There are times both in life and in business where we need the advice or services of experts. These professionals have a duty of care to their clients, which means that they are expected to perform their role to a high standard. If these standards are not met and you suffer as a result of either negligence or a mistake then this would be classified as professional negligence.
Common Professional Negligence Claims
As an example, if you have taken advice from an accountant only to suffer financially directly from their advice then you could be entitled to make a professional negligence claim. Other common professionals that face professional negligence claims include solicitors, barristers, engineers, architects, surveyors and medical professionals.
Making a Claim
If you think that you have suffered due to professional negligence then you will want to make a claim. You can get the ball rolling by speaking to professional negligence solicitor who will be able to listen to your version of events and determine whether or not you have a case. It is important to note that per the Limitation Act 1980, you have 6 years from the date of the act that resulted in a financial loss to make a claim. It can also take a while for a claim to be successful, so it is best to get started sooner rather than later. It is also helpful if you have as much evidence as possible to support your case.
The Protocol Procedure
Once you have established that you want to make a claim, the next step is to follow The Protocol procedure which aims to solve matters swiftly without the need for court proceedings. Essentially, it involves sending a Letter of Claim setting out the factual and legal basis for the claim – this must be acknowledged within 21 days and they then have 3 months to respond whether this is making proposals for a settlement or disputing the claim.
If the claim is disputed then the next step is court proceedings. Every case is different, but it usually takes longer than 12 months for a claim to reach trial but negotiations can continue and settlements can still be agreed all the way up until the trial. If it goes this far, you may be required to give evidence in court but most cases are settled outside of court and handled entirely by your professional negligence solicitor.
Nobody expects to be let down when they hire the services of an expert professional, but this can happen whether it is due to negligence or a mistake. You should not suffer as a result of this and a professional negligence claim should be made with the help of a specialist solicitor. It is best to get the process started as early as possible as it could take over a year for a claim to be settled.