We understand how much it can affect a business when someone doesn’t do their job properly.
Fortunately, if you receive bad advice or a poor service from a professional, you may have the right to seek compensation. In terms of business law, this might be a financial advisor who fails to warn you of particular dangers, or a professional helping you with due diligence not performing their duties properly, causing you to make an unwise investment.
In fact, if you have suffered financial losses or injury as a result of someone not doing their job properly, then you may have a claim for professional negligence. You should consider contacting the expert commercial solicitors at First4lawyers to discuss your case further.
What is professional negligence?
Professional negligence is improper advice or conduct by a professional that leads to injury or loss of some kind.
Professionals have a legal duty to exercise reasonable skill and care when dealing with clients. If they fail to do this and their mistake was one a peer is unlikely to have made, then they are guilty of professional negligence and liable for damages. Such cases can involve:
- Financial advisers
- Insurance brokers
- Tax consultants
Should I make a complaint?
You can make a complaint against the relevant professional regardless of whether it resulted in you losing out financially; complaints can even relate to poor service such as delay.
To start, you must send a formal letter of complaint to the professional, perhaps with the help of a lawyer. It should explain your grievances and the issues that arose as a result.
If your complaint relates to the conduct of your solicitor and you cannot resolve it through this initial process, you can complain to the Legal Ombudsman.
Similarly, if your problems relate to a financial advisor or accountant and remain unresolved after the initial complaint, you can go to the Financial Services Ombudsman.
In fact, most professionals are regulated by a relevant professional body to which you can address your grievance.
How much can I claim back from the professional?
The purpose of bringing a professional negligence claim is to put you in the same financial position you would be in had that person not been negligent. As a result, you must prove the loss you suffered came about as a direct result of their actions.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
Professional negligence claims arise mostly from breach of contract and/or tort law relating to duty of care. As the claimant, you have six years to bring this kind of claim. This is known as the ‘primary limitation period’; this starts on the date that the losses or injuries become apparent.
If the primary limitation period expires because you had not realised that negligence had occurred until it was too late, the law gives you another three years to make your claim. This is known as the ‘secondary limitation period’.
You cannot bring a claim after 15 years of the loss or negligence, whether you knew about the professional’s neglect of duty or not.
I want advice with regard to a claim for professional negligence – what should I do?
To right this kind of wrong, it’s likely you’ll need to speak to a legal professional. At First4lawyers we can provide solicitors who specialise in resolving issues arising from professional negligence.
Whether the dispute is settled early or goes to court, our specialists can be with you every step of the way. For more information, get in contact with us.