Professional Negligence: Do You Have A Claim?

In life, it’s not unusual for an individual or business to call on the expert knowledge of skilled professionals. The reasons can be quite broad too. From signing up with a personal trainer to enlisting a surveyor when buying property – there are numerous situations when only trained specialists can ensure we get the knowledge and insight we need.

But what happens if things go wrong?

Professionals don’t always get it right. And it can have serious consequences. Of course, they are only human too and it can be a genuine error. But there are also those occasions where a professional could and should have done more. In such cases, an individual or business could pursue professional negligence claims. Here are four situations where this may be the case:

Loss of income

This is perhaps the most obvious impact of professional negligence. If you have received poor advice or incorrect information, it can incur a major financial cost. It’s not only seen in private cases either. In the UK, government liquidators started a claim against accounting firm KPMG over alleged negligence that contributed to the collapse of construction company Carillion.

It’s important to remember that loss of income also includes “loss of chance”.

Emotional distress

The impact of professional negligence can put a huge emotional strain on someone. That isn’t something you should underestimate either. It is possible to recover damages for distress and discomfort too, as judges acting in the UK case of Farley v Skinner eventually decided in 2001.

Physical suffering

Physical injury and illness may be more of a feature with personal injury claims. But it doesn’t mean that professional negligence can’t also cause pain, suffering or loss of amenity. The case of Malyon v Lawrence Messer & Co is one such example from Germany – where solicitors failed to bring about a personal injury claim within the time limit.

Lost management and staff time 305

In many commercial disputes, it’s often likely that staff and management will spend time going back and forth in search of a resolution. If it’s the result of professional negligence, this time is being spent seeking additional advice – or taking steps to reduce other consequences. As such, cases like R+V Versicherung AG v Risk Insurance and Reinsurance Solutions SA & Others show that time is recoverable in such claims.

But these are just four situations in which you can make a professional negligence claim. From solicitors to accountants and more – any time a skilled professional doesn’t meet the expected level of service or care in the course of providing their services, you may have a claim. And it’s important to know your legal rights because the impact isn’t one you should have to deal with.

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