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Bad advice can have a long-lasting effect on your life, no matter if it was legal or financial in nature. In these situations, it is important to feel that you can make professional negligence claims, or even solicitor negligence claims, without feeling out of your depth.

The advice of a professional negligence solicitor can be invaluable in the process of making professional negligence claims, especially if you are unsure about any aspect of your claim.

Is Your Claim Valid?

The validity of professional negligence claims is the first, and perhaps the most important, step. This is because, in order for a claim to be valid and move the process forward, you must be able to demonstrate a loss as a result of the professional’s advice. Though the advice may have been bad, caused considerable distress or inconvenience, if there was no loss then you have no claim.

Three elements must be provable in order to make your claim valid: that the professional had a duty of care towards you, that they breached this care and that in doing so you suffered a loss.

Making a Claim

An important thing to remember when making any professional negligence claims or solicitor negligence claims is the fact that you must do so within a reasonable timeframe. Otherwise, the professional in question may have a strong case that the claim has been made out of time. This is typically six years from the date of negligence.

In cases where negligence is only revealed at a later date, then you have three years to make a claim. This timeframe is from the date that the knowledge of negligence was discovered.

Prior to making professional negligence claims, you must follow the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol. In this, it is encouraged that there is an early exchange of information between the claimant and the professional. This is to encourage a settlement of your dispute outside of a court of law – court proceedings should be a last resort, due to failing to meet a satisfactory agreement.

There are several steps involved in order for the Protocol to be valid:

  • Preliminary notice – The claimant must send a notice, advising that they intend to make a claim against the defendant. A financial value, if known, should be included at this stage.
  • Letter of acknowledgement – A defendant has a 21-day period in which to acknowledge the preliminary notice, but no further action is needed from them at this stage.
  • Letter of claim – Following an investigation and gathering of evidence, the claimant is then required to send a letter that sets out the claim in terms of background, legal argument, evidence to support the issues and reports from expert witnesses. The letter also needs to show how any financial loss will be calculated or the sum of financial loss suffered following the incident of professional negligence.
  • Letter of response – Three months are given for the defendant to respond. In this letter, all points must be addressed and whether they accept full, partial or no liability must be clearly stated. If there is evidence to dispute the claim, it must be put forward in this letter. Any settlement offered should also be detailed here.

Court Proceedings

If the Professional Negligence Pre-Action Protocol does not result in a satisfactory resolution, then the case will be escalated to a court setting. This follows a claim of no liability from the defendant and no offering of settlement as a result of the professional negligence claim.

The court has the power to put a case on hold if they feel that Pre-Action Protocol was not followed appropriately, so it is important to ensure it is followed diligently in all professional negligence claims. Once this has been established then the court will make a decision, either to award you a fair settlement for your claim or dismiss the claim altogether.

Professional Negligence Claims with Gorvins

If you are considering pursuing a case of professional negligence, then our expert dispute resolution solicitors in Manchester can offer you the expert advice that you need to pursue your claim. Simply call our expert team on 0342 507 5151 or e-mail disputeresolutionteam@gorvins.com or fill out our contact form, for a confidential discussion regarding your situation at a time that suits you.

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