Claims & Legislation
Legislation regarding professional negligence also extends to situations where the professional fails to act and their advice or omission causes the person to suffer injury or damage.
Professional Negligence claims can be extremely complex and are usually defended vigorously as they can affect reputations and have ongoing repercussions for those affected. Occasionally, a professional negligence claim incorrectly lodged can result in retaliatory action by the professional. It is therefore particularly important to engage lawyers who are experienced with professional negligence and know when and how to act.
All professionals require Professional Indemnity Insurance so matters are usually managed by the Insurance company who will be expected to indemnify their insured. However, if the professional has acted outside the scope of their professional duty or their behaviour approaches criminality, it is likely that the insurers will refuse to cover them. Again, this is a matter that should be discussed with the experienced team at AC Lawyers.
As is the case with most areas of compensation law, time limits apply so it is important that you contact us promptly for advice.
AC Lawyers have vast experience acting for clients who have suffered as a result of inappropriate or negligent advice. Call us to discuss your matter today.
Establishment of Professional Negligence
In order for a professional negligence claim to be successful, the following conditions must be established:
- the professional owed their clients a duty to act with reasonable care and skill.
- there has been a breach of that duty of care; the professional has failed to exercise a reasonable degree of skill and care for someone in their position.
- the person has suffered an injury or damage as a result of the breach of duty by the professional
In assessing whether the above provisions are met, the Court must consider peer professional opinion in determining whether the professional in question did indeed fail in their duty of care.
Professionals have different duties of care and the standard which they must meet changes depending on their occupation and level of expertise. The Court will also consider the proximity between you and the professional.
Who is Responsible?
People who identify as professionals and proclaim skills or expertise in a specific area come from many occupations, including legal practitioners, doctors, engineers, advertising agents, architects, builders, surveyors, real estate agents, veterinarians, trustees, and are considered “professionals” by the courts. These people owe their customers and clients a duty to act in accordance with certain principles which requires that they act in a manner that is widely accepted as competent professional practice.
Claims can arise as a result of misleading professional advice, errors in accounting or financial planning, misrepresentation by real estate agents, and engineering errors. This list is not definitive and as usual, we recommend you seek expert advice from a lawyer to ensure you have the best advice.
Professional Negligence covers a wide range of circumstances, however, commonly the aggrieved party is left in a difficult financial situation. At AC Lawyers, we understand how hard Australian people work to pay their bills and create assets they and their loved ones can enjoy.
If you have lost your nest egg or found yourself on uncertain footing financially due to the negligent advice of a financial planner or accountant, we can help you put the pieces of your life back together.
This area of law also covers professional negligence that results in injury to person or damage to property. For example, if you have purchased an item which breaks as it is being operated and causes injury, the injured party may have a claim against the manufacturer. This can extend out to include manufacturers of individual parts which may have malfunctioned and their insurers. Needless to say, professional negligence claims can lead to complex and multi-faceted proceedings which can only be competently handled by experienced lawyers.