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The Most Common Types of Professional Negligence

Types of Professional Negligence
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Professional negligence refers to any circumstance in which someone who acts in a professional capacity fails to uphold their duty of care to a customer or client. People who experience harm due to professional negligence may be able to make a compensation claim, and this harm usually comes in the form of financial loss due to the nature of the professional services that may be liable for negligence.

Professionals who owe you a duty of care include accountants, architects, insurance brokers, financial advisers, and solicitors, and mistakes or failures by anyone in these roles can lead to significant financial losses. This might mean that a solicitor accepts a lower settlement amount than they could otherwise have gotten, or that a financial adviser failed to consider the level of risk you were comfortable with and you lost your investment.

The actions that can constitute negligence differ according to the type of profession or service, but if they result in physical harm, financial loss or other adverse outcomes they may be considered negligence from a legal perspective and entitle you to compensation. If you are concerned about making sure that the professionals you work with meet their obligations, or you feel you might have experienced negligence, it can help to review some of the most common examples. Here, we outline the types of professional negligence that occur most often, to illustrate the circumstances under which you may be able to take legal action.

Common types of negligence

Breaching a duty of care occurs when professionals fail to meet the standards of care expected of competent people working equivalent jobs in their industry. While this can be ambiguous, it is often possible to demonstrate that someone’s professional conduct fell below the necessary standards.

This can take many forms. For example, a common type of negligence is when a professional provides false or misleading advice or information that a business relies upon, leading to a financial loss. A financial adviser, business consultant, portfolio manager or other professional could cause this type of problem and owe compensation to an affected business. There are several ways that financial advisors or investment consultants providing poor advice can lead to a client’s financial loss, and many such errors could be seen as negligence.

Other examples are specific to particular industries:

Accountancy negligence: Errors in financial statements, tax returns, or investment advice that lead to financial losses can be grounds for a claim against an accountant.

Architectural and engineering negligence: Faults in design, planning, or inspection that lead to property damage or financial loss can be grounds for a professional negligence claim.

Construction and building services negligence: This can include poor workmanship, delays, or failure to adhere to agreed specifications or safety standards. If it results in losses to you or your business, this may enable you to make a claim.

Property surveyor and valuation negligence: This occurs when inaccurate assessments of property lead to financial losses, such as if you overpay for property based on incorrect valuations, or sell a property below its market value.

All of the above types of negligence are of particular concern to businesses. It is common for businesses to commission and construct their premises, and the above examples of negligence illustrate that failings can occur at all stages of this process.

Professional negligence against individuals

Professional negligence can also occur on an individual basis. If you employ a financial advisor or accountant to manage your financial affairs and they make mistakes or lead you astray with poor advice, it may be possible to make a claim. Similarly, make a compensation claim and your solicitor makes errors affecting your case’s outcome. This may also enable you to take action and try to recover the compensation you lost. Negligence of this nature includes errors in litigation, improper conduct of a case, inadequate advice, failure to meet deadlines, failure to advise on relevant law, or settling for a much lower compensation than should have been secured.

Another example is medical negligence, in which failures in health or medical care lead to physical harm for patients. This can include undergoing unnecessary surgery, contracting infections, dealing with ongoing pain and suffering from conditions that should have been resolved easily, or conditions getting worse because symptoms were missed. It is often possible to secure significant amounts of compensation in these cases.

If you believe you may be entitled to make a compensation claim due to an example of negligence, speak to an expert professional negligence solicitor today. They will be able to discuss your unique circumstances, advise you on whether your experiences entitle you to claim, and get the process started on your behalf.

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