administrative errors – If an administrate error were to occur, it could lead to the wrong dosage or the wrong medication being provided.
If you would like to make a medication error compensation claim, you must submit compelling supporting evidence. This can help prove liability for the harm you suffered.
Here are a few examples of evidence that could be submitted in support of medication error claims:
- A copy of the prescription. This could help illustrate what type of error occurred with the medication.
- A copy of your medical records. These could help show what type of harm you suffered along with your prognosis.
- The contact details from any witnesses. For example, if you brought a friend or relative with you when you were prescribed the medication.
- Test results. For example, if your test results were misread, you could be prescribed the wrong medication, causing harm.
Additionally, if you are seeking medication error compensation, your claim could be put to a panel of experts trained in the relevant field to evaluate the actions of the professional who prescribed the medication and judge whether this amounted to medical negligence. This is known as the Bolam test.
If you need any help obtaining evidence, please contact a member of our advisory team.
If you’re wanting to learn more about medical negligence claims, you might be interested to learn more about the settlement you could be awarded after receiving the wrong prescription. Compensation awards for being given the wrong medication could consist of general damages and special damages.
If your case is successful, you will be awarded general damages for the pain and suffering you experienced due to medical negligence. The amount of medication error compensation from a successful claim can be determined by factors such as:
- How badly the medication error has impacted you.
- Whether any life-changing or permanent health issues have been caused.
- To what degree the error has impacted your everyday life.
Legal professionals can use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to guide them when valuing claims. This document lists award guidelines for various types of illnesses and types of harm.
Our table below lists figures found from the latest version of the JCG. This should only be used as guidance to indicate what you could receive from a medication error compensation claim. This is because every claim is different.
The top entry has not been taken from the JCG.
|Compensation Bracket - Guideline
|Multiple serious illnesses and injuries plus special damages
|Settlements could include compensation for multiple serious types of physical and mental harm plus expenses, including nursing care, lost wages and any required specialist equipment.
|Up to £1,000,000+
|Very Severe Brain Damage
|The injured party requires full time nursing care due to symptoms related to severe brain damage, including having little to no meaningful environmental responses, lack of language functions and double incontinence.
|£282,010 to £403,990
|Moderate Brain Damage (i)
|In this bracket, the claimant suffers brain damage that results in a moderate to severe intellectual deficit, personality changes, an effect on their senses with a significant epilepsy risk. They have no employment prospects.
|£150,110 to £219,070
|Less Severe Brain Damage
|The claimant has made a good recovery and can return to work and participate in a normal social life. However, not all normal functioning has been restored. As such, there are ongoing problems with concentration, memory and mood.
|£15,320 to £43,060
|In this bracket, the claimant either suffers serious and permanent damage or the loss of both kidneys.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|In this bracket, the kidney damage results in a significant risk of future urinary tract infection or other losses to the natural functioning of the kidneys.
|Up to £63,980
|Faecal urgency and passive incontinence causing embarrassment and distress.
|In the region of £79,920
|Digestive System Damage from Non-Traumatic Illness (b) (i)
|Severe toxicosis occurs in this bracket. It causes the claimant serious acute pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. There is some continuing incontinence, haemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome that has a significant impact on their lifestyle.
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Digestive System Damage from Non-Traumatic Illness (b) (ii)
|The claimant suffers serious but short-lived diarrhoea and vomiting. The award amount is impacted by the length of time the claimant suffers from remaining symptoms, such as discomfort and bowel function disturbance, and food enjoyment.
|£9,540 to £19,200
Call our advisors for a free claim valuation if the wrong medication was given to you by a pharmacy or in another medical setting. If they find you could be eligible for compensation, they could connect you with one of the No Win No Fee lawyers from our panel.
In the previous section, we explored general damages in length. Within the following section, we shall discuss special damages that you could claim for in a prescription error claim.
Special damages could be awarded to those who experience financial loss due to their suffering. Suffering from a medication error can lead to many financial losses, such as:
- Medical treatment – If you require medical treatment that isn’t covered by the NHS, you might have to personally fund your treatment. If that is the case, then the cost of medical treatment could be taken into consideration. This also applies to any medical expenses, such as prescription costs.
- Loss of earnings – If an accident limits your ability to make a living, then the loss of earnings and potential earnings could be factored into your claim.
- The cost of care.
If you have suffered a financial loss that isn’t listed above, please do not worry. The amount of compensation from a prescription error claim is judged on a case-by-case basis. Simply contact a member of our team to discuss your potential claim at greater length.
The legal costs of claiming for medical negligence can often be daunting for many, which is why our panel of solicitors could offer to handle a claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. An arrangement of this nature reduces the threat to your finances. With a No Win No Fee agreement, if a solicitor makes a medication error claim on your behalf and is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay their legal fees.
However, if a solicitor takes on a claim that has a successful outcome, you will be required to pay a success fee. This will be taken from your final settlement amount and will cover your legal expenses. By law, the maximum percentage is 25%.
However, you will have an opportunity to discuss the percentage amount with a solicitor before you begin your medical negligence claim. If you have any questions about the claims process or No Win No Fee agreements, why not call one of our advisers? They will be able to answer any questions you have at great length and provide you with advice.
To begin your No Win No Fee medical negligence claim, why not contact a member of our team? Our knowledgeable team of advisers are available 24 hours a day, 7 day days a week, and they can answer any questions you may have about making a medication error claim. They can discuss your circumstances and tell you in just one phone call if you’re eligible to claim.
To speak with an adviser, please call 0161 696 9685.
To enquire online, please click here.
We hope that this guide has successfully outlined how our panel of solicitors could assist those wanting to make medical negligence claims. If you have any questions, please contact a member of our team. In addition to this guide, we have provided some additional material that could be useful in answering any further questions you have about claiming for medical negligence.
Hospital Negligence Death Claim – Could I make a claim if a loved one has died due to the negligence of a hospital?
Paralysis Injury Claim – Could I have grounds to make a claim for a Paralysis injury?
Lloyds Pharmacy Wrong Medication Claims – Learn more about claiming for receiving the wrong medication from Lloyds Pharmacy
Asda Pharmacy Wrong Medication Prescription Error Claims – See if you can claim against an Asda pharmacy for being given the wrong medication.
Citizen’s Advice – Could I make a clinical negligence claim?
Guide by MN