Under certain circumstances it is possible to claim compensation for incorrect medication being prescribed, dispensed or administered to you. This article aims to explain briefly what those circumstances are and when you may be eligible to claim for a medication mistake.
One of the most important things to remember is that you can claim compensation for incorrect medication not only for being given the wrong type of medication, but also for being given the wrong dosage of medication or for being given medication for too long – or too short – a period of time.
Provided that you have suffered an “adverse event” (a loss, an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition) due to the negligence of somebody who had a duty of care for your wellbeing, you should be eligible to make a claim for a medication mistake.
The only exception to this condition is when you have contributed to the adverse event by your own lack of care. If you have continued to take a medication despite it making you feel unwell, you should speak with a solicitor at the first practical opportunity to see if you still qualify for compensation for incorrect medication.
Establishing Negligence in a Claim for a Medication Mistake
When you make a claim for a medical mistake, it not only has to be demonstrated through your medical records that you have suffered an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition, but how the adverse event occurred. This could be due to an error by your GP, by a pharmacist or by a medical professional at a hospital.
When you speak with a solicitor, he or she will ask you where you feel was the most likely source of the incorrect medication, and they will initiate an investigation to confirm the source and establish that negligence has occurred. Thereafter, your solicitor will send a “Letter of Claim” to the authority responsible for your standard of care, informing them that you are claiming compensation for incorrect medication.
There is no justifiable defence against prescribing, dispensing or administrating the wrong medication, so your claim for a medication mistake should not be contested. Even if you have contributed to your own injury by continuing to take the incorrect medication after you started to feel unwell, your contributory negligence will be taken into account in the settlement of compensation you receive, rather than excluding you from being eligible to make a claim for a medication mistake.
How Much Compensation for Incorrect Medication
Your claim for a medication mistake will be settled according to the nature and extent of the adverse event and the impact the error has had on your quality of life. Your solicitor will arrange for the level of your injury to be reviewed by an independent medical expert, and then consult the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines for General Damages in Personal Injury Cases to arrive at a figure for your physical pain and suffering.
That figure will be adjusted to account for your age and general state of health before the incorrect medication was prescribed, dispensed or administered to you. Added to it will be compensation for incorrect medication if you have suffered a psychological injury, or if you have suffered a loss of amenity – your ability to engage in social and recreational pastimes that formed part of your regular life before the medication mistake was made.
Once the total amount of compensation for incorrect medication has been calculated, any adjustment that is required to account for your contributory negligence will be made then. If applicable, you will be assigned a percentage liability for your own lack of care, and that percentage will be deducted from the settlement of your claim for a medication mistake.
Independent Information about Compensation for Medication Mistakes
Because it is necessary to confirm exactly how your injury or deterioration of an existing condition was caused before you can claim compensation for incorrect medication, it is recommended that you seek independent legal advice about making a claim for a medication mistake at the first practical opportunity.
In this respect, we invite you to call our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau and speak with a medical negligence solicitor, who can offer accurate and impartial advice about claiming compensation for incorrect medication and making a claim for a medication error as the procedures apply in your individual circumstances.
Our solicitor will be able to answer any legal questions you may have about claiming compensation for incorrect medication, without you being under any obligation to proceed with a claim. A time limit exists for making a claim for a medication mistake. Make sure you do not miss out on your opportunity to claim compensation for incorrect medication by calling our Medical Negligence Advice Bureau today.