Suing a negligent professional can be a very stressful experience. It can also prove very complex as you will not only have to prove that you have suffered financial loss, but also that an experienced and qualified professional was actually negligent – that they failed in their professional duty and their work was below the standard you could reasonably from such a qualified expert.
What is Professional Negligence?
Professional negligence occurs when a professional adviser does something that a reasonable adviser in a similar professional position wouldn’t have done – and which results in a financial loss to you.
Proving such negligence is a question of fact and is assessed on each individual case.
Proving that the negligence actually caused the loss can be complicated. If you think you have suffered professional negligence, contact a specialist Professional Negligence Lawyer as soon as possible.
Who can I claim against?
You can bring a negligence claim against any professional person or body, which offered you a service or advice.
What can I claim for?
Damages for professional negligence are intended to put you back into the position you would have been in if the negligence had not occurred.
Often it’s difficult to put a value on your claim immediately; it usually requires investigation and you may need an expert witness to establish the value of your loss.
Whatever your loss, our Professional Negligence Lawyers will carry out a cost assessment to ensure your case is worth pursuing – and will work with you to ensure you receive what you are entitled to.
What can’t I claim for?
You cannot bring a claim against a professional just because you are unhappy with their advice or service – unless it’s actually been negligent and you suffered a loss as a result. Customer service issues are not grounds for professional negligence claims.
How do I prove my loss?
Most loss caused by professional negligence is financial. Therefore it is important to keep copies of any invoices, emails, contracts and correspondence as evidence.
To succeed in your claim, you will need to show that:
- the professional was negligent; and
- you suffered financial loss: and
- your financial loss resulted from that professional negligence
For example, X buys a property which had been valued by an estate agent at £500,000 due to negligent advice from a surveyor. A subsequent estimate from the same estate agent in light of the correct information (i.e. without the negligent advice) shows the property is worth just £400,000. These valuations would be used to show X suffered a loss of £100,000 due to professional negligence.
When should I make my claim?
Time limits in any Professional Negligence Litigation are crucial as if you don’t stick to them you lose your right to make a claim. The limitation period for bringing a claim (in cases not involving personal injury) is generally 6 years from the date the cause of action occurred. Although this may seem like a long time, professional negligence litigation is an extensive and complicated process, and the sooner after the incident that work is started on any potential claim, the better.
If you think you may have a professional negligence claim, make sure that you always get specialist legal advice as soon as possible – not least because it ensures that any information or evidence is still fresh in your mind.
Do I have to go to court?
Our Professional Negligence Lawyers will always explore every avenue of negotiation before going to court – and will advise you on the availability of other ways of trying to reach a settlement, including mediation. It is normally in both party’s interests to seek an out of court settlement to avoid unnecessary legal costs. In any event, our dedicated team will negotiate and litigate to ensure you receive exactly what you are entitled to.
Whether or not the service provided by your professional was actually negligent or not is not always obvious. To prove negligence it’s often necessary to instruct an independent expert in the relevant field who can report, and if necessary give evidence in court, on the level of loss you suffered and him whether the professional you are suing was actually negligent. Professional negligence will rest, to a significant extent, on the way a particular profession works – so selecting the right expert witness is critical. You need someone who is not only independent and an expert in that particular field, but who also has plenty of experience in producing court reports in negligence claims and giving evidence in person in court if necessary – so they also need to understand the basic rules of evidence and be familiar with being cross examined.
As professional negligence claim experts, we can recommend or identify the right expert witness for your case whether it be an accountant, legal expect, surveyor or medical specialist.
Contact our Professional Negligence Lawyers today
Wherever you are in the UK, if you think you may have a professional negligence claim, contact our expert Lawyers. We can take your instructions either by e-mail or phone, or face-to-face at one of our offices in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset.
For a FREE first consultation, call our Professional Negligence Lawyers on
- FREEPHONE 0800 1404544
- use the contact form below: