It is said if you want a job done right, then hire the right people. Therefore, you hire professionals to complete specialised work, at your request. This includes advice. In essence, you hire a professional for their expertise and knowledge and trust that their advice benefits your personal or professional life. You would expect them to act with reasonable care and utilise their skills when working with you.
But what happens if these professionals get it wrong causing loss or damage to you? What happens if their poor advice costs you money or results in lost business opportunities?
What is professional negligence?
When you engage the services of a professional, like a real estate agent, mortgage broker, financial advisor, engineer, insurance agent or legal adviser, you expect a certain level of knowledge, expertise and service. If you feel you have received misleading advice, bad financial recommendations, severe accounting errors or incorrect property valuation from someone holding themselves out as an expert, then this is considered Professional Negligence.
You hire a Financial Planner, at considerable cost to you or your company, to advise you on how to invest your money for a positive return on investment.
If this planner has a conflict of interest with their advice, such as they will make a profit from your investment and therefore are not giving you true independent advice, this could be considered as professional negligence.
If you suffer a loss in this investment because of this planner’s advice, then you may be able to sue this Financial Planner for compensation.
How can I prove professional negligence?
In order to establish negligence, you must be able to prove four “elements”:
- a duty
- a breach of that duty
- causation and
- loss or damage
From your information and available evidence, we put together the strongest claim possible and negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best possible settlement or, if a settlement is not achieved, represent you in court proceedings.
With expert lawyers by your side, you are able to focus on getting your life or business back on track.
Who can I trust?
If you have lost a lot of money due to professional negligence, you can feel the emotions of anger and resentment. We understand that you have worked hard and saved even harder just to have it all mismanaged or lost due to bad advice.
Having an independent person in your corner, without the immediate emotional connection, is the best way to fight for what is right.
What is Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Most professional advisors, such as lawyers and financial advisors, need to have Professional Indemnity Insurance to practice. It is something they pay for each year specifically for this type of claim.
When you purchase a car, you buy insurance to cover you in case you have an accident which is your fault and causes damage to another vehicle. Your insurances pays any damages on your behalf.
This is the same for professional advisers.
Lawyers, Accountants, Mortgage Brokers, Real Estate Agents and Marketing Professionals are just some of the professions that should, or often do, have Professional Indemnity Insurance , which means if anything goes wrong in their profession, their insurance pays.
Why do I need a lawyer to sue for Professional Negligence? Why not just go to the Insurance Companies?
An insurance company will try to snow you under with delays and paperwork and try very hard not to pay your claim. They, after all, are a business and could not be expected to accept every claim put to them.
Often people misunderstand the advice they have been given, which leads to the situation where they are suing for Professional Negligence. As your representative, we would examine the terms and conditions along with other paperwork to determine if a duty of care has been breached.
A significant of Professional Negligence claims tend not to proceed due to a misunderstanding of the terms and conditions under which the advice or professional services were provided.
However, for those who do have a legitimate claim, we have the expertise to approach the insurance companies and speak their language to gain better, quicker results.
Our experienced lawyers provide comprehensive and practical advice on how to move forward with your claim.
Is there a time limit to lodge a complaint?
If you feel you have suffered from professional negligence, it is imperative to take action as soon as you can. Time limits for making claims apply and you may lose your right to make a claim if you do not file your claim in time.
For professional negligence, there is a limitation period, which starts from when the damage was suffered. You generally have between 3-6 years from the initial incident to lodge a claim, but this is dependent on each state’s legislation.
Mackinnon Jacobs Lawyers are experienced in developing a course of action to receive the highest potential return. Taking quick action with a team of professionals ensures you receive your end result in a quicker timeframe.
If would like our lawyers to provide you with personal, tailored advice, contact us here.
Would you like to know more?Contact our litigation expert Richard Kent on 1300 424 452 to receive personalised advice about your case.