The term ‘professional negligence’ is widely used in the modern age, with this referring to instances where someone providing a professional service (such as a lawyer, surveyor or accountant) is negligent in meeting the standards expected of them in their fields.
Often, instances of professional negligence can translate into demonstrable harm for a client, who then has legal recourse to pursue a no-win, no-fee compensation claim through a court of law.
In this post, we’ll explore this concept a little further, while asking how you can recognise professional negligence when it occurs.
What’s a Professional Negligence Solicitor?
Unsurprisingly, a professional negligence solicitor is a legal service provider that specialises in representing clients who have been harmed by actionable and professional advice.
More specifically, they have an innate understanding of professional negligence laws and legislation, and the key main criteria that you’ll need to satisfy to successfully bring a claim. These include:
- Proving a Duty of Care: When you seek out professional advice, you’re engaging in a de facto contract which means that you’re owed a duty of care. This is a moral or legal obligation for the service provider to ensure that they uphold the safety and wellbeing of their clients.
- Demonstrating a Breach of Duty: In instances where professional advice or service falls short of the expected standards or the aforementioned duty of care, you may be able to bring a claim. However, you’ll need to demonstrate this breach clearly (which can be hard as the ‘contract’ between a legal advisor and their clients is often unwritten).
- Proving Loss or Harm: Finally, you’ll have to demonstrate a specific loss or harm that is the direct result of the professional in question and their negligent actions. Such losses may refer to health, finances or something else, but there must be a clear and demonstrable link between cause and effect.
Make no mistake; a professional negligence solicitor will help you to determine whether you have a viable claim, ensuring that you can meet all of the above criteria in instances where you are encouraged to pursue legal action.
Researching a Viable Solicitor and Making Your Claim
When making a claim, you’ll have to bring a professional negligence case to court within six years of the date the incident occurred, except in certain circumstances.
For example, there may be instances where the impact of a negligent action or piece of advice does not become apparent until later, enabling individuals to pursue a claim from a point further in the future.
Similarly, youngsters or those who are mentally impaired may also have longer to pursue a claim, so this is something to keep in mind.
In terms of the length of time required to pursue a claim, this will vary wildly depending on the circumstances in question. Factors that can affect the time taken to pursue a claim include the nature of the incident and the precise impact, as well as the reaction of the plaintiff and whether or not they challenge the claim.
This is why researching and selecting the best possible professional negligence solicitor is so crucial, as a particularly skilled or knowledgeable practitioner will take these factors on board and ensure that your case is brought to court as quickly and effectively as possible.