Professional Negligence: A Guide to Making a Professional Negligence Claim
Professioanl Negligence: A guide to Making a Professional Negligence Claim
When engaging the services of a professional, you anticipate receiving the highest level of skill, expertise, and care to meet your requirements. In the event of a breach of contract, failure to fulfil essential responsibilities, or an error on their part, you may be entitled to pursue a professional negligence claim.
If you find yourself in such circumstances, it is advisable to seek guidance from specialised professional negligence solicitors. These legal experts can evaluate your case and advise you on whether you have valid grounds to initiate a professional negligence claim against a professional.
At Annecto Legal, we connect clients with the right professional negligence solicitors and dispute resolution team, as well as securing litigation funding for your case. Our service is designed to ensure that any business or individual that has suffered a financial loss as a result of professional negligence has the best possible opportunity to find redress.
Unfortunately, because of the high costs of legal actions in the UK, we only assist in disputes which are valued at over £250,000, at the absolute minimum. We would like to be able to help on other claims, but we just don’t have access to any products that can assist on smaller matters.
Who is owed a duty of care?
In professional negligence cases, the concept of “duty of care” is a fundamental element that forms the basis for assessing whether a professional has been responsible for a negligent act. Duty of care refers to the legal obligation professionals have to exercise a reasonable standard of skill, care, and diligence when providing services to clients or individuals who reasonably rely on their expertise.
Duty of care arises from the existence of a professional relationship between the service provider and the client. This relationship can be formalised through contracts or implied by the nature of the services being provided.
Before bringing a claim for professional negligence, you must consider and rule out alternative explanations or causes for the specific loss. If other factors contributed to the harm or advice was ignored, it may weaken the argument for causation related to professional negligence.
Professionals often have professional indemnity insurance in place to compensate clients for loss or damage as a result of negligent services or advice.
Identifying professional negligence
Identifying professional negligence involves recognising instances whereby a professional fails to meet the expected standard of care or breaches their duty, leading to harm or financial loss. Listed below are some steps which may help to help identify professional negligence:
- Establish a professional relationship:
- Confirm that a professional relationship exists. Professional negligence typically arises within established relationships, such as those with lawyers, insurance brokers, accountants, or other service providers.
- Understand the standard of care:
- Determine the required standard of care expected from the professional in their particular field. This is the level of competence and diligence that a reasonable professional in the same circumstances would provide.
- Document agreements and contracts:
- Review any written agreements or contracts between you and the professional. Identify the terms, conditions, and obligations outlined in these documents.
- Gather evidence of the breach:
- Collect evidence that demonstrates the professional’s breach of duty or failure to meet the standard of care. This could include documents, emails, communications, or witness statements.
- Assess damages or losses:
- Evaluate the extent of the harm or financial loss caused by the professional’s actions or negligence. Establish a clear connection between their conduct and the damages suffered.
- Consider expert opinions:
- You may wish to consult with other professionals in the same field to obtain expert opinions on whether the actions of the professional in question deviated from the standard of care under common law.
Professional negligence cases can be complex, and it is crucial to consult with legal professionals to determine the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case. It is important to act on professional negligence claims as soon as possible as there are specific time limits and limitation periods to adhere to.
Funding a professional negligence claim
If you are pursuing a professional negligence case, legal costs can escalate quickly. Therefore, it is essential that you are aware of the funding options that are available to you. Funding professional negligence claims can be a complex process and will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Listed below are some of the options for funding a professional negligence case.
- Conditional fee agreements – Conditional fee agreements (CFAs), also known as ‘no win, no fee agreements’, are a type of funding arrangement that allows individuals to pursue a claim without paying legal fees upfront. Under a no win no fee basis, the law firm agrees to take on the case and only charges a fee if the case is successful. If the case is unsuccessful, the client does not have to pay these legal fees.
- Contingency fee agreement – Some professional negligence solicitors may offer to take on a professional negligence case on a contingency fee basis, which means that they will only charge a fee if they are successful in securing a financial settlement or damages. The fee payable to the solicitor is usually a percentage of the amount recovered, and if the case is unsuccessful, the law firm will not charge a fee.
- After the event insurance – After the event (ATE) insurance is a type of insurance that can provide cover for legal costs in the event that a case is unsuccessful. This option can be particularly useful in cases where the outcome is uncertain, and the costs of losing a case could be significant. ATE insurance is often used with conditional fee agreements.
- Third party litigation funding – In some cases, third party litigation funders may be willing to provide funding for a professional negligence case in exchange for a percentage of any financial settlement or damages awarded. This option can be attractive for individuals who cannot afford to pay for legal fees themselves but have a strong case.
How can Annecto Legal assist?
At Annecto Legal, our professional advisors assist clients in finding the right legal representation for their professional negligence disputes. With the right team, it is possible to put in place the appropriate litigation funding and insurance to take the case all the way to court proceedings, if necessary.
Of course, the preference is always to find a suitable settlement in a reasonable timeframe, but the best way to achieve this is to negotiate from a position of strength. Having the best professional negligence solicitors and being fully funded gives you that strength and forces your opponent to the negotiating table.
If you are in the process of suing a professional or believe a professional breached their duty of care towards you and want to find out whether you’ve got a claim, then contact Annecto Legal today. We can help find you the right representation, as well as managing your financial risks and sourcing funding for your legal fees.
Get in touch
* Annecto Legal can only assist on case where the loss is in excess of £100,000, with the exception of data breach claims. If you need assistance on a claim worth over £100,000, please get in touch using our form or the details below:
Annecto Legal Ltd, 106 Kennedy Building, Murray Street, Manchester , M4 6HS
0800 612 6587