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Read more articles in: Blog, Lorraine Walker

What are the causes of professional negligence? 

The main duty of a professional is to provide services to the client with reasonable care and skill. When they fail to perform those responsibilities to the required standard it could be considered negligent.

A claim of professional negligence can be made against anyone considered to have expertise in their field. Although it is difficult to fully define who is a professional, it could include the likes of a surveyor, an architect, a technology or management consultant, or those who supply medical care.

There are numerous ways that professional negligence claims can arise, which can result in considerable financial loss and distress. These can include simple administrative errors, medical treatments, technical or legal errors.

Severe consequences 

As a chiropractor, for example, if you fail to your client ask about any previous injuries and this then results in injury during your session, you could be liable.

As a professional, you would be seen to have fallen short of your duty of care to that individual. A professional negligence claim might then be brought against you.

If this sort of treatment is not performed correctly, and because of the physical nature of the treatment, consequences can be severe and lifelong, with sometimes serious and life-changing injuries.

There are four key elements in proving negligence, which are a necessary component of a legal claim. The plaintiff must prove the following to prove negligence:

  • Duty of care: Where a business must take reasonable care to ensure its premises are safe for its customers and employees.
  • Breach of duty: By doing or not doing something that an average person would do if they were in a similar circumstance.
  • Causation: By breaching its duty, the responsible party caused you harm or damage. The damage must also have been “reasonably foreseeable” at the time.
  • Damages: You must then show the nature and extent of your injuries or property damage. These often include things like hospital or medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Some other examples of professional negligence are poor business strategy recommendations, failure to advise about tax relief available, failure to identify serious structural problems with a property or a breach of confidentiality.

Need advice on negligence disputes? Contact our team today. 

Lorraine Walker

Solicitor – litigation and dispute resolution

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, I worked within the education sector as a senior leader in a secondary school.