Learn About Medication Error Claims

When you visit a medical professional for care, you trust that they will meet the minimum standard of care expected of someone in their profession, including providing you with the correct medication. If they have not met this standard and you were harmed by a medication error you could be owed compensation. Within this guide we will look at who could be eligible to make medication error claims.

We then look at circumstances in which you could be given the wrong medication, and the steps you could take following this to help support your claim.

Additionally, we look at how your compensation could be awarded to you if your claim is a success. We also explore how a No Win No Fee solicitor on our panel could help you with claiming compensation.

If you would like to discuss your potential medical negligence claim, you can contact our team today. Our friendly advisors can assess the eligibility of your case, offer you free advice and answer any of your questions.

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Some medication is on the table with more medicine bottles in the background.

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What Are Medication Error Claims And Could I Make One?

Medication errors are a type of Patient Safety Incident. They could occur when a patient is given the wrong medication, wrong dosage, incorrect instructions on timings or medication meant for another patient. The error could be in the preparation, dispensing, administration, monitoring or advice given.

Medications may be self-administered medicines which were prescribed to a patient or those which are administered by a medical professional, such as anaesthetics or other drugs given in hospitals. Medication errors could happen in a GP surgery, pharmacy, care home or hospital setting.

In order to claim compensation for a harm caused by a medication error you need to show that a medical professional has breached their duty of care. All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care to provide the minimum expected standard of care when treating them. If the care they provide were to fall below this standard, this could be classed as a breach of their duty of care.

All medication error claims must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • A medical professional owed you a duty of care.
  • This duty of care has been breached. For example, a doctor prescribed you medication that contained something they knew you were allergic to.
  • You have suffered harm that was unnecessary due to this breach, such as an allergic reaction.

Together, these three points constitute as medical negligence.

Find out if you can sue your doctor for negligence by contacting our team of advisors today.

What Are Some Examples Of Medication Errors?

Medication errors could happen in many different circumstances. Examples of medication errors which you could claim for may include (but at not limited to) the following types:

  • Due to administrative errors, medical staff in a hospital give you medication prescribed to another patient. This could cause your condition to worsen due to not receiving the correct treatment.
  • A nurse administers a patient in a care home too much medication, causing an overdose. In certain cases, this could be fatal.
  • A prescription error occurs at a pharmacy due to a pharmacist dispensing the incorrect medication as they were not in the correct container. This could cause you to suffer various side effects due to taking the wrong medication, and you may be able to make a prescription error claim.

There may be some cases where you suffer harm but a medical professional still adhered to their duty of care. For example, if you suffered an allergic reaction to medication that your GP prescribed to you, but neither you or your GP knew about this allergy, you might not be able to claim compensation.

These are only a few examples of when medication or prescription error compensation claims could be made. To discuss your specific circumstances and see when you could make a medical negligence claim, you can contact our advisors.

Medication and medication bottles on a table.

What Can I Do If I’ve Received The Wrong Medication?

If you have been provided with the wrong dosage or wrong medication by a medical professional your first step should be to get medical attention. This may include visiting a hospital or GP surgery.

If you intend on making a medical negligence claim, you should also gather evidence that supports your case. This evidence will need to prove that a medical professional breached their duty of care and that you suffered avoidable harm due to this breach.

Examples of evidence that could help support medication error claims include:

  • Your medical records detailing any medication you have been prescribed and conditions you have been diagnosed with.
  • Copies of your prescription forms.
  • Your medication containers.
  • The contact information of anyone who witnessed your treatment.
  • A diary detailing any symptoms you have experienced due to taking the wrong medication.

One of the experienced solicitors on our panel could help you with gathering this evidence for your claim. Contact our team to potentially be connected with a solicitor.

A patient holding a medication bottle while talking to their doctor.

How Much Compensation Could I Get For My Medication Error Claim?

Compensation for medication error claims is assessed and awarded on a case-by-case basis. However, if you make a successful claim, you will be awarded general damages. This provides you with compensation for the pain and suffering the medical negligence has caused you. Factors that could affect how much you are awarded under general damages include:

  • What harm you suffered.
  • Your expected recovery period.
  • What treatments you need.

Those valuing your clam for general damages may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document contains compensation guidelines for various forms of harm at differing severities.

We have used some of these guidelines for the table below, aside from the first entry.

InjurySeverityPotential Damages
Multiple Forms Of Severe Harm With Special DamagesSevereUp to £500,000+
Brain DamageModerate (i)£183,190 to £267,340
Moderate (ii)£110,720 to £183,190
KidneySerious and Permanent Damage £206,730 to £256,780
Significant Risk Of Future UTIUp to £78,000
Loss of One Kidney£37,550 to £54,760
BowelsTotal Loss of Natural FunctionUp to £183,190
Digestive systemIllness/ Damage Caused By Non-Traumatic Injury (i)£46,900 to £64,070
Illness/ Damage Caused By Non-Traumatic Injury (iv)£1,110 to £48,20
SpleenLoss of Speen£25,380 to £32,090

Special damages may also be awarded in successful medication error claims. This provides you with compensation for the financial losses you have experienced due to the medical negligence. This could include:

  • A loss of earnings.
  • Paying for additional medical treatment and prescription costs.
  • Travel expenses to essential medical appointments.

To help secure your chances of receiving special damages, you should provide evidence of these financial losses. This could include receipts, bank statements and payslips.

To learn more about how compensation in medication and prescription error claims are calculated, you can contact our advisors.

How Do I Make A Wrong Medication Claim On A No Win No Fee Basis?

The first thing we should note is that you do not have to work with a solicitor when making a claim. However, there are various benefits that come with working with a solicitor, such as:

  • Help with gathering evidence.
  • Someone to guide you through the claims process.
  • Someone to help negotiate a compensation settlement for you.

Additionally, not only are the solicitors on our panel experienced with working on medication error claims but they also offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Working with a solicitor through a CFA you will have:

  • Nothing to pay for your solicitor to begin working on your claim.
  • No service fees to pay during the duration of your claim.
  • Nothing to pay for their work if the claim fails.

If your medication error compensation claim is successful your solicitor will deduct a success fee from the compensation awarded to you. The law limits the percentage that can be taken as this fee.

To see if one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel could help you with your claim, you can contact our advisors:

  • Ask a question using our live chat.
  • Request a call back using our ‘contact us’ form.
  • Speak to a member of our team by calling 0800 408 7825

A solicitor sits at a desk discussing the medication error claims process with a client.

More Resources About Medical Negligence Claims

Here you can learn more about medical negligence claims:

External resources:

FAQs About Medication Error Claims

Below we answer some frequently asked questions about making a medical negligence claim.

What Is The Time Limit When Claiming Medication Error Compensation?

The general time limit in which to start a medical negligence claim is three years, as set out in the Limitation Act 1980. This time limit runs from the date the medical negligence occurred or the date you first became reasonably aware of it. This is known as the date of knowledge.

Exceptions apply to those under the age of eighteen or who lack the mental capacity to claim.

To learn what these exceptions are, you can contact our advisors.

How Long Will My Medication Error Claim Take?

As each medication error claim is unique we can not say how long your claim could take. Factors which could impact how long your claim takes could include:

  • The severity of the harm you suffered.
  • Whether the decedent accepts liability.
  • Whether your case needs to go to court or not.

Our team can assess your medical negligence claim and potentially connect you with a solicitor on our panel who could help guide you through the claiming process.

Can I Claim If My GP Has Given Me The Wrong Medication?

You could still claim if your GP gave you the wrong medication. However, you will need to prove that they breached their duty of care when giving you this wrong medication. Additionally, you must have also suffered unnecessary harm due to this breach.

To learn more about medication error claims, or to see if you’re eligible to claim compensation for one, contact us for free using the above details.