If you have suffered loss as a result of negligent advice from a professional, our team of experts can help. We successfully recover damages form a range of professional advisers, from solicitors to surveyors. Contact our friendly team today.
What do we mean when we talk about a claim in professional negligence?
Put simply, professional negligence occurs when work carried out for a client by a professional falls below what is considered to be a reasonable standard. That can be by way of a mistake or sometimes not having done anything at all.
At Francis Wilks & Jones we can help and advise you if you think that might have happened to you.
Our team can advise you on whether you have a professional negligence claim and if so, what you should do about it.
Advising whether you have a claim in professional negligence
From time to time during our lives, we often need to seek the advice or assistance of a professional but if that professional makes a mistake or fails to act then that can have serious financial consequences.
- as a client, when you instruct any professional you are entitled to expect that the work they will carry out for you will be done to a reasonable standard.
- if that work falls below that reasonable standard then it is likely that professional negligence has occurred.
Being let down by an advisor has natural consequences and often costly ones. The discovery that something has gone wrong can be apparent immediately or sometimes uncovered much later perhaps following a change in circumstances or new event.
Bringing the claim
The realisation now that something went wrong some time ago will not necessarily mean that it is too late for a claim to be brought.
- what is important is that as soon as there is the realisation of a mistake that legal advice is sought immediately
- strict time limits apply to claims which differ on a case by case basis which Francis Wilks & Jones will evaluate for you.
Early assessment is critical to guard against the possibility of a claim being lost simply because it is too late.
Will I have to go to Court?
Not necessarily and we always aim to avoid formal court hearings if possible.
The majority of claims in professional negligence are resolved before the case goes to trial but of course litigation should not be commenced assuming that will happen.
- Many professional negligence cases are resolved as a result of the pre-action protocol where the detailed Letter Before Action is sent to the professional
- this requires a full response to the claim and also invites the professional to engage in some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
An important factor which contributes to the increased possibility that a claim involving professional negligence is settled at an early stage is the need for the professional to refer the claim once received to their professional indemnity insurers.
Consequently the emotionally motivated reaction as is often present in litigation generally is removed with the response usually being considerably dictated by the insurance company who will approach the claim from a commercial perspective rather than a personal one.
From the start, it puts all of the focus firmly on costs and fees mitigation which will often result in offers to resolve the claim early on.
Winning a claim against a professional
You might ask if that is actually possible. Aside from it being necessary that the claim itself is genuine, professionals in whatever sector have regulatory obligations which they must abide by.
- those obligations provide the framework for how they must deal with any claim regardless of the size or presence of the professional firm.
- equally, regardless of sector, all professionals have a standard which requires certain levels of expertise which they must abide by which serve as a leveller eradicating any possible perception that taking on professionals should be avoided.
What is important is that your claim is taken seriously by the professional, whoever they are, and that is done by the careful and thorough preparation by Francis Wilks & Jones of the detailed Letter of Claim.
If I win, how will I recover the compensation and costs awarded to me?
Most professionals carry professional indemnity insurance.
That means that an insurance policy will meet the payment out of compensation and any costs awarded.
Consequently, the prospects of actually recovering an award and costs is generally far better than you might expect in other areas of litigation.
How long does it take to bring a claim for professional negligence?
The answer really depends on the facts of the case and it’s complexity. If it is straightforward then possibly a claim might be resolved within 3 months. The more usual however is around 6-12 months however more complex cases can take considerably longer to resolve or ultimately get to a full trial.
At Francis Wilks & Jones we have considerable experience in advising clients in relation to professional negligence claims. Contact our friendly team today for the expert help you need.
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