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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Professional Negligence?

By Daniel Archer. Last Updated 19th May 2022. In its most basic form, professional negligence claims most often occur 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 changed somewhat. Our increasing dependence upon technology has mostly driven this change. Subsequently, it has left us open to damage from a much broader range of professionals.

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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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. And this could be the basis on which you can file professional negligence claims.

Professional negligence claims

Professional negligence claims

For example, a solicitor may give bad legal advice, leading to the client being subject to financial loss or even incarceration in prison due to this bad advice. There are also forms of professional negligence related to technology and data. For 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.

When a client employs the professional services of an individual or organisation, then that service provider will owe their client a duty of care. The duty of care requires individuals and organisations to deliver their service to the standard they’d presented and carry out their job in a careful manner. If a service provider fails in this duty because of an issue that they reasonably could have prevented, then that provider may be considered negligent. A client directly affected by such negligence (through financial loss, for instance) may be eligible to claim compensation from the service provider in response.

Who Can Sue For Professional Negligence?

The people who can make professional negligence claims are usually those who suffered directly as a result of the negligence. However, there are cases when, for various reasons, the person affected cannot claim on their own behalf, but others can. These are:

The person’s estate affected: This could be the person responsible for the victim’s assets and property, being either their family to a business or institution responsible.

The family of the person affected: If the person directly affected by the negligence is unable to claim on their own behalf, due to death or ill-health, for example, then their family members may be able to claim on their behalf if the negligence also impacted them.

What Types Of Professional Negligence Claims Can I Make?

There are a huge number of different service providers that could potentially commit professional negligence. Below, you can read through some of the different industries and services where professional negligence could occur. Some of the most common situations resulting in professional negligence claims include the following:

Solicitor Negligence Claim

Solicitor negligence claims are one of the types of professional negligence claims which exist. They can cover many reasons. Examples of solicitor negligence may include, at one end of the scale, simple cases where the solicitor has given bad advice that directly led to a financial loss for the client. At the other end of the scale, it could involve a client spending months or years in prison after their solicitor mishandled their case.

When a solicitor is hired by a client, a great deal of trust is placed upon them. As part of their duty of care to their clients, solicitors should provide a professional level of service. They should also act in the best interests of their clients. Should a solicitor breach this duty of care it could end up causing financial losses or other damages to their client. If such a scenario happens to you, then you’re welcome to contact Legal Expert for advice and support on making professional negligence claims against solicitors.

Barrister Negligence Claim

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.

Accountant Negligence Claim

When an accounting professional or firm is negligent in handling the client’s financial affairs, which leads to monetary or some other form of loss.

Financial Adviser Negligence Claim

Such claims may occur when a financial adviser (either an individual or a firm) gives bad advice to a client resulting in a monetary loss. An example could be bad advice on investments or mismanaging an investment portfolio.

Insurance Broker Negligence Claim

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.

Surveyor Negligence Claim

If the surveyor has failed to carry out their duties responsibly, which has, in turn, led the client to make a misinformed decision regarding property development, which resulted in some form of loss.

Builder Negligence Claim

This type of claim may apply to either a private contractor or a building firm. It may take place when a builder has failed to undertake building work professionally. For example, a building firm pledging to complete planned work within a certain timescale and failing to do so leads to hardship.

Engineer Negligence Claim

Like with builders, this type of claim may involve either a private contractor or an engineering firm. Such cases may take place when the defendant has failed to complete engineering work professionally. For example, a firm under contract to undertake work as part of a larger project may have failed to do so within the agreed time frame, thus causing additional costs.

Architect Negligence Claim

Such a claim may take place if, for instance, an architect has failed to draw up effective plans. This could lead to construction being inadequate. Or it could lead to a breach of construction conditions such as local planning laws.

IT Professional Negligence Claim

Such a claim could involve either an IT firm or a private professional. In such cases, the defendant has failed to undertake IT-related work professionally, 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 the defendant may have allowed private and confidential data to receive exposure to a third party.

Professional Trustee Negligence Claim

This type of claim may occur in response to the mismanagement of trust funds and activities resulting in some form of financial loss to the trust.

Business Negligence Claim

Any business with a legal contract to provide a professional, measurable level of service that fails to do so could end up facing a professional negligence claim.

These are some of the most common types of professionals who make compensation claims for professional negligence. Note, though, that there are many more examples of professional negligence claims.

If you could make a professional negligence claim for other reasons, please contact us for some free advice.

How Are Professional Negligence Claims Started?

Claiming compensation if you have been a victim of professional negligence is a complex procedure. Any person who is considering making such a claim should seek 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. This includes what the contract states for the professional to do. And it also covers how the professional fails to perform their duties properly.
  2. Detail all losses. These can be tangible losses, such as the direct cost of repairing damages to property, and intangible losses, such as future loss of earning, and other long-term negative effects that aren’t measurable.
  3. If you receive any professional opinions from a third party, such as having an additional firm take a look at the problems via the original contractor, then make sure to have them document their findings.

After that, you should contact a legal firm which has experience in handling professional negligence claims. We are happy to offer every new client a completely free initial consultation session.

What Limitation Period Applies To Professional Negligence?

In most professional negligence cases, the time limit is six years from the date of the original negligence incident. An extension is a possibility if the date of knowledge comes later. In some circumstances, it may take a while before you become aware that you’ve suffered losses due to professional negligence. In such cases, the victim may be given three years to start a claim from the date of knowledge. We always recommend taking action to start a claim as soon as you become aware that you’ve been affected by professional negligence.

Professional Negligence Compensation Amounts

Below is a table showing common damages that make up a claim for compensation due to 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 guidelines for the many damages that make up a compensation claim in a professional negligence case. There are many more potential payouts for professional negligence claims. We advise you to contact us for a free consultancy session to discover what you could claim compensation for.

Top Tips For Proving Negligence Compensation Claims 

In order to claim compensation for negligence of any kind, you need to be able to provide evidence to support your claim. For professional negligence claims, this evidence can take a few different forms. However, the more quality evidence you can acquire, the better. Solicitors for negligence claims could help you gather evidence such as:

  • Copies of correspondence – Emails and letters, containing conversations between you and the faulting party, are good examples of evidence that you can present during your claim.
  • Medical evidence – If the advice of a professional is poor or incorrect, then it could lead to their client suffering from psychological distress due to certain undesired outcomes. In these cases, you may need to attend an assessment to determine how severe the mental harm is that you sustained.

For more information on making No Win No Fee professional negligence claims, get in touch with us today.

No Win No Fee Professional Negligence Claims

If you have been the victim of professional negligence but lack the financial resources to pursue a compensation claim by paying a solicitor, 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).

This means that the solicitor will take on your case and carry out all of the legal functions to pursue the compensation claim without charging anything upfront or across the claim’s life cycle.

The claimant only pays the solicitor their fee if the case is won. In effect, the solicitor is faced with a greater financial burden and has plenty of incentive to win the case. In the event that the case succeeds, the solicitor will take a legally-capped percentage of the compensation as their payment.

Useful Links

Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence: Read the Ministry of Justice’s protocol for professional negligence.

The Conditional Fee Agreement Explained: Check out this link to read the relevant legislation covering Conditional Fee Agreements.

At Legal Expert, we also have a wide range of personal injury claim guides, such as the following examples:

Medical Negligence Claims: We have a helpful guide on what to do if you’re thinking about claiming against a medical professional and how they can breach their duty of care. 

Personal Injury Claim Against Employer: Take a look at our guide to claiming against your employer. 

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for an Accident in a Restaurant?: Were you the victim of negligence in a restaurant? Perhaps you could claim. Please read our guide to find out.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Road Accident?: This guide looks at how you may be able to claim compensation following different types of road accidents which weren’t your fault.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Supermarket Accident Claim?: Have you been hurt in an accident that occurred in a supermarket? Do you have proof that the accident was caused by another party, such as staff at the supermarket? You can read this guide for insight into making a supermarket accident claim.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For An Accident In An Office?: If you are ever hurt in an accident within an office, you could be entitled to compensation if it was caused by another party. This guide looks into how office accidents may occur and ways you could claim compensation for such incidents.

Laser Hair Removal Burns On Legs Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?: This guide explains how you may be able to receive compensation for burns caused by laser hair removal.

Employer Personal Data Breach Compensation Claims Guide: Read this article if you want to know more about claiming because an employer breached your personal data.

Other Helpful Compensation Guides

Thank you for reading our guide on professional negligence claims.

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