Professional Negligence

Professional Negligence

Professionals such as lawyers, insurance brokers, realtors, and others are a matter of utmost importance for many. Quite often, a professional will deliver a service that meets or exceeds the level expected by someone in their field. 

However, there are occasions where that is not the case. When you have entrusted a professional with a legal matter, mistakes can lead to you suffering a loss. In cases where an expert has underperformed and has caused you financial loss or reduced an anticipated financial gain, you can bring a claim against them to compensate you for this.

Such claims are referred to as professional negligence claims. If you want to learn more about this topic, keep on reading…

What Is Professional Negligence?What Is Professional Negligence?

Professional negligence occurs when a professional like a lawyer, insurance broker, accountant, architect, real estate brokers, financial advisor, etc. fails to fulfill the professional duties or obligations that they were hired by their clients to fulfill.

When someone agrees to perform professional services for someone else who needs these services, the hired professional must exercise “reasonable care” in providing these services.

Reasonable care is the degree of caution and concern for the safety of the self and others an ordinarily prudent and rational person would use in the same circumstances.

In a nutshell, professional negligence only occurs when a professional is negligent in performing their responsibilities to a required standard which is a level of service or standard of care expected from a reasonable professional in that field.

Elements To Satisfy In A Professional Negligence Claim in Canada

As mentioned, professional negligence occurs only when a professional is negligent in the performance of his or her duties to expected standards. However, you will need to satisfy certain elements to bring a claim in professional negligence. These elements are the following:

Duty of care

This is when you entered into a contract (which does not necessarily need to be in writing) that meant you were owed a duty of care. A duty of care is a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others.

Breach of duty

This is when the professional didn’t conduct a service to the best of their ability. Additionally, you may have a breach of duty claim if the professional’s assistance didn’t reach a reasonable level for someone in their position. 

Loss suffered

This is when you have suffered loss as a result of the professional’s negligent actions. The loss may be financial, health, pain and suffering, etc. 

Common Signs of Professional Negligence

The difficulty in identifying professional negligence is that most instructing individuals lack the necessary knowledge or skills to recognize professional negligence. People often don’t even realize that these matters exist because they are unaware that anything is wrong.

You may not know enough about the area, but if a professional breaches their duty of care to you then you may have the right to bring a liability claim against them. Acting early and seeking independent legal advice is vital.

To discover whether you have a professional negligence claim, you’ll need to look out for sure signs. Here are some signs of professional negligence to be aware of.

Conflicting advice

 If the professional changes their opinion frequently, or if their advice is inconsistent, the professional may not know what they are doing or may not have the extensive experience needed to assist. Changes to professional advice are not necessarily a sign of professional negligence. You’re looking for advice that is inconsistent with previous advice or advice that changes regularly. 

Slow communication

If the professional consistently provides slow responses, the delay may eventually catch up and cause loss. Also, if you need to chase for updates or responses and the professional provides excuses for not taking action sooner, this is a red flag. 

Incorrect procedure

Not taking or incorrectly following instructions is a crucial aspect of the case. If a professional breaches their duty of care to you or is doing a wrong procedure, then you may have the right to bring a claim against them. 

Your condition seems to be worsening or not improving

This claim could apply to medical negligence. If your situation gets worse following the actions or advice of a medical professional, you may be receiving negligent service.

“If you have suffered financial losses as a result of a professional’s negligence, experienced lawyers from Diamond and Diamond can act on your behalf to achieve a just outcome for you!”

Common Examples of Professional Negligence Claims

Generally, there are a multitude of examples of professional negligence. In these circumstances, an individual can obtain compensation for their losses. For your reference, the following are some common examples and instances of professional negligence.

  • An accountant giving poor financial advice which causes a client to miss out on certain tax reliefs and suffer large tax bills.
  • A conveyancer missing a crucial piece of information in the purchase of a property which significantly affects its value. 
  • A medical professional administering the wrong medication to an individual causing severe injury or even death.
  • An architect drawing up plans for a residential extension that does not comply with planning permission resulting in the client having to demolish and rebuild their extension.

The examples above can enable clients and potential clients of professionals to better understand the duties that are owed to them by those providing professional services, and to differentiate when these duties are being violated, and take appropriate steps to seek redress.

However, as there are so many situations in which professional negligence can occur, it is impossible to provide examples of all types of negligence. Expert assistance from experienced personal injury lawyers is needed to identify if a problem can constitute a claim for professional liability. 

Get the Help You Need With Experienced Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

A professional negligence case is complex and constantly changing, so don’t let just anyone deal with it. If you have suffered financial losses in Toronto or any city within Ontario due to negligence on a professional’s part, a seasoned Canadian law firm Diamond and Diamond can get the compensation you deserve for your losses. Call 1-800-567-HURT today for a free consultation!

pro tip icon

Pro Tip

“In order to succeed in a professional negligence claim, it is important that the case be handled correctly by a competent legal services team. Failure to handle it correctly could result in the rejection of your claim.”

Professional Negligence FAQs

How do I know whether I have a professional negligence claim?

You must look into the signs of professional negligence. But it’s not enough basis for an individual to claim. When considering if you have a claim, you must determine whether a professional owes you a duty of care, breaches that duty, and you have suffered loss as a direct result of that breach of duty.

How long do I have to bring a professional negligence claim?

Generally speaking, you need to bring a negligence case to court within six years of the date negligence occurred. However, you may be able to get a claim to court after six years if you have a tort claim or the negligence is recognised at a later date.

How long does a professional negligence claim take?

A negligence claim can take as much of your time as you need and it can take as little as a few weeks depending on the specifics of your case. Factors that can affect the time a negligence claim takes include the type of negligence claim, the impact the negligence had, and whether the claim sparks a dispute.

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