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Prescribed Wrong Medicine

I was prescribed wrong medicine by my doctor, and if it were not for my catching it on time, I might have had a serious adverse reaction. Am I entitled to make a compensation claim against him for what is obvious negligence?

Although you have every right to be upset for having been prescribed wrong medicine, and your doctor may very well be negligent for his error, you will not have a compensation claim against him unless your doctor’s negligence caused you actual harm. Even though you were prescribed wrong medicine, it must have caused you either a physical and/or psychological injury in order to entitle you to wrong medicine compensation.

This is because, legally, you may only claim for compensation for an actual sustained injury but not for negligence alone — even if the doctor acted criminally negligent in your case. While it is true that negligence establishes liability, compensation through personal injury law is meant to address the detrimental effects of negligence on a person’s life. Therefore, both the elements of injury and negligence must be present to entitle you to make a compensation claim for being prescribed the wrong medicine.

Had you actually sustained an injury due to being prescribed the wrong medicine, you might have had a viable claim for compensation, in which case you could seek damages for the consequences of the injury, such as medical costs, loss of amenity, lost wages due to having to take time off work (or being severely impaired and unable to resume work). Damages would be dependent on the extent of the injury and its impact on your overall quality of life.

However, in the absence of an injury, you do not have a viable claim for compensation for having been prescribed the wrong medicine. If you feel that you have been injured due to being prescribed the wrong medicine, you are welcome to discuss your circumstances with an experienced personal injury solicitor who specialises in medical negligence cases.