What is medication malpractice?
Medication malpractice, which is also referred to as medical negligence, occurs when someone who belongs to a medical team such as a doctor or a nurse, inflicts harm on a patient or falls short of the accepted standard of care resulting in the patient coming to harm. It is a legal cause of action whereby the standard of care in this profession is utilised as an example of what the medical professional should abide by and they will be tried based on if they deviate from these standards. While in some cases medical negligence can result in mild physical and emotional injuries such as minor pain, there are other times where more serious altercations can occur, such as disabilities and severe mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. In extreme cases, medication malpractice can also sometimes result in death, which is why claims like these need to be taken seriously. In addition, labelling someone as a victim of medication malpractice can be a tricky process but it usually originates from the doubts from the patient or the patients family. It is rare that a medical professional will admit to medication malpractice on their own accord and it usually starts from the suspicions of patient or patients’ families that the patient is not receiving the standard of care that they should be entitled to. In some cases, the patient themselves will voice their dissatisfaction with the care they are receiving from their own experiences with a medical professional. In other instances where the patient is unfit or unable to examine how they are being cared for, concerns are raised by their family or friends. These concerns may not even be incidents that they have witnessed first-hand but could be something they hear through word of mouth concerning the patient or that someone close to the patient has observed over time. As UK healthcare providers are obligated to deliver treatment to a certain standard, if this treatment falls short of what is expected, there could be the potential to issue a claim. In situations where the patients’ family are worried about how the patient is being taken care of, they should record the details of any notable incidents that have happened to use as evidence later down the line.
What are the different types of medication error and malpractice?
There is no doubt that medication plays a vital role with people who are suffering from illnesses. As it is primarily used to cure, slow down or prevent diseases as well as ease symptoms, medicine is not only helpful for patients who are suffering, but in many ways it is necessary. Therefore, when a situation arises which complicates or intercepts the process of giving a patient medication, it can be catastrophic both for the patient and their loved ones. There are various circumstances that can be deemed as medication malpractice, such as when medical professionals such as doctors, nurses and even pharmacists can make errors with prescribed drugs. These include switching the medication that should be prescribed to the patient with another or issuing the wrong medication to the patient which is used to treat an illness or condition they do not have. Furthermore, although the correct medication may be prescribed to the patient, the wrong dose could also be given to them. In some other cases, the wrong instructions could be given to the patient or the medication could be prescribed for the wrong amount of time, causing them to either take in too much of the medication or too little. Medication malpractice also occurs if a patient’s condition is exacerbated when they are taking it instead of making it better. There are also instances where things go wrong when the patient takes the medication that can be classed as medication malpractice. For example, if a patient experiences an allergic reaction when they are prescribed a medication by a medical professional. Alternatively, a patient could be prescribed a medication that conflicts with another medication that they are also being prescribed and the medical professional has failed to take this into account. A medical professional can also accidentally commit negligence by failing to relay any warnings that are issued by the manufacturer. Of course, medication malpractice happens also when a medication is given that inflicts harm because of the patient having other health conditions.
What do you need to make a medication malpractice claim?
If you believe that you have experienced medication malpractice at the hands of a medical professional, there are some things that you will require to make a medication malpractice claim. Firstly, you will need to reach out to a malpractice solicitor as you can’t deal with this on your own. While a lot of injury cases can be handled solo, medical malpractice claims require professional assistance. You will also need to have valid copies of your medical records as these will act as your evidence as well as any relevant tests and scan results. In order to make sure that everything is in accordance with the law, you will be required to sign a release which permits your solicitors to have access to your medical records. It is worth noting that if you are even slightly suspicious that you are a victim of medication malpractice, you should get a copy of your records as soon as possible. This will give your solicitors more time to build a solid case and consult others in the medical field for their professional opinion. Ultimately, a review of these documents should help a solicitor decide whether you will have a solid case. As part of the evidence you are gathering to hand over to your solicitors, you may be required to give them any pictorial evidence or photographs that show the extent of the injury that has been inflicted. You should also include some witness statements from close friends or family that you should present to your solicitors. This should be paired up with detailed statements of everything that has occurred to support your claims.
Furthermore, you may also be required to alert health care providers and insurers of your upcoming lawsuit. Before the issue goes to court, this will help to determine whether you can get a settlement before filing suit. Of course, other things that will help your case will be a copy of the prescription given to you by the medical professional. In the case where you have received the wrong dose etc, a comparison will be made between the normal prescription and the one you have received to help your condition. If you have been experiencing side effects because of medical malpractice, it would also be beneficial to have any notes of this. You will also need to take the financial aspects of your situation into account as this can either help or harm your case. This means having receipts of prescription costs regarding the medical malpractice and reports from witnesses who claim that you didn’t receive an appropriate standard of care. When you have gotten to the stage of filing the medical malpractice complaint, an initial draft of a complaint in a civil court will be made. This is an official recount of the accusations against the medical professionals or the medical establishment.
How much can you get from a medication malpractice case?
With regard to financial reimbursement, it is worth noting that there is no set amount of compensation that someone will get for winning a medication malpractice case. However, there is the potential for someone in be in receipt of a decent amount of money. Medication malpractice payout figures can fluctuate from £1000 to over a million pounds which is the maximum amount that one can acquire. The NHS estimates that the average payout for medical negligence in the UK is £50,000 so it is good to use this as a benchmark when thinking about how much you could receive. It is also vital to add that the amount of money that is paid out to the victims of medication malpractice hinges on a variety of factors, including the period of time it will take for them to recover, the extent of the damage that has been done and the potential costs for further treatment to rectify what has been done.
How Wafer Phillips can help with medication malpractice claims?
It can be daunting to make a medication malpractice claim alone, which is why the assistance of a team of experienced, professional solicitors such as Wafer Phillips is vital. As a ‘no win no fee’ firm, Wafer Phillips specialises in treating each medication negligence victim as an individual in need of support and not just as another statistic.
Not only do we pride ourselves on supporting you through this complicated process, but we also strive to involve you in every step of the way as we fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
The good news is that finding a solicitor with great experience, contacts and knowledge is easier than ever in today’s landscape. So why not consider turning to Wafer Phillips Solicitors as the right medical malpractice lawyer for you and your case? By reaching out to a specialist solicitor at Wafer Phillips, you will be able to gauge an idea of what your medication malpractice payout could be as well as receiving trusted advice on the next steps of your claim.