Claims for professional negligence

by Evolved legal on September 6, 2012

Do I have a claim against a professional for negligence ?

If you believe you have received a sub-standard level of advice/work from a professional and have suffered a loss as a result, you have a possible claim in negligence. The professional will need to have failed to reach the standards associated with a reasonably competent peer in his or her profession. It follows from this that in most cases, expert evidence will be needed from a competent analogous professional to the effect that the professional in question has not achieved the required level of competence.

When can a professional be deemed negligent ?

The basis of any negligence claim is proving that a duty of care between you and the professional exists and that this duty has been breached.  In the context of professional negligence claims, it is not difficult to prove the existence of a duty as you will in all likelihood have a contractual relationship with the professional who provided you with the service.  The difficult part is proving that the duty of care was breached.  Professionals are expected to carry out their duty with a reasonable standard of attention and care that can be expected of persons in the same profession.  Quite often, expert witnesses are required to prove whether a duty of care was in fact breached.

How long do I have to bring a negligence claim ?

Generally speaking you have six years from the date of the negligent act to bring a claim, although it can prove much easier to win your case if you bring your case as soon as possible.

In the context of negligence, what does causation mean ?

Causation is crucial in any type of legal action for negligence.  In order for someone to be negligent, there has to be “a causal link” between the defendant’s negligence and the harm or loss suffered by the claimant.  If, for example, you were bitten by a neighbour’s dog and subsequently suffered a kidney infection, you would have show that there is a causal link between the dog owner’s failure to control the dog, the dog bite and the infection.  The fact that the claimant might have underlying medical conditions is immaterial as the law generally operates under the principle that you “take the victim as you find them”.

Lloyd Green Solicitors advise on clinical negligence claims. If you have a potential claim against a medical practitioner, get in touch with Lloyd Green.

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