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What You Need to Know About Professional Negligence Claims

— July 30, 2021

If the negligence resulted in personal injuries, you are given only three years from the moment the negligent action was done.

Professional negligence claims are grave and complex more than you think. That’s because it has the power to damage the reputation of a business or an individual.

If you think that you’ve received a negligent service or advice, the best thing to do is to hire a litigation team who knows the ins and outs of professional negligence claims.

But if you’re totally clueless about this process, below are only some of the things that you must know.

What is professional negligence?

Professional negligence happens when a professional fails to provide you with sound and correct advice regarding an issue, or if they have acted negligently.

Once you’ve hired professionals, you are always entitled to a service that’s given by those experts with reasonable care and a certain degree of skill. That’s why you hired them in the first place, right?

But if they failed to provide that in a very “negligent manner”, you can claim a case.

So, what are the elements of professional negligence?

Professional negligence claims are not just about the errors in judgment that the professionals made. Certain elements must be considered to successfully bring a claim for professional negligence and prove it.

If you want to prove your claims, you must also establish that:

1. The professional you hired owed you the “duty of care”

2. Or the professional breached their duty of care while the project or contract was ongoing

3. You suffered loss, damage or injury

If the elements mentioned above are established, you can successfully claim professional negligence. And once you’ve done this, you will be entitled to compensation for the loss and damage that the professional’s negligence caused you.

Doctor Suspected of Causing More Than Two Dozen Patient Deaths
Photo by Claudia on Unsplash

Aside from the losses, compensation may also include legal costs and other expenses that were reasonably incurred in the process. It may also include compensation for future financial losses that are considered to be a direct result of the negligence.   

What are the steps in the claims process?

1. Starting the professional negligence claim  

Generally, the best way to commence a professional negligence claim is to consult an experienced team of litigation lawyers. Since you’re dealing with professionals who will probably hire a team of their own, you must have a solid team behind you, too.

This team will help you build a strong case with sound arguments so you can achieve the results that you aim for.  

2. Defending the claim

If you’re on the other side of the coin or if you’re the one being accused of professional negligence, the best thing to do is also to seek competent legal advice. 

While you’re not necessarily guilty of professional negligence once a client of yours brought it up to the court, it’s still better if you prepare. And hiring a team will help you reduce any liability that the charges may cause.

When should you make a claim?

For every professional negligence claim, there are limitation periods allowed by the Australian legislation. This is the amount of time that’s given to you to claim the date of the negligent action.

For example, in Queensland, you must commence your claim for negligence within 6 years from the date that the professional breached their duty of care.

But if the negligence resulted in personal injuries, you are given only three years from the moment the negligent action was done.

Of course, for every rule, there’s an exemption. So it’s better if you seek legal advice first. This is to make sure that you can successfully defend that claim and that you will receive the correct amount of compensation for the losses you have suffered. 

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