Whether it's talking to a financial advisor about the best investment options for you, or discussing plans for a potential extension with an architect, we all need a little expert help from time to time. The majority of the time, the professional hired to give you the advice you need is exactly that -professional and trustworthy. However, there are rare occasions when acting on 'expert advice' can cause a significant financial loss. In this situation, making a claim can help recover money that has been lost.
What counts as professional negligence?
Professional negligence is a broad term, used to describe the situation in which a professional acts incompetently or unprofessionally, having represented themselves as having expertise in a particular field.
The term is used to cover a number of different types of negligence, from solicitors', surveyors', architects' and accountants' negligence.
It also covers physical mistakes made by an 'expert', for example where a surveyor has failed to spot signs of cracking in a property. Mistakes can be very costly to rectify and sometimes even affect the value of the property.
Solicitor's negligence can mean a number of things. Examples include solicitors missing deadlines which mean you cannot pursue your claim, and failure to draft a contract or will properly, where doing so leads to a financial loss.
How to make a professional negligence claim
To make a claim, you must have suffered a significant financial loss as a result of someone else's negligence in the last six years.
The claims process doesn't have to be stressful. If you think you may be eligible to make a claim, you should talk to a solicitor who specialises in professional negligence. Alternatively, or if you would like to find out more, there are a number of claims companies that can help you understand whether you are likely to be awarded compensation based on your specific situation. They can then put you in contact with the best solicitor to take your claim forward, based on the match between the solicitor's expertise and the details of your claim, and also the area in which you live.
As is the case with personal injury claims, professional negligence claims can often be made on a 'no win no fee' basis. This generally means that if your claim is unsuccessful, you have nothing to pay. On the other hand, if your claim is successful, the legal fees are usually recovered from the other side, meaning you keep all of the compensation awarded.