Do I have to use a solicitor to claim compensation for a medication error in hospitals?
You will need a solicitor to claim compensation for a medication error in hospitals as the Injuries Board has no remit to assess applications for medication error compensation claims relating to medical negligence. Even though it would appear that negligence is obvious in a claim for a hospital medication error, because the blame for medication errors is determined by medical opinion, court action may be necessary to resolve your claim – for which you will need the services of a solicitor.
Indeed, medication error compensation claims against a hospital can be far more complicated than you may imagine; as the person responsible for the medication error could be the medical practitioner who prescribed the medicine, the pharmacist who dispensed it or the member of the nursing staff who administered it.
Therefore, in order to claim compensation for a medication error in hospitals, a solicitor would want to know all the circumstances of your hospital treatment to establish how the negligent act happened, so that he or she could determine (usually with the assistance of an independent medical expert) where in the chain of events the mistake occurred.
However, before the claims process can start, the solicitor would also want to know how the medication error had a detrimental effect on your health. Without suffering an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition due to the wrong medication being administered (or the wrong dosage of the correct medication), there will be no grounds to claim compensation for a medication error in hospitals.
Consequently the services of the independent medical expert may again be called upon to examine you in relation to the negligent treatment you received and to deliver a prognosis to your solicitor of the effect the incorrect medication had on your health. With this information, the solicitor will be able to advise you how much compensation for a medication error in hospitals you may be entitled to receive – information which will help you to decide whether you have a claim for a hospital medication error which is worth your while to pursue.
Thereafter the process for making medication error compensation claims is relatively straightforward. Your solicitor will send a ‘Letter of Complaint’ to the hospital at which you suffered from the medication error if you have not done so already, and then a ‘Letter of Claim’ – advising the hospital that you are claiming compensation for a medication error in hospitals and supporting the letter with the evidence of negligence compiled by the independent medical expert.
Once the hospital acknowledges liability for your injury, your solicitor will negotiate a fair and adequate settlement of compensation, based on the level of injury that you have sustained and the consequences that the medication error have had on your quality of life.
If you would like to know more about the process for making medication error compensation claims, you should discuss your specific circumstances with a solicitor as soon as possible while evidence of negligence is at its most recent.