When you think of professional negligence what typically comes to mind is security negligence and medical negligence, but it also applies to a host of different professions. If you have been the victim of inadequate advice or improper conduct from a qualified, professional person and lost out financially as a result, you may be a victim of professional negligence and able to file a professional negligence lawsuit.
Professionals are bound by la/w to use a duty of care when dealing with clients. In English tort law, there can be no liability in negligence unless the claimant establishes both that they were owed a duty of care by the defendant, and that there has been a breach of that duty. The defendant is in breach of duty towards the claimant if their conduct fell short of the standard expected under the circumstances.
Disputes arising from professional negligence can involve all types of professionals, including:
- Doctors and other medical professionals
- Financial advisers
- Insurance brokers
- Tax consultants
For a professional negligence claim to be successful, you will need to prove these three things:
- A duty of care on the part of the professional was owed to you.
- The professional breached that duty of care.
- If the professional breached his/her duty of care, you must prove a financial loss as a direct result of the negligent behavior of the professional.
Proving a professional negligence claim has some challenges associated with it. The average person lacks the skills, training, and experience that professionals have when it comes to the intricacies of what “duty of care” really means and the processes involved in proving a breach of duty of care.
There are certain procedures that need to be followed when filing a claim for professional negligence so that you don’t incur cost penalties or have your case dismissed completely. One required procedure is a Letter of Claim. This is a direct correspondence with the negligent professional by you or an attorney that describes the factual and legal basis of your claim.
The Letter of Claim should include the following:
- A chronological summary of the case
- Allegations against the professional
- Confirmation of whether an expert has been appointed
The professional must acknowledge receipt of the letter within 21 days of receiving it, and three months to investigate the matter. Then, if a settlement hasn’t been reached, you may take your case to court. When making a claim, it’s prudent to use the services of a professional negligence attorney.
Wolf & Pravato can provide essential advice on:
- existence of a duty of care
- scope of that duty
- quality of the advice that is given by the professional
- issue of causation
- duty to mitigate, and
- measure of compensation