Call our freephone helpline to find out about medical negligence   1-800 989 988

Could my 10 year old daughter claim compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine by a doctor if it left her severely ill for several months?

It could be possible for your daughter to receive compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine by her doctor; however since she is ten years old it will not be possible for her to claim on her own behalf. Under Irish Law, those under the age of eighteen are not permitted to initiate a compensation claim or advise a solicitor. However, if you or a legal guardian is willing to speak on your daughter’s behalf as her “next friend” then it could be possible to claim compensation for when her doctor prescribed the wrong medicine. By doing this you would have to advise a solicitor on her account and also accept financial liability if this claim for the prescription of the incorrect medicine is ultimately unsuccessful.

Another option for your daughter in claiming compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine by her doctor would be waiting until she turns eighteen to pursue a claim. Because a child is not permitted to initiate a claim, the usual two year time limit imposed by the Irish Statute of Limitations does not apply in the same way when it comes to child claims. Instead of starting from the date when the cause of an illness or injury has been determined, for your daughter the two year time limit will not begin until she turns eighteen — meaning that she will have until she is twenty to make a claim. Nevertheless, it is still advisable for you to seek legal advice from a solicitor at the first possible moment in order to find out the viability of your daughter’s potential claim.

You should inform your solicitor of the circumstances in which your daughter’s doctor prescribed the wrong medicine and the subsequent impact it has had on her life. From the information you provide them, your solicitor will decide if your daughter’s claim is likely to be of sufficient strength and — if they do decide this — they will present any relevant medical notes to an independent medical expert. This medical expert will examine these notes and determine if the prescription of the incorrect medicine was due to a lack of care demonstrated by her doctor and if it could have been avoided if they had taken a different course of action, or if a different, competent doctor had been treating her. If the medical expert decides that your daughter’s illness from the wrong medicine could have been avoided, then your solicitor may decide to proceed with your claim and offer your daughter legal representation.

The information provided here about claiming compensation for being prescribed the wrong medicine by doctor on behalf of your daughter is no way a substitute for specific, professional legal advice obtained from a solicitor. A solicitor with knowledge of your daughter’s situation will be able to determine if her claim is worth pursuing and how much she could be eligible to obtain. It is recommended that you do this at the first convenient opportunity.