Hopkins on Professional Negligence
This week at Hopkins we’re talking about professional negligence – what it is, what it means for those who experience it, and what can be done about it. We take on many professional negligence cases against a multitude of organisations across many industries, and we know that our clients have plenty of questions on the subject, so here we tackle it head on.
So what is professional negligence?
Professional negligence occurs when a professional fails to perform their duties or responsibilities to the standard that is required. It could be that the professional provided inadequate advice, or it could be that the professional provided an unacceptable service which may have resulted in financial loss on the part of the client. If you have lost money as a direct result of a professional’s advice or substandard services, they are liable for damages.
Who can I make a professional negligence claim against?
There a multitude of sectors and industries where workers are classed as professionals. Financial advisers, surveyors, accountants, professional trustees, architects, tax consultants, legal advisers and more.
I want to make a professional negligence claim – how do I go about it?
First off, there are a few time limits for these type of cases – it’s often six years form the date of the negligence. However, this can be extended if the negligence has only become apparent more recently (for example, faulty construction or contracting work which only began to cause problems a few years after it was carried out). In those kind of cases, the relevant limitation period is three years from the date that the claimant discovered the problem.
If you want to make a claim for professional negligence, contact a solicitor immediately and explain the situation to them. Each case is obviously totally unique, so we can’t offer an umbrella answer to this question – we suggest that you contact a legal expert who will be able to better examine the nuances of your particular case.
Do I need to go to court if I make a professional negligence claim?
Sometimes – yes. If the two parties cannot come to a settlement, court proceedings may be issued. It can take a long time for cases to come to court (often more than twelve months), so there is plenty of time for you to prepare. It’s worth noting that the vast majority of these professional negligence cases are settled before they ever get to court, but if the professional in question continues to dispute the claim, court is a possibility.
What are my chances of winning a case like this?
First off, you’ll need to establish that the professional’s duty of care has been breached. Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough – you’ll also need to prove that you have directly lost out financially as a result of these actions. Proving that the professional made an error is not enough to win a professional negligence case; you must also be able to show that your finances were negatively affected as a result of the negligence.
The last word from Hopkins
We know that experiencing professional negligence can be a very stressful experience, especially if you find yourself out of pocket as a result. Seek legal advice as soon as you can to be sure of the best outcome for you and your finances.
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