This article has been submitted by Slater and Gordon.
Many people don’t realise that if a professional person who they employ makes a mistake, they can claim for any loss incurred.
Below is a short guide explaining what professional negligence is – and whether you can make a claim if you’ve suffered loss because a professional you have employed, such as a solicitor, has not done their job properly.
Professional negligence is common law tort, meaning a wrongful act that unfairly causes another person to suffer loss or harm.
Remedies for all common law torts are available through civil courts.
The most common tort is negligence. This is defined as conduct that falls below the standard required to protect other people against unreasonable loss or harm. People who are found to be negligent by the courts have either done something – or have failed to do something – that has caused another person injury or economic loss.
There are a couple of things you should be aware of before you consider making a professional negligence claim.
Time Limits – usually, professional negligence claims must be brought within six years of the negligent act. This can sometimes be extended if the negligence only becomes apparent at a much later date.
Possible court attendance – your professional negligence lawyer will, at first, follow what is known as the ‘pre-action protocol’ for professional negligence claims. This is a form of alternative dispute resolution where both parties talk to each other at an early stage in an attempt to reach a settlement. If this cannot be achieved and the case goes to trial, then you may need to attend to give evidence.
An experienced professional negligence lawyer can advise you through all of these steps, evaluate the circumstances of your professional negligence compensation claim and help guide you to the outcome you deserve.
Hefin Archer-Williams – Principal Lawyer- Business Legal Services