When you pay a professional, such as a solicitor, to do something, you've the right to expect that they'll behave competently. Where this doesn’t happen, and you suffer a loss as a result, you may be entitled to make a claim against them for professional negligence. This short guide explains what professional negligence is, and whether or not you may be able to make a claim for any losses you've suffered as a result of professional negligence.
All you need to know about professional negligence claims
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What is a professional negligence dispute?
To put it in strictly technical terms, professional negligence is a ‘common law tort’, which describes a wrongful act that unfairly causes another person to suffer loss or harm.
Professional negligence covers a wide range of areas where you may have been given poor advice that doesn’t work or isn’t correct, including:
- Incorrectly drafted wills
- Wrongly managed trusts or estates
- Incorrect financial advice
- A professional who’s advised you on matters outside their area of expertise
- An engineer or architect provides you with flawed designs, or fails to spot a design flaw
- A crucial deadline missed by a solicitor
- A surveyor fails to see a defect when undertaking a pre-purchase survey
Most people need to hire a professional at some point but the last thing you expect is for them to be negligent. Unfortunately, some professionals do make mistakes, miss deadlines and misadvise. We’re experts in professional negligence claims against:
- Financial advisers
- Insurance brokers
Can I make a professional negligence claim?
You may be able to make a claim for professional negligence if we can demonstrate all three of these things on your behalf:
- You were owed a duty of care
- That duty of care was breached
- You have suffered loss as a result
Is there a time limit for a professional negligence claim?
Yes, in most cases a professional negligence claim must be brought within six years from the date of the event that gave rise to the negligence. This timeframe can be extended if the negligence only becomes apparent at a much later date and is commonly known as your ‘date of knowledge’.
It’s also worth noting that we’ll never proceed straight to making a professional negligence claim. Instead, we follow what's known as a ‘pre-action protocol’ that allows us to seek compensation for you through alternative dispute resolution. In many cases, the matter can be settled through this form of dispute resolution; but bear in mind that if this course fails, the case may well end up going to trial, when you may be expected to give evidence in court.
In the first instance, it’s well worth speaking to one of our experienced professional negligence solicitors, who'll be happy to discuss the merits of your case with you.
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