Filing any sort of claim can be a lengthy process, and you have to be willing to wait for the results of the claim. Trying to file a professional negligence claim is no different. Covid has affected every part of the UK, and the legal system is no different.
So, if you do want to file a professional negligence claim, you must be patient and understand that it can take time. Filing a professional negligence claim may sound complicated, so here is our beginner’s guide that simplifies everything you need to know.
What Is A Professional Negligence Claim?
Professional negligence is essentially where a party fails to perform the duties they were required to carry out. It can also mean that the duties they did carry out were not performed to the standard required, or they simply did not perform all the duties they were hired to do. There are a few common signs of professional negligence. Some examples of these are- conflicting advice, slow communication, and frequently making excuses.
So, if say you had hired a building contractor to complete work on your house and they were very slow at getting back to you, or they frequently made excuses about why they aren’t completing the work, it could be a sign that they are negligent. Another example is, if you are under medical care and your condition appears to be worsening or not improving, it could be a sign of medical negligence.
The way to know if you have a claim is to think about whether the professional has breached a duty of care that you were owed and if you have suffered some form of loss due to that breach of duty. While breach of duty of care can be applied to medical professionals, it can also be applied to other professionals, too.
You can make a professional negligence claim against a number of professionals, such as property management employees, architects, trade unions, accountants, and solicitors professionals. If you have solicited the work of a professional and they have breached the contract or duty of care, you may have a professional negligence claim.
How To Make A Claim
A claim can be made up to six years of the date the negligence occurred. This can be beneficial as people often may not realise that they could be entitled to professional negligence compensation until years after the incident. Having a six-year window means you have time to gather evidence and build your case.
If you do feel like you have a claim, then it would be a good idea to contact a professional negligence solicitor, as they will be able to assist you through the whole process. It is important to choose one that has experience and expertise, as these professional negligence solicitors by Hugh James. Filing a claim will involve a lot of work and legal jargon to work through, so you must choose your solicitor well in order to improve your chances of winning the case.
In terms of how long the claim takes, it is impossible to say as every claim is unique as the matters of the case are specific to each claim. There are many factors that may influence the time the claim takes, often a claim that has to be filed long after the incident can take longer.
Additionally, if the negligence claim results in a dispute from the other party, this can extend the time as there will be a lot of back and forth between each party. Overall, it is impossible to draw a timeline for a negligence claim, so you must be prepared to wait to see results.
Once you have hired a professional negligence solicitor for your case, they will start the pre-action protocol. The pre-action protocol involves the claimant giving the negligent party a detailed explanation of all the claims being made. This includes the allegations of negligence as well as the resulting loss that the negligence caused.
All of this information will be presented to the negligent professional in what is called a Letter of Claim. This Letter of Claim must then be acknowledged by the professional, or their solicitor, within 21 days. After the acknowledgement they then have more time in which they can investigate the claims made and issue a Letter of Response. After this, the claim can continue, and the professional may wish to admit liability, or a dispute can be initiated.
In summary, a professional negligence claim can provide people who feel they have received negligent care from a professional some sort of say, and compensation can be a good way to make up for said negligence. Although the process may take some time, it could be worth it if you have suffered loss as a result of a professional providing negligent care.