What is professional negligence?

It is an unfortunate fact of life that we do not always receive the service we expect. Whilst everyone makes mistakes sometimes when a professional fails to fulfil their responsibilities to the necessary standard or breaches a duty of care, resulting in physical injury, financial loss, or damage to their customer or client, this constitutes what is known as professional negligence.

Defining professional negligence 

Professional negligence can occur in a wide range of situations, as the definition of ‘professional’ in this context is very broad. For example, a financial advisor may fail to advise you about available tax relief, resulting in you paying more tax than you needed to, meaning that there is a financial loss to you. Many of the clients we act for have, sadly, been subject to professional negligence by other solicitors, perhaps receiving negligent advice about settling a claim, which resulted in that claim being under-valued or having dealt with solicitors who missed court deadlines and therefore deprived them of the opportunity to make their claim at all.

How to make successful professional negligence claims

In order to make a successful professional negligence claim, you need to show several things. Firstly, you need to demonstrate that you were owed a duty of care by the professional and that they breached this duty. In this context, a breach of duty means that the standard of service offered fell below that of a reasonably competent professional in the relevant industry. A breach of this duty alone, however, does not necessarily constitute negligence. You will also need to show that the breach caused damage or loss to you and that this was a direct result of the professional’s actions or failure to act as they should have.

There are many factors to be taken into account and court proceedings for professional negligence need to be issued within certain time limits, so timely action is always advisable. If you think that you may have received negligent advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Mackrell & Thomas Solicitors so that we can discuss your matter with you further and get started on the path to set things right.