The construction industry has a duty of care towards its clients.
Anyone working on building projects – whether the lead architect or a construction site manager – is responsible for ensuring that work is completed safely and to a high professional standard.
Things can go wrong, but if a duty of care has been breached due to negligence on the part of a construction industry professional, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
In this article, the legal experts at Wilson Browne explain when construction industry professionals can be pursued for professional negligence.
What Is Professional Negligence in the Construction Industry?
Professional negligence can occur in the construction industry when a qualified, certified or skilled individual or organisation has breached their duty of care towards a client. A breach of care can involve a professional breaking a contract, ignoring health and safety laws, or failing to carry out work to a high standard. Professional negligence in the construction industry may be seen in the initial design stage of a building project, right through to the building work itself.
If a client suffers injuries, damages or financial loss as a direct result of professional negligence, they may be within their rights to pursue a claim of professional negligence in order to gain compensation. For this claim to be successful, there are four elements that must be proven:
- That a professional in the construction industry had a duty of care towards their client
- That the professional breached that duty of care
- That the client suffered damages or financial loss
- That those damages were the direct result of negligence on the part of the construction industry professional
Who Can Be Liable for Professional Negligence in the Construction Industry?
The construction industry has many different professionals working within it, all of whom could be held accountable for negligence. These include:
- Project managers
Cases of professional negligence in the construction industry can be difficult to prove, and that’s largely down to the complexity of a building project. The main issue faced by a legal team is deciding who to pursue a claim against, as it’s not often clear who’s directly responsible when something goes wrong.
For example, if a new-build home is sold to a buyer who later discovers that the brickwork is faulty, they could attempt to pursue a claim of professional negligence in order to cover the costs they’ve incurred to fix the problem and any loss in market value that results.
However, while it might seem at first glance that the bricklayer was at fault, the reality is that any construction professional may themselves be a client of another professional. The bricklayer may have been contracted by a construction company, and the fault may instead lie with the project manager overseeing the work. If the construction workers followed the architectural plans correctly, then the professional negligence claim may need to be made against the surveyors or the architect.
For this reason, it’s essential that you seek expert legal advice before attempting to make a professional negligence claim against a construction industry professional.
Contact Wilson Browne for expert legal advice on professional negligence in the construction industry.
Incidents of professional negligence in the construction industry should always be taken seriously, but it’s important that you seek professional advice from skilled lawyers before pursuing a claim.