Do I need a solicitor to claim prescribed wrong medicine compensation or should I apply for compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine to the Injuries Board?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Answer:

Inasmuch as it is advisable to engage the services of a solicitor when making any personal injury claim, it is essential that you use a solicitor to make a claim for prescribed wrong medicine compensation as the Injuries Board Ireland regard claims such as these as medical negligence and – although an admission of negligence is practically assured – will decline to process claims for assessment submitted to them.

However, before any compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine is considered, it first has to be established that you suffered a “negative event” or the deterioration of an existing condition because of your doctor´s negligence in prescribing you the wrong medicine. Negligence alone is insufficient grounds to make prescribed wrong medicine claims.

Therefore, once you have engaged a solicitor, he or she would arrange for a medical expert to give you an examination and review your medical notes to determine whether your doctor “at the time and in the circumstances” prescribed you a wrong medicine which “on the balance of probabilities” resulted in a negative event or the deterioration of an existing condition.

Once your doctor´s negligence and the fact that you sustained an injury are established, your solicitor will send a Letter of Claim to your doctor, advising him or her that you are claiming compensation for having been prescribed the wrong medicine and supporting your claim with the evidence collected by the medical expert.

When liability for your injury or negative event has been admitted, your solicitor will calculate how much compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine you are entitled to – based on the nature of your injury or the deterioration of your existing condition, what consequence it has had on your quality of life and what the long-term impact of your doctor´s negligence may be.

One factor that may affect how much prescribed wrong medicine compensation you receive is if it is considered that any “reasonable” person would have noticed that they had been prescribed the wrong medicine and not taken it. For example, if you had requested a repeat prescription of a medicine and were provided with a completely different coloured or different shaped bottle – which you took regardless – how much compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine you are entitled to will be reduced to reflect your own lack of care.

As it is important that a medical examination is conducted to indicate the severity of your injury and support your claim for being prescribed the wrong medicine at the first possible opportunity, it would be in your best interests to speak with an experienced medical negligence solicitor without delay.