Solicitors like any other professional can make mistakes that cause loss. If their actions amount to negligence (ie they have breached their duty of care to you) you may be entitled to compensation.
Although the legal principles of a professional negligence claim are relatively straightforward, claims of this nature are often complex due to complicated factual issues and disagreement on the scope of the retainer. It is important to get early experienced advice.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Have you done these types of cases before?
This firm has done many professional negligence claims against a variety of professionals since the doors of this firm were opened. The principal has practised in this area for over three decades and previously has acted for not only many claimants but also acted for insurance companies in defending these types of claims. As a consequence, he has an intimate understanding of how these claims operate and the best steps to take for a successful outcome.
Does a claim take very long?
In some instances, insurance companies for the professional will accept that their customer is at fault and will wish to settle the claim made as soon as possible. In those instances, claims can sometimes be finalised within a few months. However, if the defendant insurer wishes to defend the proceedings, the matter can take longer to finalise. We utilise mediation procedures as soon as possible in an effort to resolve matters as quickly as we can. However, if no agreement is reached and it is necessary to go to court, some cases can take a few years.
Do I have a valid claim?
We will advise you in the first meeting on whether we believe you have a good claim or not. We are prepared to have an initial consultation with you which will not cost you anything if you are advised there are low prospects of success and you do not wish to pursue the matter.
Is it an insurance company that pays the damages?
In almost all cases professionals have professional indemnity insurance which will cover the claims made against them if they are negligent. As such, it will not be the professional from whom you are pursuing compensation, that will be paying the damages.
Will it be expensive for me to pursue the claim?
With all professional negligence claims, we make an assessment on whether the matter can be pursued on the basis that costs are only payable by you on a successful conclusion of the matter. If we decide we can pursue your claim on this basis, then we will cover your outlays and hold all our professional costs until a successful conclusion of the matter. If there are more risks involved in the claim, then we may need you to cover the outlays or alternatively fund a preliminary report so that a better assessment of the liability can be made. We will advise you immediately if we we feel that you do not have good prospects of success.