Are you wondering what professional negligence is? Do you want to know what to do if you face a claim like that?
In any case, every professional has a duty to care for their customers/client. They are expected to provide services up to a greater standard that is accommodated by care and skill. Not doing so would constitute professional negligence.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about professional negligence. As well as how you can determine if you have a claim, and how a claim concerns a director.
So whenever you’re ready to become educated upon the topic, keep reading.
What Is Professional Negligence?
When a professional fails to meet the expected standards or perceives to have failed them by a client, a claim against their negligence can be made.
The Act of Supply of Goods from 1982 imprints a term into contractual communication, in which a professional must perform their services with attention and care. This means there is no specific clause that states the level of services that are to be expected.
In practice, it’s recommended that the expectations and roles are fully defined for each part of the contract. This will limit the likelihood of ambiguity.
There are too many circumstances that could lead to a claim of professional negligence, but here are some of them:
- Breach of copyright
- Unintentional loss of data
- Error in design
- Allegation of slander
- Failure to fulfill projects
FOr instance, a customer is contracted to integrate a software system for a client. Objects and terms are agreed upon. The client decides that the new system is not optimized, they claim the policyholder is negligent.
The issue is investigated and guidance is provided, documentation is analyzed to help prove that the objectives and terms have been met. But also noting that performance issues were based upon hardware malfunction, not the software.
In this event, a reduced claim is paid with most costs covered by the insurance provider. But the excess is still covered by the “at-fault party”.
Do You Have A Claim?
To develop a claim of professional negligence, you must have established important aspects. And they are:
- Duty for care
- Breach of the duty
- The cause
- The loss
First, professionals have a duty to care for clients. When advising about financial information, the advisor has a duty to care and ensure that products are appropriate for the client. As well as the client comprehends the risks.
For the second, the professional must have gone down the standards outlined in contractual legislation. The fact of error is not enough to constitute negligence. For instance, failure to elaborate upon the financial implications of fixing a loan rate by a lender can be held as a breach of duty.
For the third, the loss is to be caused by negligence. You might not have a claim if the loss would have happened, even if negligence was not present. The question is whether or not the loss would have happened, outside of the involvement of negligence.
For the fourth, the principle is to place the claimant in a position they were in if the professional was not negligent. The loss must be predictable and it can be hard to quantify evidence of this, especially if there was a loss of opportunity. A claimant has a duty to mitigate their loss.
Before pursuance of a claim, one must consider if there is any other reason for the professional to prove that you have contributed to the loss. This is a defense of contributory negligence. If the professional can show you have, the loss might be reduced.
How Professional Negligence Concerns Directors?
While professional insurance protects individuals against professional negligence claims, proceedings are often brought against company directors that provide the services.
If that’s the case, you must consider having a special cover for directors’ insurance. It covers many scenarios, from damages and legal costs where actioned mistakes occur, through legal representation at a police station in the even to unfortunate.
Here’s a rad example. In this instance, a professional negligence claim has been made against a care home director. The claimants wished to have old unsafe trees taken down, so they had them surveyed by a tree specialist who said it’s not necessary.
The report explained there were no birds and the tree was simply cut down shorter. A complaint from the public followed, alleging the birds were nesting and cutting the tree was not legal.
This led to the police attending the locale and arresting the director. In this instance, a well-respected firm of solicitors was involved to defend the directors. And they have done so successfully, all charges were dropped. A firm like Preszler Law firm can help in these situations because they have the necessary experience.
But with a director’s policy, the directors of the care home were faced with excruciating fines and even service to the community, next of kin to imprisonment.
Now that you know what professional negligence is, as well as how a claim is structured, you are well on your way to resolve any claims against you or develop a claim against someone negligent. In any case, negligence is all over the place and it only counts when someone can prove it.
With your newfound knowledge, you can do so. If you’d like to learn more about legal topics, check out the rest of the advised content on the sidebar.