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Compensation for Professional Negligence

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

You can make a claim for damages for professional negligence when a professional fails to carry out their duties to a reasonable standard of skill and care.

Professional negligence compensation varies according to the nature of your claim and the extent of loss or damage you have experienced.

How to Claim Compensation for Professional Negligence

The first step in making a claim for professional negligence is working out whether or not you meet the required criteria.

The three criteria to be satisfied are as follows:-

  • The professional owed you a duty of care
  • This duty of care was breached by the professional
  • You suffered injury or loss as a consequence (loss includes both financial loss and loss of opportunity).

Professionals are those individuals that have expertise in a specific area or industry. They include solicitors, financial advisers, architects, teachers, surveyors and many more. Consequently, the range of circumstances where professional negligence may apply is varied.

To prove your claim against a professional, you will need to show that he/she fell below a reasonable standard of care owed to you and that no other reasonable professional, with the same knowledge and skills, would have done as they did in equivalent circumstances.

This is a complex and specialist area of law requiring expert guidance and support. However, just because it is complex does not prevent claimants from pursuing professional negligence claims successfully.

Check out our guide to professional negligence for more details

What Damages are Available in Negligence Claims?

There are general principles of compensation that apply to professional negligence claims. Essentially, the ultimate aim of compensation or damages awarded is to put the claimant back in the position he/she would have been in had the loss (as a result of the professional’s negligence) not occurred.

Various legal rules and principles apply to keep the award of damages reasonable.

Not all financial losses are recoverable as compensation. In some situations, there may be uncertainties regarding how much damages to award. Generally, any loss or damages recoverable will need to have been caused by the professional’s mistake.

Compensation can cover, but is not limited to, the following:-

  • Loss of chance – where the actions of the professional have prevented the claimant from securing a financial gain
  • Reduction in value – where there has been a loss to the value of a property due to the actions of, for example, a surveyor
  • Wasted expenditure – such as a transaction that has been disastrous for the claimant due to professional negligence
  • Additional legal costs – claimants may have found themselves involved in costly litigation due to poor professional advice.

In professional negligence claims, the defendant is only liable for the loss that can be attributed to the failure that made them negligent. If the loss would have occurred in any event, the professional cannot be held responsible for it and damages will not be recoverable.

Some claims will involve personal injury and the calculation of damages will reflect things such as permanent injury, disfigurement, psychological trauma, anxiety, depression or loss of enjoyment of life.

For more information about making professional negligence claims and what you can claim damages for, please call us on 0800 088 6004, or complete our online contact form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Hannah Bayliss


Hannah Bayliss

Trainee Solicitor

Hannah is a Trainee Solicitor in the Commercial Property team in our Corby office. She previously gained experience working in the Commercial Litigation team and also during her University Placement in the Clinical Negligence team as a Paralegal.