Negligence claims are difficult and complicated legal cases to prove, in part because there are varying degrees and different types of negligence defined in UK law.
If you feel that you could have been the victim of negligence, then it’s important to understand if your case is going to be one of professional or gross negligence.
In this article, the expert legal team at Wilson Browne explains the differences between professional negligence and gross negligence.
Is There a Difference Between Professional Negligence and Gross Negligence?
Negligence is broadly defined as a failure by an individual or organisation to take due care and responsibility for their actions or for someone under their care. There are however varying degrees of negligence and different forms of negligence.
The simplest form of negligence is defined as ‘ordinary negligence’, which occurs when a lack of care by one person results in damages or injury to another. Ordinary negligence can occur in everyday life, with examples including a driver ignoring a zebra crossing and causing an accident, or a cleaner failing to put out a wet floor sign whilst mopping.
However, incidents of negligence that result in harm can also be classed as professional negligence or, in serious cases, they could be considered to be gross negligence. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two in more detail.
What Is Gross Negligence?
Gross negligence is essentially an extreme form of ordinary negligence. Gross negligence may have occurred when a person suffers injury or damages due to extreme carelessness or gross disregard for safety by another person.
An example of gross negligence would include a driver not only ignoring a zebra crossing and causing an accident as a result of their carelessness, but the driver causing the accident as a result of speeding or driving dangerously.
Gross negligence claims can often be pursued if an individual has suffered injury or damages as a result of this extreme carelessness. If an incident of negligence is proven to be characterised as gross rather than simply ordinary, then financial claims and penalties may be higher.
What Is Professional Negligence?
Professional negligence is defined differently from ordinary or gross negligence, and that’s because it’s a very specific type of negligence. Professional negligence can only occur if a person has suffered damages, injury or financial loss as a direct result of malpractice on the part of a person they’ve employed or contracted to carry out work in a professional capacity.
Professional negligence may occur if a person working in a skilled, qualified and professional capacity – such as a solicitor, architect or financial advisor – is proven to have breached a duty of care or broken a contract, leading to damage or financial loss. It is imperative to be able to prove a causation between the negligence and the financial loss it has caused you. Here at Wilson Browne, we have worked with many expert surveyors and assessors in the past in establishing professional negligence.
Contact Wilson Browne Today for Expert Legal Advice on Negligence Claims
Incidents of gross and professional negligence are difficult and often complicated cases to prove, so it’s important that you seek professional advice from skilled lawyers before pursuing a claim.