Professional Negligence Claims – 10 things you need to know

The advice of solicitors, accountants, surveyors and financial advisors has become an increasingly important part of business and personal relationships over the past few years. Occasionally, as a result of bad advice or negligent actions, there may be a loss or a consequence for a client that could give rise to a professional negligence claim.

If you think you have been affected and you want to make a claim then here are 10 things you should know about professional negligence.

  1. The relationship between a client and an advisor is based on a duty of care to ensure that the client does not suffer unreasonable harm or loss. A duty of care arises automatically and doesn’t have to be written into the contract to exist.
  2. A professional negligence claim has a number of key components. These include a breach of the duty of care and loss that has been suffered by the non-negligent party as a result.
  3. The general standards of an advisor’s industry provide the guide for professional behaviour. A solicitor or surveyor’s behaviour that falls below this level might well be considered negligent.
  4. There are time limits for a professional negligence claim – six years from the date on which the negligent action took place.
  5. Occasionally, deadlines for making a claim can be extended. For example, if there is a period of time in which the negligent act has not yet become apparent. In those circumstances it might be possible to make a claim for professional negligence even after the six year time limit has expired.
  6. Professional negligence claims are made on the basis of loss. I.e. if you have suffered loss as a result of the negligence of an advisor then you should be able to make a claim against them to cover it.
  7. The financial payment under a professional negligence claim is designed to put the claimant back in the same position that they would have been in if they had not been on the receiving end of the negligent advice from the professional advisor. It is not designed to put someone in a better position than they were before receiving the advice.
  8. Mitigation of losses is important. This means that, if you suffer a loss as a result of receiving negligent advice, you still have to try and minimise the consequences of that loss. If you don’t do so then you may not be able to make a claim for all the loss that results.
  9. It’s important to note that any losses being claimed for must be the result of the actions of the professional advisor. If it’s not possible to make that link then making a claim will be difficult.
  10. Professional negligence is a sensitive area and one that can be quite difficult to understand. As there is a lot at stake reputationally for a professional advisor, successful claims are best managed with the help of a solicitor.

To speak to a specialist professional negligence solicitor in Lancaster or Preston call 01524 386500 or click here to contact us.