How to file for professional negligence

If you believe a professional has fallen short of their duty of care and you have suffered financially as a result, you may have a case for a professional negligence claim. A professional is not limited to a particular industry and may be a lawyer, accountant or an engineer.

Masselos & Co lawyers are experts in the area of professional negligence and will be able to assist you in filing your claim. 

What is negligence?

Before defining professional negligence, you may be wondering “what does negligence mean?”

Negligence in law refers to a person falling short of the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances. For negligence to exist, the person must owe a duty of care.

Professional negligence is a subset of negligence and refers to a person of a profession who has breached their duty of care by failing to provide the standard of care a reasonable person would have exercised in their position.

What are the elements to establish professional negligence?

To establish a case of professional negligence, there are a number of elements that need to exist.

The elements are:

  • Duty of care exists between you and the professional.
  • The professional breached their duty of care.
  • Financial loss resulted from the breach of duty of care.

If you believe these elements apply to your situation, you should get in touch with an expert and explore your options to file a professional negligence claim. 

Examples of professional negligence include but are not limited to:

  • You acted on misleading advice.
  • There was a fatal accounting error.
  • A serious engineering oversight occurred.

One of the difficulties with professional negligence is to prove the direct cause of financial loss to the breach of duty of care. An expert in professional negligence will be able to assist in identifying the link and ensure you have a solid foundation for your case.

How to file for professional negligence

There is a time limitation period of six years for professional negligence claims. This means you will be unable to bring a case for professional negligence if the financial loss occurred more than six years ago. 

When filing for professional negligence, the burden of proof will sit with you and you will need to prove all the elements to establish that professional negligence occurred.

The first step is to collect all materials that will allow you to prove the elements. This may include:

  • Retainers or contracts establishing that you had engaged the services of the professional.
  • Any emails or documents that detailed advice or recommendations provided by the professional.
  • Photographs or other evidence showcasing the financial loss that occurred.

Once you have located the materials relevant to your claim, you need to find a lawyer with expertise in professional negligence. A lawyer will not only provide you with legal advice but will also assess the likelihood of success of your claim. 

If you think you have a case for professional negligence, speak to a specialist and explore your options. The lawyers at Masselos & Co are experts in professional negligence and can assist you. Book in a free consultation today.

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