Professional negligence may be defined as the failure of a professional to take reasonable care when engaged by an individual, where this failure causes financial loss. Clients have a right to expect that a professional will operate in a reasonably competent manner. The standard for judging whether a professional’s behaviour is reasonable will be the standard of care one would expect from a competent practitioner in the same profession. Where a professional has departed from the reasonably acceptable standard, they will have acted negligently.
How Can I Prove Professional Negligence?
Any professional may act in a negligent manner, though most commonly compensation claims for financial loss are made against personal injury solicitors
, property solicitors
, property surveyors
. For a claim to succeed it will be necessary to prove:
1) That a duty of care existed between a professional and their client (usually easy to establish as a contract is created when a professional’s services are engaged).
2) That the duty of care was breached by the professional (usually on the basis of errors or omissions which a reasonably competent fellow professional would not have made).
3) Real or anticipated financial losses have resulted from the professional’s actions or inaction, i.e. the losses were caused by the breach of duty of care.