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Professional negligence claims

When we use a professional, we are entitled to expect a certain level of service. If this falls below the standard that is expected of that professional, then they may be negligent and liable to pay compensation.

There are many possible scenarios in which a professional negligence claim may arise. In all cases, however, you need to be able to show that you were owed a duty of care by the professional, that the professional breached it and that the breach caused you a loss. You can’t just claim for poor service: you have to be able to show that the service of the professional fell below that of a reasonably competent professional.

If you have established that the professional was negligent, then you need to calculate what your loss, or “quantum” is. The compensation is aimed at putting you back in the position you would have been in if you hadn’t suffered from the mistake of the professional, so any expenses incurred due to the mistake, including lost opportunities, can be claimed for.

In most cases, the professional will have professional indemnity insurance to cover them. This being the case, we would negotiate with the insurer. Insurers tend to look at cases in terms of financial risk to them rather than fighting until the death and can be more inclined to settle than proceed to court. If the professional does not have insurance, then you are reliant on their ability to pay compensation from their own pocket or assets.