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What is Professional Negligence?
Professional Negligence claims are made when a professional, such as a solicitor, has been negligent in the work they have carried out causing you to suffer financial loss. Legal advisers must apply ‘reasonable skill and care’ when advising you. This is particularly important with personal injury or medical negligence claims. This is because any compensation needs to cover your treatment, long-term care and support, any loss of earnings and damages for ALL your injuries. If your claim is under-settled and you lose out financially due to bad legal advice or poor service, you have the right to seek compensation.
Why is it on the rise?
There has been an increase in the number of Professional Negligence claims in recent years. This is due to a combination of factors. For example, it has been suggested that some law firms are taking on personal injury cases with little or no specialist expertise or experience resulting in accident victims being short-changed.
There is also evidence individuals are being pressurised to settle cases for reduced amounts without face-to-face contact with their own solicitors and are increasingly being asked to instruct a solicitor nominated by their insurance companies. We always advocate that you should obtain independent legal advice. Novum Law is not tied to any insurance companies.
In addition, there is a growing awareness, in general, of legal rights, especially when medical treatment falls below acceptable standards and is widely reported in the media. This has resulted in an increase in Medical Negligence claims. Again it is important to instruct a specialist in this field.
Regardless of why Professional Negligence is on the rise, it is important that anyone who has suffered due to the negligence of a professional seeks specialist advice.
How does it happen?
While there is no excuse for Professional Negligence, it happens for a number of different reasons:
Missed deadlines – for example, missing the three year time limit for beginning a claim or failing to meet a court deadline
Encouraging clients to settle claims too early
Failing to detect the full extent of injuries – some types of injury (particularly brain injuries) can be missed when cases are settled
Omitting certain losses from a claim – for example, injury claims can include compensation for care and support from family members. You may also be able to claim for loss of earnings, even if you weren’t working the time of the accident
Unnecessary delays – if your legal adviser drags their heels too much, it may result in you losing out on interest for losses suffered in the past
Why is it important to pursue a Professional Negligence claim?
There are two main reasons:
(1) It will help ensure you can pay for the necessary support and rehabilitation you need now and in the future.
(2) It ensures that law firms improve their procedures and the services they provide clients to make sure that mistakes like that do not happen again.
How can I tell if my claim has been under-settled?
At Novum Law, we receive an increasing number of enquiries from injured people who believe their legal adviser under-settled their personal injury claim. If you are concerned that your personal injury settlement is too low, the following checklist might help. Here are some questions you should ask yourself are:
Did my legal adviser provide a satisfactory level of service?
Did my legal team gather all the necessary evidence for my claim including a medical report on ALL my injuries?
Am I confident my claim was settled once I was fully recovered or the medical experts had given a prognosis for the future?
Have I been compensated adequately for all my injuries and for any ongoing losses?
If the answer to some or all of these questions is ‘no’, you may have grounds for a Professional Negligence claim against your legal adviser.
What are the next steps?
Professional Negligence claims can be challenging. It is therefore important to seek advice from specialist solicitors who are experienced in dealing with this type of claim.
It is important to note that Professional Negligence claims can only be brought within six years of the date when the damage in question was suffered. This means six years from when a deadline was missed or the date of settlement. It is never wise to contact a solicitor at the last minute as they may not be able to help you – the advice is to seek specialist advice as soon as you can.
At Novum Law, we specialise in complex personal injury and medical negligence claims and have a successful track record in pursuing Professional Negligence claims.
We recommend the first step you take is to get in touch with us for a free second opinion.
At no cost to you and with ‘no strings attached’ we can review your case and determine if you may have a case for Professional Negligence compensation.
For a free, no obligation chat, call Anna Cole on: 0845 160 2513 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.