As a client, you place your trust in professionals to provide you with the highest level of service and expertise. However, what happens when these professionals fail to meet the standards of their profession and cause you financial loss or personal harm? This is where professional negligence claims come into play.
If you have suffered losses or damages as a result of professional negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. In this blog, we look at some of the key steps you can take to pursue a professional negligence claim successfully.
To successfully pursue a professional negligence claim, you must gather evidence supporting your case. This may include documents, emails, and other correspondence showing how the professional failed. To pursue a compensation claim, you will also need to provide evidence of the losses or damages you have suffered due to their negligence. It’s important to note that compensation may be available for financial losses, such as lost income or additional expenses incurred due to their negligence, and non-financial losses, such as emotional distress or damage to your reputation.
Timing is key.
With professional negligence claims, you will need to be aware of timings. The standard limitation period for bringing a claim is six years from the date of the negligent act or omission or three years from the date you became aware of the negligence.
Keep a record of all communications.
It is important to record all communications with the professional, including emails, letters, and phone calls. This can be useful evidence in your claim, particularly if the professional has made admissions of fault or has provided misleading information.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
ADR can be a quicker and more cost-effective way of resolving a dispute than going to court. It may include mediation or arbitration, where a neutral third party facilitates negotiations between the parties to reach a settlement.
Be prepared to negotiate.
In many cases, a professional negligence claim can be resolved through negotiation without the need for court proceedings. It is important to be prepared to negotiate with the other party and to be willing to compromise on some aspects of your claim.
Seek legal advice.
When pursuing a professional negligence claim, seeking legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in this area can go a long way to assisting your claim and securing a successful outcome. A solicitor can assess the strength of your claim, advise you on the legal options available to you, and guide you through the claims process. They can also help you to gather evidence, communicate with the other party, and represent you in court if necessary. As most professional negligence claims are settled outside of court, a solicitor can help you to negotiate effectively and achieve the best possible outcome for your claim.
Pursuing a professional negligence claim can be a complex and challenging process. However, by being considered in your approach and seeking legal advice, you can increase your chances of successfully pursuing a professional negligence claim and obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Richard Dobson-Mason is a Director and Head of Dispute Resolution at O’Donnell Solicitors.