Professional Negligence Claims Against Personal Injury Lawyers
By definition, 'Professional Negligence Solicitors' are specialists in claiming compensation for professional negligence.
If you have previously entrusted another solicitor with a personal injury, medical negligence or industrial disease claim and feel you were badly advised or inadequately compensated, we can help you claim for compensation from them for professional negligence.
Many clients believe that there is little they can do to change things once their case has been settled, but if you are not satisfied then we can help you take the next step towards securing the desired outcome.
Such action would be taken against your previous solicitor rather than the person responsible for your original injury. Contact our Professional Negligence Solicitors at Sheldon Davidson today to find out if you have a valid claim against a negligent professional.
What is professional negligence?
Professional negligence can happen in all cases where a professional, who may operate under the principle of Duty of Care, fails to perform their duties to an acceptable level of standard. You may be entitled to a compensation claim whenever a breach of the Duty of Care by a professional has caused you harm, may this be financial, psychological or physical.
Professional negligence can usually be defined and argued within the guidelines provided by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. This Act basically states that whenever a professional is supplying services or professional advice, they must do so with a reasonable level of care. The terms of the standard of care are therefore implied in all contracts, regardless of specific clauses within it.
This can apply to a range of circumstances, and if you believe a professional, such as a solicitor, has mishandled their duties towards you, you may be entitled to a claim.
Contact our expert team of Professional Negligence Solicitors lawyers today to discuss your situation and find out whether you can pursue a Professional Negligence Claim Against a personal injury solicitor.
Who can commit professional negligence?
Any professional who has a reasonable Duty of Care to an individual may commit professional negligence, where their supply of goods or services falls below a reasonable standard.
Two common examples are:
- Solicitors, Barristers and other legal professionals
Legal proceedings can be very complex, so professionals in the legal field need to be trusted to a very high level. Negligence committed by solicitors and other legal professionals can have a huge impact on an individual’s financial and mental health.
This can occur by missing deadlines, providing incorrect legal advice, neglecting or improperly investigating evidence, and general procedural errors.
- Doctors and Medical Professionals
As experts in Medical Negligence Claims, our specialist solicitors have handled many cases of negligence committed by medical professionals. There are a variety of accidents which may constitute negligence, including delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, surgical errors, birth injuries or anaesthesia errors.
Medical errors can have life-changing or even fatal impacts on an individual, so seeking expert legal advice for your claim is imperative.
At SDS, we have handled many cases of Medical Negligence Claims, and Professional Negligence Claims related to failed, under-settled or improperly handled medical negligence claims. Contact us today for a confidential claim assessment.
How can a Personal Injury Solicitor commit Professional Negligence?
As a claimant, you should always be able to completely trust the solicitor handling your case. Unfortunately, things can sometimes go wrong, and you may find yourself dissatisfied with the outcome of your claim.
Some examples of how your solicitor may have acted negligently while handling your case are:
- Improper Handling
As legal cases can be very complex, being updated about your claim is a priority. Improper Handling is most commonly found in the cases where the communication between you and your solicitor becomes insufficient, or breaks down entirely.
- Failed Claims
There are many reasons for which a claim may fail, but if you believe this has happened because of an error on your solicitor’s part - such as lack of evidence, procedural errors or missed deadlines, you may be entitled to a compensation claim.
- Turned Down Claims
Your claim may be turned down in many circumstances, but if this happened because of negligent behaviour by your solicitor, you may have a professional negligence claim.
- Under-settled Claims
Many unforeseeable events can affect your final compensation amounts. However, you may have been led to believe a greater sum would be awarded to you than what you actually obtained. If your claim was under-settled, it’s possible this is due to your solicitor’s negligent behaviour.
- Unexpected Deductions
It is common for solicitors and law professionals to take deductions from your compensation sum, but all pricing and deductions involved in your claim should be transparent and agreed in advance. You may be entitled to compensation if your solicitor’s deductions were unexpected or unexplained.
Do I have a time limit to make a Professional Negligence Claim?
If you are considering pursuing a claim for professional negligence, you may be wondering if too much time has passed since the events.
Professional Negligence Claims are subject to a general time limit of six years. Some exemptions are available, however, for cases in which the negligence was not immediately apparent, and was only discovered some time later. In these cases, the time limit to pursue a claim for professional negligence is 3 years from the date of knowledge.
There is a deadline for all claims to be brought forward, which is 15 years. After this much time has passed, claims are unlikely to be considered valid by a court.
If you’re unsure of the validity of your claim, contact our Professional Negligence Claims Solicitors today. The team at Sheldon Davidson has years of experience dealing with professional negligence claims against personal injury solicitors, and can help you reach an outcome you will be happy with.
What is the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol?
On the 16th of July 2001, the Government implemented the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol. It contains a series of legal steps to be taken in professional negligence cases, with the aim to keep court proceedings as a “step of last resort”. Because of the priority given to proper communication and documentation of evidence, cases that do end up in court can usually run much smoother thanks to the protocol.
This protocol should be used for claims against a professional person that is not subject to specific pre-action protocols. Solicitors are under this category, so all professional negligence compensation claims against solicitors should follow this protocol.
The steps outlined in the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol are:
This is the first piece of correspondence that the claimant must send to the other party, stating they wish to make a claim, together with a brief description of the claim and a monetary value. If the defendant has a policy with a professional indemnity insurer, the claimant may remind them to begin communication with them.
Letter of Acknowledgement
The defendant has 21 days to acknowledge the preliminary notice, and should use this time to collect evidence and contact their professional indemnity insurer.
Letter of Claim
A Letter of Claim can be produced by the claimant once the events surrounding the claim have been thoroughly investigated. This may include a more complete timeline of events and detailed circumstances regarding the claim. Pieces of evidence and the relative legal arguments should be identified, as well as a precise monetary value for the claim - or the calculation process that will be used to conclude this. A copy of this letter should be given to the defendant’s professional indemnity insurer.
The Letter of Claim should be acknowledged with another Letter of Acknowledgement within 21 days.
Letter of Response
Following the Letter of Claim, the defendant will have 3 months to investigate the claim, and respond to each individual aspect of it. If they cannot respond within 3 months, they may contact the claimant with an explanation for the delay, and a revised deadline for the claimant to agree to.
The Letter of Response should clearly state whether the defendant agrees with the claim completely or in part, or denies it completely. A denial of the claim should come with a detailed response, and a revised timeline of events if the defendant does not agree with the claimants recollection of events and circumstances.
Letter of Settlement
A Letter of Settlement may accompany the Letter of Response if the defendant wishes to settle the claim following the Letter of Claim.
Court proceedings may begin if the Letter of Response contains a full denial of the claim. Although the protocol discourages court proceedings, the correspondence outlined in the protocol will provide a solid legal basis for a future case, including evidence, timeline of events, and details of the professional negligence claim. Further correspondence may also take place for negotiations if the defendant partially accepts the contents of the claim.
If you wish to bring a claim against your solicitor, whether because of a failed or under-settled claim, our professional negligence team at Sheldon Davidson can help you. Our experience in dispute resolution is a guarantee of an outcome you will be satisfied with. Contact our Professional Negligence Solicitors today if you wish to pursue a Professional Negligence Claims against a solicitor.
How Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can help
As specialists in personal injury and clinical negligence compensation claims ourselves, our professional negligence solicitors will know straight away if something was not right with the way your case was handled previously, and we will be able to show how and why your first solicitor was incorrect to conduct your claim in the way that they did.
We will request all the documents from your previous solicitor on your behalf, meaning you never have to deal with them again. If we feel you were indeed poorly advised and could be eligible for further compensation, we can then act on your behalf going forward to ensure you receive the award you were entitled to, using the details of your initial claim to re-evaluate your financial entitlement.
Contact Sheldon Davidson Solicitors today for more information on how our professional negligence solicitors can help with your claim, or help with other cases such as traffic accident compensation or industrial disease claims
Why choose us?
Established in Whitefield, Manchester in 1997, we are a leading specialist personal injury, work accident and medical negligence law firm acting for claimants who are victims of non-fault incidents. Our Personal Injury Solicitors in Manchester are renowned all over the UK for their dedication and professionalism.
We act regularly for clients on a wide range of professional negligence cases across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham and Whitefield.
Our team of experienced professional negligence solicitors can support your needs wherever you live in Wales, England & Northern Ireland. We serve clients across the UK.
We specialise in no win no fee personal injury claims, which means if you don't win, you won't have to pay any legal costs.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.