Drug Errors – Can I Claim Compensation?

This guide will explain whether you’re eligible to claim compensation for drug errors caused by medical negligence. Medication errors could happen for various reasons. For instance, if a nurse or doctor makes a mistake in distributing medication to their patients. Alternatively, a drug can be given to the wrong patient if their pharmacist makes a dispensing error.

Taking the wrong medication can be dangerous or life-threatening in extreme cases. In some cases, it may not have been caused by negligence. However, if a trained medical professional failed to uphold the duty they owe you to provide the correct care resulting in you sustaining further or avoidable harm, you may be eligible to claim compensation.

Drug errors

Drug errors claims guide

This guide will look at different types and causes of medication errors that could have resulted from negligence.

Furthermore, we’ll explore the impact of medication errors on both your physical and psychological health. Moreover, this guide will look at how the severity of the harm you sustained may be taken into consideration when calculating the settlement you may receive.

Additionally, we’ll provide information on the evidence you may need to provide in support of your medical negligence claim.

For more information on making a medication error compensation claim, get in touch with our team. They can also provide further clarification on anything you’re unsure of after reading our guide.

Simply use the details below:

  • Telephone: 0800 408 7825
  • Online form: Contact us by filling out the online form.
  • Live chat: Speak to an advisor using the live chat feature below.

Select A Section

What Are Drug Errors?

You might be wondering what a drug error is. If so, drug errors could involve a patient being prescribed or taking the wrong medication. In some cases, the error may have been on the part of a trained medical professional.

There are various healthcare professionals that could prescribe you medication or dispense medication to you, such as:

  • Doctors
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Anaesthetists
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists

Every medical professional is responsible for upholding their duty to provide you with the minimum standard of care in order to prevent you from sustaining avoidable harm.

If they fail to do so when prescribing or dispensing medication, it could result in you sustaining avoidable harm or an additional injury.

For instance, a doctor may have transcribed a prescription wrong resulting in the patient receiving a drug dosage that’s too high. As a result, the patient may have experienced a drug overdose.

Who Is Responsible For Medication Errors?

Liability will vary depending on the circumstances.

For instance claims could be made against a private healthcare facility or an NHS trust, or pharmacists, nursing homes, nurse practitioners. There are different entities who may be responsible. The important thing here is proving liability. To do that you must show how a medical practitioner did not provide professional standards and how this breached their duty of care they owed to you.

Please get in touch with us today to see if you can make a compensation claim following drug errors that caused you harm.

Types Of Drug Errors

How can drug errors be caused by medical negligence?

  • Prescribing medication that reacts with another medication: A doctor may have failed to check the medication you’re on before prescribing a new medication. As a result, you may have experienced an adverse reaction due to taking two types of medication that are unsuitable to take together.
  • Wrong medication: A pharmacist may have given you medication that was meant for a different patient. As a result, you may have experienced harm that could have been avoided.
  • Wrong dosage of medication: A prescribing nurse may have given a child an adult dosage. As a result, the child may have experienced harm caused by an overdose.
  • Allergic reaction to medication: A doctor may have failed to check your patient notes and given you medication you were allergic to. As a result, you may have experienced symptoms of an allergic reaction.
  • Anaesthetic error: An anaesthetist may fail to correctly calculate the anaesthetic you need during surgery. As a result, you may wake up during a surgical procedure causing you avoidable psychological damage.

If you have experienced something similar and are wondering whether you can sue a doctor for medical negligence, call our team on the number above.

How Often Do Pharmacists Make Mistakes When Dispensing Medication?

There are over 237 million medication errors that are made each year in England.

Furthermore, these medical mishaps lead to over 1,700 deaths and cost the NHS over £98 million a year (estimated figures).

Please be aware, the statistics don’t refer specifically to pharmacists. Instead, they may apply to all medical professionals.

Source: https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/237-million-medication-errors-made-every-year-in-england/

Causation And Breach Of Medical Duty Of Care

You might be wondering whether you can claim compensation if drug errors have affected you.

All medical professionals have a duty of care to prevent you from sustaining harm that could generally have been avoided. This involves providing you with a standard of care that could be reasonably expected.

For that reason, in order to put forward a valid medical negligence compensation claim, you will need to demonstrate that a medical professional breached their duty of care and caused you harm.

There are various steps you can take in order to build a strong case, such as obtaining medical evidence or speaking to a medical negligence solicitor.

We have explored the steps you can take in more detail in the section below. However, if you have any additional questions, please contact our team on the number above.

Making A Claim For A Drug Error By A Doctor Or Nurse

You might be wondering what you should do if a drug error has harmed you as a result of medical negligence. There are several steps you may wish to take, such as:

  • Obtain medical evidence: Medical evidence could help to show how a medical professional failed to take the correct steps when treating you. For instance, you could provide photographs of your injuries, medical records of the treatment and diagnosis you received, the medication package or bottle and copies of your prescription.
  • Attend an additional medical exam: You may be invited to attend an independent medical appointment to produce a report on the full extent of the harm you sustained.
  • Seek legal advice: You may find it beneficial to seek advice from an experienced medical negligence solicitor. They can use their knowledge of similar claims to help you gather relevant evidence. Also, they could arrange for you to attend the additional assessment in your local area.

The Bolam test may also be considered when determining whether negligence occurred. A panel of healthcare professionals may look at your case to assess whether the correct level of care was provided.

When considering whether to seek legal representation, you may wish to consider hiring a No Win No Fee solicitor. In doing so, you could avoid paying an upfront fee to your solicitor before they begin working on your case.

How Much Could You Claim For Harmful Drug Errors

A successful prescription error compensation payout may comprise:

  • Special damages: These reimburse you for any costs incurred by your injuries. Special damages compensation cover any past and future losses, such as care costs, loss of earnings and medical costs.
  • General damages: These compensate you for the harmful effects of your physical or psychological injuries.

When looking at how much money you could get for medical negligence, different factors will be taken into consideration. In order to accurately calculate the value of your injuries, medical evidence may be used to look at:

  • How severe your injuries are
  • How badly they’ve impacted your quality of life
  • The impact they will have on you in the future

Additionally, a publication called the Judicial College Guidelines may also be used to help value your claim. This publication sets out bracket compensation amounts for different injuries.

We have created a table detailing example compensation brackets for different injuries that you might sustain following drug errors.

The figures in the table only refer to general damages and do not include special damages. Please only use the figures as a guide as the amount of compensation you may receive could be higher or lower than the figures in this table.

Type Of Injury Severity About The Injury Example Of Damages Awarded
Bladder Injuries (c) Where bladder control has been seriously impaired. The person will suffer some incontinence and pain. £60,050 to £75,010
Bowel Injuries (c) Cases of passive incontinence and faecal urgency. This will persist following surgery and may cause distress and embarrassment. In the region of £75,000
Kidney Injuries (b) There is a significant risk of suffering a UTI in the future or losing natural function of the kidneys. Up to £60,050
Kidney Injuries (c) One kidney is lost whilst the other kidney is undamaged. £28,880 to £42,110
Spleen Injuries (a) Loss of the spleen. There will be a continued risk of infections and disorders caused by immune system damage. £19,510 to £24,680
Spleen Injuries (b) Where the risks outlined above are either minimal or are nor present. £4,080 to £8,110
Psychiatric Injuries (c) Moderate There will already have been a good degree of recovery with a good future prognosis. £5,500 to £17,900
Psychiatric Injuries (d) Less Severe The amount awarded will be based on how severely the symptoms affected the person’s daily life and sleep and how long these symptoms lasted for. £1,440 to £5,500
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (c) Moderate This person should already have made a good recovery and any effects that do continue won’t be considered grossly disabling. £7,680 to £21,730
Digestive System (b) Illness or damage resulting from non-traumatic injury (i) Toxicosis of a severe nature resulting in symptoms such as serious pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and a fever where the person requires admission to the hospital. £36,060 to £49,270

You might not see your injury listed in the table, if so, you can call our advisors. They can provide a free valuation of your claim.

Speak To Us About Your Drug Error Claim

Our team of helpful advisors can help you if you wish to claim drug error compensation. They can assess your case to determine whether it’s valid and has a chance of succeeding. If it does, a solicitor from our panel may be able to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.

A No Win No Fee solicitor has several benefits, such as:

  • If your claim fails, there is no success fee to pay your solicitor.
  • There are no costs to pay while your claim is ongoing.
  • You don’t need to pay an upfront cost for your solicitor to start working on your case.

For successful claims, you will pay a success fee to your solicitor that’s subject to a legal cap. The fee is taken from your compensation as a percentage. You will be made aware of the fee beforehand.

For more information about working with a solicitor from our panel on this basis, our team could help. Alternatively, if you still require further help, an advisor can answer any questions you may have about making a drug errors claim.

Either way, get in touch using the details below:

  • Telephone: 0800 408 7825
  • Online form: Contact us by filling out the online form.
  • Live chat: Speak to an advisor using the live chat feature below.

Medication Error Compensation Claim

We have provided additional resources below that you might find beneficial.

For more information on making a drug errors claim, please get in touch with our team on the number above.

Writer AH

Editor EI