For most patients, the healthcare system in the UK works well and after a condition has been diagnosed, they’ll receive drugs to deal with their symptoms. However, some patients are allergic to certain chemicals within some medicines so extra care needs to be taken when prescribing and dispensing medication to these people. Otherwise, if mistakes are made, and the patient suffers a medication allergic reaction, they could be entitled to compensation.
We are here to help if you do decide to proceed with a claim. Initially, an advisor will review your claim with you during a free consultation. They’ll explain your options and also give legal advice about your chances of being compensated. If they believe the chances are strong enough, they could pass your claim to a medical negligence solicitor from our panel. If they take on your case, you’ll benefit from a No Win, No Fee service meaning you won’t need to pay your solicitor in advance.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction to medication and would like advice on being compensated for your suffering, call us on 0800 652 1345 today. Alternatively, please continue reading to learn more about your options.
What is a medication allergic reaction?
Medicine is given to alleviate symptoms of an ailment or to reduce pain. However, some people’s bodies react badly to some chemicals found within certain medications. If the reaction is caused by the body’s immune system, then it is called an allergic reaction.
During an allergic reaction to a medication, the immune system tries to fight off the chemical that it believes (incorrectly) to be bad for you. To do this, it sends antibodies including histamine to try to kill off the drug. It is this release of antibodies that cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. In less serious cases, these can include:
- Watery or itchy eyes.
- Red raised rashes (hives).
- Nausea or vomiting.
- A runny nose.
- Wheezing or breathing difficulties.
These symptoms might become apparent straight after taking your medicine or they can sometimes take a few days to present.
Some of the most common drugs that lead to allergic reactions include:
- Antibiotics such as penicillin.
- Chemotherapy drugs.
- Painkillers including Asprin, ibuprofen and
- Some medications for autoimmune conditions.
Anaphylactic shock caused by medication
The most serious type of allergic reaction to medication is called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. Here the symptoms can be much more serious and even life-threatening. According to the NHS, they include:
- Breathing problems including wheezing or shallow and fast breathing.
- A rapid heartbeat.
- Feeling faint or lightheaded.
- Becoming unconscious.
- Anxiety or confusion.
- Clammy skin.
A patient who is suspected of suffering from anaphylaxis should be treated as a medical emergency as, in some cases, symptoms can lead to fatalities.
As well as medication allergic reactions, it’s possible to suffer an adverse drug reaction. These aren’t caused by the immune system but they can lead to serious problems such as organ damage which require hospitalisation and could lead to permanent problems. You could also be compensated for these problems if they were caused by negligence.
Can I claim compensation for an allergic reaction to medication?
This type of compensation claim is usually taken on by a medical negligence lawyer. Before a solicitor on our panel accepts a case, they’ll review the facts to check whether:
- Neglect or breach of duty occurred. Where the treatment provided by a medical professional such as a doctor, pharmacist or nurse fell below the standard you should reasonably expect.
- Causation can be proven. Where it can be proven that you were made ill and suffered a medication allergic reaction as a direct result of the breach of duty.
Even though we have a team of medical negligence lawyers, they cannot decide alone whether a medical professional has been negligent. Instead, they must ask an independent expert to review how you were treated. They will look at the evidence to see if they’d have treated you in the same way given the same circumstances. If they concur that you were treated negligently, your solicitor will move on to try and prove that you suffered from medical negligence as a result.
Medical negligence claims can be complex and, as you can see, require a lot of proof. Please call today if you’d like us to review your options for free.
Medical negligence that could cause you to suffer an allergic reaction to medicine
There are several scenarios that could lead to you suffering an allergic reaction to medication that could see you entitled to compensation including:
- If a doctor fails to check your medical records or to ask you about any known allergens.
- If a pharmacy technician prepares the wrong medication because it looks similar or has a similar name to the one prescribed.
- Where a doctor prescribes one medication but another is administered whilst you’re in the hospital.
- If a pharmacist gives you someone else’s prescription because they failed to check your details correctly.
- Where your prescription is difficult to read but the pharmacist fails to call the doctor to check its details.
We could help you to start a claim if you believe you have suffered an allergic reaction to drugs caused by medical negligence. That’s the case whether you were treated negligently either privately or by an NHS doctor. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
How much compensation for a medication allergic reaction could I claim?
Any compensation you claim will be based on how you’ve been affected by your medication allergic reaction. General damages will be sought to cover any physical issues caused by the reaction whilst special damages aim to recoup any financial losses.
We’ll explain what you could claim compensation for if you call for a free review but, in general, you could be compensated for:
- Pain and suffering caused by your allergic reaction.
- Any impact on your social life or hobbies. This is referred to as loss of amenity.
- Any income you’ve lost because you were unable to work while you were ill.
- Care costs if a family member or friend looked after you while you were recovering.
- Medical expenses linked to your allergic reaction to medicine.
- Future loss of earnings if you are unable to earn as much in the future because of your condition.
- Costs associated with changing your home if your allergic reaction leaves you disabled.
At this stage, you need to review your claim carefully. That’s because once it’s been settled, you cannot seek further damages for something you forgot later on. If your claim is handled by a solicitor on our team, they’ll try to make sure you are compensated fully by going through your case in fine detail with you. To find out more about what you could claim following an allergic reaction to medication, please call 0800 652 1345 today.
Providing proof to substantiate a clinical negligence claim
During your claim, you will need to prove who was responsible for your allergic reaction to the medication and how it caused you to suffer. To do so, your solicitor will try to collect as much proof as possible. This may include:
- Medical records. These can be used to show what drugs/medication you were prescribed and what symptoms you were treated for following your allergic reaction. They could also be used to confirm whether or not any known allergens were recorded on your medical records. Don’t worry if you don’t yet have these records as they can be requested when needed.
- A copy of your prescription. You should try to keep hold of a copy of your prescription if this is how you received the medication. This can be used to verify what medication was prescribed.
- Medication packaging. Additionally, it’s worth retaining the packaging or bottles your medication was dispensed in. This could help to identify where the wrong medication was dispensed and other failures.
- Witness information. Your solicitor might ask anyone who was with you when your medication was prescribed or dispensed for a statement. Additionally, family or friends might be asked to explain how you’ve suffered as a result of your allergic reaction to the medication.
- A diary of events. It is worth writing down as much information relating to your allergic reaction as possible. This could help you to prove when you couldn’t work, any social events you missed or costs you incurred because of your illness.
We will happily review any proof that you’ve already collected as part of your free case review so please call today if you’d like free advice about your options.
Claiming compensation for a fatal allergic reaction to a medication
If you’ve lost a loved one who has died because of an allergic reaction to a medication, we realise that compensation won’t make the situation any better. However, there may come a time when you wish to take action for their death which could help you to deal with any financial impact of their loss.
Partners or parents may be eligible to receive a bereavement payment following the death of a loved one. Also, anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased’s benefits or income could be entitled to compensation. Finally, if you have any immediate costs caused by your loved one’s death such as funeral expenses, these could be claimed back too.
Please let us know if you’d like our help to start your claim, or refer to this page for further information.
Time limits for medication claims
As with all medical negligence claims, there is a 3-year time limit when claiming for an allergic reaction to medication. Generally, this will begin from the date the medication was taken. In our experience, it’s easier to recollect how you suffered and what happened if you begin the claim right away rather than waiting until the last minute. You’ll also find it easier to get hold of the evidence to substantiate the claim.
If you’re claiming on behalf of your child, the 3-year time limit doesn’t apply. Instead, you can exercise the litigation friend process to claim for their suffering at any point before they turn 18 years old.
No Win, No Fee medication allergic reaction claim
Every solicitor on our panel wants as many people to benefit from their legal expertise as possible. As such, to reduce your financial risks and stress levels, they’ll work for you on a No Win, No Fee basis if your claim is accepted. As a result, you’ll not have to pay for their work in advance and you won’t pay any solicitor’s fees at all if the claim fails.
So you have everything written down in black and white, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) will be sent to you for you to sign before the case commences. This agreement explains what your solicitor will do for you and when you’ll need to pay them.
Essentially, you’ll only pay the fee if you are paid compensation and is no more than 25% of any compensation you receive as it’s a legal cap and cannot go higher when funding your claim with a CFA.
To check whether a No Win, No Fee medical negligence solicitor from our panel could help you, please call today.
Start a medication allergic reaction claim today
We hope that our claims article has helped you to understand better when you could be compensated for suffering caused by a medication allergic reaction. If you’d like to talk with us about claiming compensation, simply call our team on 0800 652 1345. If your claim is viable, they’ll connect you with a solicitor who can represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis if you both agree to work together.
If you have any further questions on claiming compensation for a medication allergic reaction please arrange a free consultation here, or use live chat to get in touch.