Claiming For Professional
Negligence In The UK
In our daily lives we use the services of a huge range of professionals. At some point all of us will have used doctor, lawyer, surveyor, accountant or architect. Although most dealings with professionals have a successful outcome, sometimes things go wrong and it can be difficult to deal with it at the time. Luckily, there law in the UK allows us to claim compensation for professional negligence. However, it can sometimes be difficult working out whether what has happened is actually negligence on behalf of the professional concerned, and if it is negligence, what steps to take next.
What Is Professional Negligence
Every case of professional negligence is different. Cases will differ according to each client, the type of professional involved, and the situation. There are three core aspects which apply to every claim, so if the following three points apply in your case, you may have a valid claim for compensation.
- Duty of care from the professional. It has to be established that the professional owed his clients a duty of care. This is obvious when dealing with medical professionals such as doctors, as duty of care is part of the job. In other professions such as dealings with a solicitor or accountant duty of care may not appear as obvious, but if you have instructed them directly to act on your behalf, this is the proof needed of duty of care.
- Breach Of Duty Of Care. Once you have established that there was a duty of care owed to you by the professional, you need to show how this was breached. Again, this can be very simple to prove, or more complex.
- Loss. In order to claim for compensation against the professional, you must finally show the breach of duty of care has caused a loss. This could be a financial loss, or a loss of earnings due to injury.
Types of Professional Negligence
There are many types of professional negligence, but some professions seem to attract negligence claims more often than others. The most common type of negligence dealt with by solicitors is medical negligence, which is also sometimes known as clinical negligence. It is unsurprising that this is one of the most common types of negligence given the number of things which have the potential to go wrong during hospital treatment. Other types of professional negligence could include legal negligence if your solicitor gives you the wrong advice, or property negligence where architects make errors in drawings or plans.
Getting The Right Legal Advice
If you believe you have been a victim of professional negligence and have suffered a loss as a consequence, the next step is to hire a specialist solicitor. Trust can be a major stumbling block when it comes to finding someone to guide you through the process, especially when you are claiming for a loss at the hands of a similar professional. Do as much research and as many comparisons as you can before choosing the best solicitor for you. Read through their website and email or telephone to ask about their track record of pursuing professional negligence claims. A good solicitor should be happy to provide you with lots of information and testimonials to help you make a decision. Remember though that there are time limits to claiming for professional negligence, so make the decision about a solicitor as soon as you can.