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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Professional Negligence

In its most basic form, a claim for compensation based on professional negligence most often occurs when a professional person, or representative of a professional organisation, causes damage by giving bad advice. However, in recent years the professional negligence landscape has a changed somewhat. This change has mostly been driven by the fact that our increasing dependence upon technology, has left us open to damage from a much broader range of professionals.

Where a decade ago we primarily saw professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants, and financial advisers, we now see a growing number of professional negligence cases brought against IT professionals and other providers that maintain and administer the technology we now depend upon.

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A Guide to Professional Negligence Compensation Claims

As mentioned above, the professional negligence landscape has grown over the last decade. This means that not only are negligence compensation claims now more common, damages claims of this kind now target a much wider range of professionals.

This, of course, means that if you feel you have a valid reason for making a compensation claim for professional negligence, you are going to need to find a legal firm that is experienced in managing the full range of potential reasons for claiming against a professional person or organisation.

In this guide to professional negligence compensation claims, we aim to help you familiarise yourself with the process of starting a claim. It will also outline some of the main reasons why you may have a valid case for claiming for professional negligence, and the most common types of professionals that claims are brought against.

Finally, it will explain how to start a compensation claim for professional negligence, detail some example compensation amounts that different types of claims can expect to be awarded, and also make a valid case for pursuing compensation under a No Win No Fee kind of agreement.

Professional Negligence Explained

The term “professional negligence” is a broad one. It can cover a wide range of potential situations that could lead to the victim encountering some form of damages, that could be the basis of a compensation claim.

Professional negligenceFor example, a solicitor may give bad legal advice, that leads to the client being subject to financial loss, or even incarceration in prison due to this bad advice. And then we have the more modern forms of professional negligence. As an example, if a person were to trust an IT professional to repair a computer, and due to the repair being mishandled, the customer loses critical irreplaceable data, then a reason may exist to claim compensation.

Put simply, any time a person employs the professional services of an individual or organisation, and the advice or service provided causes harm due to being applied negligently, then a valid case for pursuing compensation may exist.

What Is a Professional Negligence Compensation Claim?

Building on the information above, which explains why a reason to make a professional negligence compensation claim may exist, we now need to discuss what a claim actually is.

A claim for compensation due to the negligence of a professional is an attempt to gain a monetary settlement, to make up for damages caused by advice or expert services being provided in a negligent manner.

The claim for compensation can potentially be made up of many forms of damages. Everything from actual physical harm and loss of quality of life, through to purely financial damages such as damage to property, or loss of earnings.

The myriad of potential reasons why a compensation claim for professional negligence can be made, and the very wide range of potential damages that professional negligence can cause, makes this one of the most complicated categories of compensation cases. Therefore, it is advised that any person who feels they may have a valid case for compensation, makes sure they contact a legal firm that can offer them the best advice on how to make a claim.

No Win No Fee Professional Negligence Compensation Claims

If you have been the victim of professional negligence, but lack the financial resources to pursue a compensation claim by paying a solicitor, then there may be another option. Many solicitors offer to take on a valid compensation claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. This is also sometimes referred to as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

What this means, is that the solicitor will take on your case, and carry out all of the legal functions to pursue the compensation claim, without charging anything up front, or across the life cycle of the claim.

Once the claim has been completed, the client only pays the solicitors fee if the case was won. If no compensation was awarded, the client doesn’t pay the solicitor anything. In effect, the solicitor is betting on the fact that they can win the claim for compensation.

In the event of an amount of compensation being awarded, the solicitor will levy legal fees of no more that 25% of the overall amount of money that was awarded. This means that the client will always receive at least 75% of the compensation amount.

However, it should be noted that in some cases, there may be additional fees that need to be paid once the case is over. A good legal firm will always warn of these potential costs, and offer to help the client find ways to mitigate them.

Who Can Sue for Professional Negligence?

In most cases, it will be the person who is the victim of professional negligence who will make a compensation claim. However, in some cases, such as those where the victim is incapable of pursuing their own claim due to being indisposed, then there are two other legal entities that can sue for compensation, these are:

The estate of the victim – this covers entities such as a business that is run by the victim, or an organisation that relies upon the victim to perform a critical function, which is no longer possible as a direct result of the instance of professional negligence.

Dependents and immediate family of the victim – if the victim is indisposed, and the instance of professional negligence has had a negative effect on the children, spouse and close family members of the victim, then these people can sue for compensation on behalf of the victim and themselves.

What Types of Professional Negligence Can I Sue For?

Producing an exhaustive list of the types of professional negligence that can occur, is beyond the scope of this guide as there are so many. However, below you will find many of the most common reasons why a claim for compensation due to professional negligence is made, and against which type of professional:

  • Claiming against a solicitor – one of the most common types of claims. This could cover many reasons. At one end of the scale, we have simple cases where the solicitor has given bad advice that clearly led to a financial loss for the client. At the other end of the scale, it could be a person who has spent months or years in prison, after their case was mishandled by their solicitor.
  • Claiming against a barrister – very similar to claiming against a solicitor, but in this case, we are almost always talking about the client being misrepresented during legal proceedings by their barrister, which led to financial or other harm.
  • Claiming against an accountant – when an accounting professional or firm is negligent in handling the financial affairs of the client, which leads to monetary or some other form of loss.
  • Claiming against a financial adviser – when a finical adviser, either an individual or a firm, gives bad advice to a client resulting in a monetary loss. For example, bad advice on investments, or mismanaging an investment portfolio.
  • Claiming against an insurance broker – either a private broker or an insurance firm, which has failed to ensure that they have provided the correct cover for the client, and as a result, the client has suffered hardship.
  • Claiming against a surveyor – if the surveyor has failed to carry out their duties responsibly, which has, in turn, lead the client to make a misinformed decision with regards to property development, which resulted in some form of loss.
  • Claiming against a builder – either a private contractor or a building firm, which has failed to undertake building work in a professional manner. For example, a building firm pledging to complete planned work within a certain timescale, and failing to do so, which lead to hardship to the claimant.
  • Claiming against an engineer – again either a private contractor or an engineering firm, which has failed to complete engineering work in a professional manner. As an example, a firm which was contracted to undertake work as part of a larger project, and has failed to do so within the agreed time frame, which has caused additional project costs.
  • Claiming against an architect – if the architect has failed to draw up effective plans, which leads to construction being either inadequate or in breach of construction conditions such as local planning laws.
  • Claiming against an IT professional – either an IT firm or a private professional that has failed to undertake IT related work in in a professional manner, which has resulted in a loss to the claimant. An example of this would be failing to back up critical, irreplaceable data before re-installing an operating system or allowing private and confidential data to be exposed to a third party.
  • Claiming against a professional trustee – for the mismanagement of trust funds and activities resulting in some form of financial loss to the trust.
  • Claiming against a business – any business that is contracted to provide a professional, measurable level of service, and fails to do so, could be a valid case for claiming compensation due to professional negligence.

These are some of the most common types of professionals that compensation claims are often brought against for professional negligence. It should be noted that there are many more.

If you feel you may have a basis for a professional negligence claim against a person or firm that is not on this short list, then please contact us for some free advice.

How to Make a Claim for Professional Negligence

Making a claim for compensation if you have been a victim of professional negligence is a complex procedure. It is vital that any person who is considering making such a claim gets some legal advice as soon as possible. Before doing so, it is a good idea to do the following:

  1. Document the entire history of the case. Including what the professional was contracted to do, and how they have failed to perform this duty in a professional manner.
  2. Detail all losses, these can be both tangible losses such as the direct cost of repairing damages to property caused by the professional, and also intangible losses such as future loss of earning, and other long-term negative effects that cannot be measured at this time.
  3. If you have received any professional opinions from a third party, such as having an additional firm take a look at the problems caused by the original contractor, then make sure to have them document their findings.

Once this has been done, you need to contact a legal firm. We are happy to offer every new client a completely free initial consultation session. We will ask you relevant questions about your case, and we will use the answers that you give to offer you the best advice we can on how to move your claim for professional negligence compensation forward.

In many cases, we will offer to take on your compensation claim under a No Win No Fee agreement. You won’t need to pay us anything unless we successfully win compensation for you.

What Can I Claim for With a Professional Negligence Claim?

Because the professional negligence category of compensation claims is so broad, it is almost impossible to give a complete list of the types of damages that a person may be able to claim for. However, below you will find some of the most common types of damages that are awarded due to professional negligence.

  • Damage to property – in the case that professional negligence has led to financial loss through damage. An example here would be a building firm that caused damage to a structure through not carrying out work in a professional and safe manner.
  • Additional costs accrued – using the example of a building firm again, an example of this would be failing to meet a construction deadline, which meant that an additional hire period for required plant machinery caused additional costs.
  • Loss of quality of life – if a professional is grossly negligent, and the result is that the victim’s life quality is affected. Examples of this would be a financial adviser losing the claimants long-term savings through bad investment, or a solicitor who failed to represent the victim properly, resulting in imprisonment when they were, in fact, innocent.
  • Medical expenses – to cover the cost of medical care if the victim has had to seek treatment for stress or other conditions that were directly caused by being the victim of professional negligence.
  • Travel expenses – any costs that are encountered due to having to travel as a direct result of the incident of professional negligence, or in pursuing a compensation claim.
  • Loss of short-term or future earnings – if the instance of professional negligence negatively affects the income of the victim. This could be both short-term whilst they deal with the case, or long-term if the incident itself caused ongoing hardship.

These are the most common types of damages that make up a claim for compensation due to professional negligence. However, due to the complex nature of professional negligence cases, and the broad spectrum of types of negligence that can be the basis for a claim, then there are many more types of damages that might apply. You will need legal advice to help you discern what these might be.

Professional Negligence Compensation Amounts

Below is a table of some of the more common types of damages that make up a claim for compensation following an incident of professional negligence:

Damage to or loss of property£5,000 - £500,000Calculated on the initial cost of the property, and the level of damage or loss suffered.
Monetary loss due to bad financial advice£5,000 to £500,000Calculated on the amount of monetary loss suffered and the level of responsibility apportioned to the adviser causing the loss.
Monetary loss due to mishandling of the victim’s finances£5,000 to £500,000Calculated on the amount of monetary loss suffered and the level of responsibility apportioned to the professional responsible for the loss.
Monetary loss due to inadequate insurance cover£5,000 to £500,000Calculated on the amount of monetary loss suffered and the level of responsibility apportioned to the professional responsible ensuring the victim had adequate insurance cover.
Monetary loss due to additional costs being incurred£3,000 to £500,000Calculated on the amount of additional cost, and the level of responsibility of the professional in causing the additional costs.
Loss of quality of life£5,000 to 1 million or moreEntirely dependent upon how much the victim’s life quality has been affected by the professional negligence.
Loss of earnings£1,000 to unlimitedEntirely dependent upon the victim’s earning potential, and how far into the future this potential will be impacted.
Medical expenses£1,000 to £500,000Driven by the overall cost of medical expenses.
Breach of privacy£1,000 to unlimitedEntirely driven by the seriousness of the privacy breach, and the severity of the effect the breach will produce.
Loss of data/information£1,000 to unlimitedEntirely driven by the inherent value of the data that was lost, and whether it can ever be recreated.

These are general guidelines for some of the many types of damages that often make up a compensation claim in a professional negligence case. There are many more, and we advise you contact us for a free consultancy session to discover just what you may be able to claim compensation for.

Why Choose Us as Your Claim Service?

As can be seen, by the information presented in this guide to making a compensation claim for professional negligence, the process in involved is both complex and in need of expert guidance.

We believe that we offer a truly unique service, that helps people gain access to the legal representation they need when they need it. We combine a free consultancy session, with a No Win No Fee approach to taking on new cases. This means that the financial roadblock of starting a new professional negligence claim has been completely removed.

Start A Professional Negligence Claim Today

If you have recently suffered some form of loss or damages due to the professional negligence of a third party, then you need to contact us as soon as possible. We are able to help you to decide whether you have a valid case and if you do, how best to proceed with it.

In almost every case we will offer to work under a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that you don’t have to pay a thing, you won’t need to spend your savings or take out finance to gain the legal representation you need. Only when we win compensation for you will we take a fee, and this is limited to a maximum of 25% of any damages you are awarded for professional negligence. So, don’t delay, contact us now and find out if we can help you successfully make a compensation claim.

Useful Links

Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence

Medical Negligence Claims

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