Types Of Medication Errors In Healthcare And How To Claim Compensation

This guide will look at the different types of medication errors in healthcare when you might be eligible to claim compensation. You must prove that you sustained harm due to medical negligence to claim compensation. We will explore what medical negligence is throughout this guide as well as the responsibilities all medically trained professionals have. 

medication errors in healthcare
A guide on medication errors in healthcare

Furthermore, we will look at different examples of medication errors and the harm you could sustain as a result.

Taking incorrect medication could cause physical harm such as pain, damage to the body, a worsening of a condition and a poorer prognosis. Also, you could suffer psychological harm, including anxiety, stress and depression. Read on to find out whether you meet the criteria to make a medical negligence claim following the harm you sustained after an error with your medication. 

Alternatively, contact our team of advisors for free legal advice. They are available 24/7 and could assess whether our panel of medical negligence solicitors could represent your case.

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  1. What Are Medication Errors In Healthcare?
  2. Why Is Duty Of Care Important When Claiming For Errors In Healthcare?
  3. Different Types Of Medication Errors In Healthcare
  4. What Types Of Evidence Could Help Me Claim For Medical Negligence?
  5. How Much Compensation Could I Receive From A Medical Negligence Claim?
  6. What Are The Advantages Of Using No Win No Fee Solicitors?
  7. More Information About Medication Errors In Healthcare

What Are Medication Errors In Healthcare?

NHS Resolution describes medication errors as a Patient Safety Incident involving an error when prescribing, preparing, administering, monitoring or dispensing medication. Also, they can involve errors when providing advice on medication. 

It is important to note that to make a claim, medical negligence must have caused you harm. In the next section, we will discuss the duty of care that a medical professional owes you and how it can be breached. Please don’t hesitate to contact our team of advisors to enquire about claiming compensation for different types of medication errors in healthcare.

Why Is Duty Of Care Important When Claiming For Errors In Healthcare?

Healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists, have a responsibility to provide a minimum standard of care. When they provide care that falls below the correct standard, it is called medical negligence. 

If medical negligence causes you physical or mental harm, you could be eligible to claim compensation.  

To enquire about receiving medical negligence compensation, contact us today, and our team of advisors will be happy to assess your claim. They could tell you whether you have a valid claim and offer insight into who could be liable.

Different Types Of Medication Errors In Healthcare

Some different types of medication errors in healthcare can include: 

  • Dosage error – You could be given an incorrect dose of medication in hospital. If the dose is too strong, it could lead to severe negative side effects, such as complications of your original condition. 
  • Dispensing incorrect medication – This could involve, for example, a pharmacy making a prescription error after failing to check the name before handing out the medicine. As a result, this could cause a serious allergic reaction or another adverse side effect from taking the incorrect medication.
  • A failure to identify drug interactions – It could be harmful to take medication that is unsuitable because of another medication you’re taking. A healthcare professional should check what medication you’re on and adjust your treatment method accordingly. If they have not done this, it could lead to you experiencing harm after taking two medications that weren’t suitable to be taken together.
  • Wrong medication – A nurse in a care home may give the wrong medication to two patients causing them complications to their original conditions.

It’s important to note that not all incidents of medication errors could lead to claims being made. You would need to prove that medical negligence led to you suffering harm. Please contact a member of our team to find out more. Or continue reading to learn about how you can support your claim.

What Types Of Evidence Could Help Me Claim For Medical Negligence?

You must prove that medical negligence was the cause of your harm to make a claim.

Some potential evidence you could obtain includes medical evidence, such as medical records from your doctor or the hospital detailing the harm caused by the medication error and any treatment required. It could also include prescriptions detailing the medication you were provided with.

Additionally, you may be invited to attend a medical assessment. This is often carried out by an independent medical professional who can produce a report on the full extent of the harm you sustained. 

Furthermore, the Bolam test may be carried out. This is conducted by a group of medical professionals trained within a relevant area of medicine. They assess your case to determine whether you were provided with the correct level of care. The findings from their investigation can be used when determining liability.

Also, you must make sure that your claim is within the time limits established in the Limitation Act 1980. This states that you have three years from the date that the medication error occurred or three years from the date you connected the harm from the medication error to negligence. Some exceptions may apply.

Please contact us if you have suffered an injury due to medication errors in healthcare caused by negligence. Our advisors can advise whether you’re eligible to claim and if you are within the time limits to do so.

How Much Compensation Could I Receive From A Medical Negligence Claim? 

When discussing medical negligence compensation, it is important to know about the two heads of claim, general damages and special damages. Special damages compensate for the monetary losses resulting from the harm you sustained. Whilst, general damages compensate for the pain and suffering of the physical or psychological harm caused by medical negligence.

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), published in April 2022, provides compensation amounts based on previous claims. Legal professionals, such as lawyers, use this text to help them value the general damages portion of medical negligence settlements. In the table below, we have provided some of the figures from the JCG. 

InjuryDetailsAmount of Compensation
Very Severe Injury Resulting from Brain Damage (a)There will be several issues, such as double incontinence and little or no language function or meaningful response to the environment. The person will need full-time care.£282,010 to £403,990
Kidney (a)Either permanent and serious damage to both kidneys or the loss of both kidneys. £169,400 to £210,400
Reproductive System: Female (a)Infertility with sexual dysfunction causing physical pain and psychological damage in a young person.£114,900 to £170,280
Epilepsy (a)Established grand mal.£102,000 to £150,110
Epilepsy (b)Established petit mal.£54,830 to £131,370
Reproductive System: Male (b) Loss of sexual function, total impotence and sterility in a young person. £114,900 to £148,320
Bladder Injury (b)Total loss of bladder function and control.Up to £140,660
Bladder Injury (c)Some pain and incontinence, with a serious impairment of control.£63,980 to £79,930
Bladder Injury (d)An almost complete recovery will have been made, but there will be some long-lasting interference with natural function. £23,410 to £31,310
Damage resulting from a non-traumatic injury to the Digestive System (b) (i)Severe toxicosis that will cause serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and acute pain. It will have a significant impact on the person's enjoyment of life and the ability to work. £38,430 to £52,500

These amounts are a guide. Exact figures cannot be given due to the unique circumstances of each case. 

Medication Errors In Healthcare – What Other Damages Could I Claim For?

You could also claim past and future monetary losses caused by the harm you sustained under special damages. Some of these could include loss of earnings, travel costs, care payments, and housing alterations.

It is imperative that you keep evidence of special damages. For the examples above, you could keep travel tickets, bank records, receipts and invoices. 

Please contact our team of advisors to find out what special damages you could claim following an instance of medication errors in healthcare.

What Are The Advantages Of Using No Win No Fee Solicitors?

Although not a requirement, using a solicitor when making a compensation claim for harm caused by medication errors in healthcare can be beneficial. They can help you compile your evidence and offer expert legal advice during the claims process.

Also, opting for a No Win No Fee solicitor under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) could minimise the financial risks associated with paying for a legal professional’s services. It means you won’t pay any upfront fees for your solicitor’s services, nor will you pay for this during the claims process or if your claim is unsuccessful.

On the other hand, if your claim is a success, your solicitor takes a small legally capped percentage of the compensation, called a success fee.   

Please contact our team of advisors today for an assessment of your claim. If they find your claim valid, they could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel. 

See If You Can Claim By Contacting Us For A Free Consultation Today

If medical negligence has resulted in medication errors in healthcare, which have caused you harm, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team of advisors are available 24/7 to give you free legal advice regarding your potential claim.

To get in touch, you can:  

More Information About Medication Errors In Healthcare

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We hope this guide on the different types of medication errors in healthcare and whether you can claim has helped. Call us on the number at the top of the page for more information.

Writer Jess Oar

Editor Meg Mill