Businesses and individuals frequently rely on the advice and skills of professionals such as solicitors, accountants, financial advisors and surveyors. However, sometimes the reliance and trust placed upon these professionals can result in a loss or unwelcome consequences to a business or individual. For example, an individual or business may suffer a loss on investments following negligent financial advice.
Before examining whether the professional has been negligent, it is necessary to consider whether you are entitled to bring a claim against them. Negligence by professionals must be based on there being a Duty of Care. You must be able to show the professionals owed you a duty of care. In many negligence claims this will be obvious, because you engaged the professional to advise you or act on your behalf.
You must be able to show that he was negligent and that you have suffered a loss due to the breach of the duty of care. You must be able to establish that the professional’s conduct fell below the standard of a reasonably competent professional in the same area of expertise and that this breach caused your loss.
In the case of personal injury negligence this could mean the mishandling of a case, an under-settlement of compensation awarded or a failure to seek appropriate professional diagnosis and opinion.
Solicitor negligence can also occur when a solicitor fails properly to investigate claims, for example during the course of an accident or clinical negligence claim, it becomes necessary to obtain independent evidence from various medical experts. If a solicitor does not instruct appropriate experts then there is the potential that claims will be undervalued or clients incorrectly advised that their claims do not have a good chance of success.
A case can also be brought forward under solicitor negligence when a solicitor under-settles a claim. This means that a solicitor fails to consider all types of loss and it leads to the claim being undervalued and under settled.