This guide looks at who could start a claim against a personal injury solicitor for professional negligence. You will find information on the duty of care solicitors owe to their clients and how a failure to uphold that duty could have an impact on your initial personal injury claim.
We have included details on how professional negligence can take place, and how a solicitor’s negligent actions can have adverse consequences for your claim. Also in this guide is information on the potential compensation that could awarded following successful legal action for professional negligence.
We have concluded with an overview of the No Win No Fee contract our solicitors can offer and what advantages you can enjoy from working with us on your claim.
Contact our dedicated team of advisors for a free consultation regarding the validity of your potential claim. You can speak to a member of the team using the following contact details:
- Call the team on 0800 408 7826.
- Complete our “Contact Us” form here.
- Get a quick response to your questions with the live chat button.
Browse Our Guide
- What Is Professional Negligence?
- When Am I Eligible To Sue A Personal Injury Solicitor For Professional Negligence?
- What Are Examples Of Solicitor Professional Negligence?
- How Much Compensation For Personal Injury Solicitors Negligence?
- How Do I Find The Right Professional Negligence Solicitor For Me?
- Why Claim Against A Solicitor For Professional Negligence On A No Win No Fee Basis?
- Read More About Claiming Against Solicitors For Professional Negligence
Personal injury solicitors, as well as other professionals, owe their clients a duty of care. They must provide services of reasonable skill and care. If they fail to do so, it could lead to you experiencing a loss. This could constitute professional negligence, for which you might be eligible to claim.
Is There a Time Limit When Making A Claim Against a Solicitor For Professional Negligence?
Professional negligence claims are generally subject to a time limit of 6 years. This means that in most circumstances, the claims process for professional negligence must begin within 6 years of the negligent action.
Our team of advisors can provide further guidance on professional negligence and advice on the time limit. To ask any questions or to get a cost-free assessment of your potential claim, speak to an advisor today using the contact information above.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the professional regulator for solicitors and law firms in England and Wales, imposes strict standards on both legal training and accreditation. Solicitors are expected to meet the standards set out in the SRA Code of Conduct when providing legal services to their clients. If they fail to do so, you could make a complaint to the SRA. However, it doesn’t always constitute professional negligence and you might not always be eligible to claim against your solicitor.
To begin a claim against a personal injury solicitor for professional negligence, you will need to demonstrate the following:
- The solicitor owed a duty of care to provide their services at the correct standard to you.
- The solicitor breached this duty through their failure to meet this standard.
- Because of this breach, you experienced a loss of chance.
A loss of chance means you lost the opportunity to pursue your initial personal injury claim or part of it, because of the negligent action. It needs to be demonstrated that you would not have experienced this loss had the solicitor provided their services at the correct standard.
There are a number of different circumstances that could give rise to a claim against a personal injury solicitor for professional negligence. We have given some example scenarios here:
- Under-settlement: This is where you receive less compensation than you were entitled to. Your claim could be under-settled if your solicitor failed to take your loss of earnings into consideration when calculating the value of your claim, despite being given evidence of this loss.
- Strike-out: A strike-out is where a claim, or part of a claim, is struck out from the court. This can occur when your solicitor has failed to adhere to court instructions or deadlines or failed to acquire supporting evidence and is therefore making unsubstantiated claims to the court.
- Missing the time limit: Per the Limitation Act 1980, the time limit for starting a personal injury claim is generally 3 years from the accident date. A failure to bring your claim within the relevant time limit by your solicitor could cause your claim to be “statute-barred.” What this means is that you legally can longer pursue your personal injury claim as the time limit has elapsed, regardless of that claim’s validity.
It is worth pointing out that in order to begin a professional negligence claim, you need to have experienced a loss of chance. While you may be dissatisfied with the level of service you have received, this in itself does not equate to professional negligence. Our advisors can offer further advice regarding your particular circumstances as well as assess the validity of a potential claim free of charge. Contact our dedicated team using the details provided below.
The aim of compensation awards in professional negligence claims is to return you to the position you would have been in had the solicitor’s negligent action not occurred. What this means is, that you could be awarded the personal injury compensation you would have received had the initial claim been successful.
There are two heads of claim that are therefore relevant. The first, known as general damages, awards for the physical and psychiatric impact of your injuries. In order to assist in the calculation of your potential compensation, solicitors can refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This publication details a variety of different injuries alongside their guideline award brackets. We have taken a selection of these brackets for use in the table below.
It is important we emphasise that the values listed in this table have been provided as guidance only. As claims are assessed on their individual facts, we cannot guarantee compensation amounts.
|£150,110 to £219,070
|Moderate to severe intellectual deficit, personality change, effect on the sense and significant epilepsy risk.
|Established Grand Mal
|£102,000 to £150,110
|Award will depend on the effects on work and social life, the effectiveness of medication and associated behavioural problems.
|Below-elbow Amputation of One Arm (b)(iii)
|£96,160 to £109,650
|Award within bracket will depend on the extent of residual and phantom pains.
|Traumatic injury (b)
|£65,740 to £100,670
|Injuries to chest, lung(s) and/or heart causing functional impairment, significant scarring and reduced life expectancy.
|£45,470 to £55,990
|Fractures, dislocations or severe soft tissue damage leading to chronic conditions and severe permanent disability.
|Complete loss of sight in one eye (e)
|£49,270 to £54,830
|Cases involving total sight loss in one eye with some risk of sympathetic ophthalmia.
|Hearing loss in one ear(c)
|£31,310 to £45,540
|Award will depend on the presence of tinnitus, headaches or dizziness.
|Pelvis and Hips
|Moderate (b) (i)
|£26,590 to £39,170
|Significant injury but no major permanent disability or great risk of future disability.
|Less severe (c)
|£19,200 to £39,170
|Significant disability will be present but a substantial degree of recovery will have taken place.
|£12,770 to £19,200
|Dislocation of shoulder and lower brachial plexus damage causing weakness of grip, aching in the elbow and sensory symptoms in the forearm.
Can My Financial Losses Be Compensated In A Professional Negligence Claim?
The second of the two heads of claim that can comprise a compensation payout is called special damages. Costs incurred from your injuries can be reimbursed under special damages, some possible examples are:
- Lost income.
- The cost of transport to and from work.
- Domestic care costs.
- The cost of adaptations to the home.
You will need to provide supporting evidence in order to claim special damages. Retain copies of your payslips, receipts, invoices, and other bills as proof of financial losses. For a more detailed estimate of the value of your potential claim, speak to one of our advisors today.
Choosing the right solicitor for you is an important decision. You do not have to procure the services of a local solicitor, what matters is finding the right legal representation for you. We have prepared some questions you should consider when choosing a solicitor:
- Does this solicitor have relevant experience handling professional negligence claims?
- What is their law firm’s reputation? Do they have positive reviews?
- Are the solicitors hardworking professionals that will handle my claim at the correct standard?
Our panel of solicitors have multiple years of experience across a number of areas, including professional negligence. To find out more about the services they provide, as well as whether you are eligible to claim with us, call our team today.
Speak to our advisors today for a zero-obligation assessment of your particular circumstances. A solicitor from our panel of could take your claim under a No Win No Fee contract called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) if our team decide you meet the criteria to move forward.
By beginning your potential claim for professional negligence under a CFA with us, you will not pay any fees upfront for the solicitor to start working on your claim in most cases. You will also not incur fees as this work progresses during the claims process itself. There will be no fees for any work completed by your solicitor following an unsuccessful claim.
The solicitor will subtract a percentage amount from the awarded compensation upon the success of your claim. This is called a success fee. Success fee percentages are capped by law. Therefore, you will keep most of any awarded compensation.
Our team of experienced advisors can assess the validity of your potential claim free of charge. Get in touch via the following contact details:
- Call the team on 0800 408 7826
- Complete our “Contact Us” form here
- Use the live chat for a quick response to your questions
External resources you may find useful:
- Find out how you can complain to the SRA regarding a solicitor’s conduct here.
- See the Pre-Action Protocol for Professional Negligence from the Ministry of Justice here.
- The Law Society has published this resource on Professional Indemnity Insurance.
We also offer guides on personal injury claims:
- Find out how much compensation for a broken forearm you could receive when making a successful personal injury claim.
- Learn how to make a hand injury claim.
- Discover when you could make an injury at work claim.
Thank you for reading our solicitor professional negligence FAQ guide. We hope we’ve provided a good overview of this type of claim. Our team can answer any of your questions, as well as offer a cost-free assessment of your specific circumstances. You can speak to our advisors via the contact details given above.