Professionals such as solicitors, accountants, financial advisers, doctors and engineers owe their clients a duty to act with reasonable care and skill. However, if a professional fails to do so, clients have a legal right to claim compensation for any financial loss suffered.
A claim for compensation is usually the only way to recover loss resulting from a professional’s negligence. If you require guidance on making a personal injury claim, our professional negligence lawyers are here to help.
What is professional negligence?
This is where a professional has failed to perform their services or responsibilities to a certain standard of care. When a professional has been negligent, it can result in injury, physical damage and financial loss for the customer/client.
What is legal professional negligence?
Lawyers have a duty to provide their services with a reasonable degree of care and skill. If a lawyer has misrepresented your or been negligent in their actions and advice, and you have suffered a loss as a result, you may be able to lodge a claim.
Which professions fall under professional negligence?
Professionals who may come within the umbrella of professional negligence law include:
- Advertising agents
- Alternative health professionals
- Building consultants and builders
- Computer consultants
- Financial planners
- Medical and legal practitioners
- Real estate agents & valuers
- Veterinarians etc.
Situations in which you can claim for negligence
Claims against professional negligence may arise due to:
- Misleading professional advice
- Poor financial advice
- Negligent treatment by medical practitioners
- Accounting errors
- Engineering mistakes
- Real estate misrepresentations
- Incorrect property evaluations
If you need help understanding if a professional owes you a duty of care, speak to our professional negligence lawyers today.
How to make a claim for professional negligence
If a professional has breached their duty of care or failed to exercise reasonable care, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Compensation for any losses and/or injury due to professional negligence may include:
- Legal costs
- Professional service expenses
- All past and future financial loss
- Expenses likely to accrue from such negligence
In the case of medical negligence, a medical practitioner is liable to provide other out-of-pocket expenses including:
- Cost of pharmaceuticals
- Rehabilitation equipment
- Compensation for loss of income
- Pain and suffering
A claim for compensation cannot be granted in cases where no loss or injury has been suffered even though the advice or service provided was negligent. If you require assistance with this, our professional negligence lawyers are here to help.
How do you prove professional negligence?
Before making a claim against professional negligence, a person is required to prove that:
- There was a duty of care owed to them by the professional;
- The professional breached their duty of care; and
- The person has suffered losses, an injury or damage owing to breach of duty by the professional – this is when you may be able to make a personal injury claim which our negligence lawyers can assist you with.
Factors the Court considers in a professional negligence claim
- The proximity between the injured person and the professional for a duty of care to exist
- The acceptable standard of care expected and actually taken in the prescribed circumstance(s) by the professional
- Contributory negligence of the injured person
- The existence of any vicarious liability
- The attitude of the professional in providing the service or the manner in which the service was delivered
Legislation regulating professional negligence claims
In NSW, the law of professional negligence is governed by the Civil Liability Act 2002 together with the Civil Liability Amendment (Personal Responsibility) Act 2002. According to Section 50 of the Civil Liability Act 2002, a professional does not incur a liability in negligence if it is established that the professional acted in a manner that was widely accepted in Australia by peer professional opinion as competent professional practice at the time the service was provided. However, peer professional opinion cannot be relied upon if the Court considers the opinion irrational.
How long do you have to claim for professional negligence?
It can vary between 3 to 6 years, depending on the statutory legislation applicable in each state. In each case, the time limitation starts from when the breach of duty occurred.
How a professional negligence lawyer can help
If you’re looking for the law firm Sydney residents trust, look no further. The team of negligence lawyers at Owen Hodge has a thorough understanding of professional negligence NSW laws and can ensure that your claim is processed with the utmost diligence and integrity.
Further information about personal injury law: