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Professional Negligence Law – 10 FAQ’s

1- What is the time limit to take a case of professional negligence?

A case for Medical Negligence / Medical Malpractice / Clinical Negligence must be taken within two years of the date on which the injury was sustained or from the date of knowledge that a breach in duty of care occurred. For other areas of professional negligence, the time limit is generally 6 years from the date of the incident or date of knowledge.

2- I think I have a case for professional negligence what should I do?

If you think you may have a case of professional negligence you should immediately contact a professional negligence solicitor for advice. We have many year’s of experience in the area. Failure to contact us immediately could result in you being prohibited from taking a professional negligence case due to the Statute of Limitations. We will review the details of your case with you and provide you with legal advice.

3- What is Professional Negligence

Professional negligence claims arise where you received negligent professional advice which has caused you to incur a monetary loss or a loss of opportunity.

4- What professionals can I claim against?

We at Berwick Solicitors LLP deal with cases against the following professionals:

  • Accountants
  • Tax advisors
  • Financial advisors
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Surveyors
  • Healthcare professionals

5- Why do I require an expert report for this type of case?

The High Court has made it very clear that before issuing proceedings for a professional negligence case, a report must first be obtained from an independent expert. This report will state if there is a probable case. Whilst this is an expense at the very beginning of the case, it does have the advantage of confirming whether or not you have a strong case. It is better to find out that you do not have a case at an early stage than to find out at a much later stage. We will provide you with further legal advice on this issue.

6- What does No Win no fee mean?

No-win-no-fee is a term that is used to describe how solicitors charge in litigation cases. Personal Injury Solicitors frequently offer a no-win-no-fee service to their clients. It means that unless you succeed in your case, you do not pay your Solicitor’s legal fees.Solicitors in Ireland are not permitted to include any words or phrases which suggest that legal services relating to a compensation claim will be provided on a no-win no fee basis. This is provided for in the Solicitors (Advertising) Regulations, 2002. Solicitors in Ireland are entitled however to offer a no-win-no-fee service in cases. It is important that before you engage your solicitor, that you query legal fees.

7- How long does it take for a professional negligence case to complete?

Every case differs but the general running time for a case is three to four years.

8- What am I entitled to claim for?

Generally, damages are assessed from the date of the breach. The general principle is that the claimant is put back to the position he/she would have been in had the professional not been negligent. The loss must have been caused as a direct result of the negligence and it must have been reasonably foreseeable.

9- Do I need to minimise my loss?

Yes. It is important to remember that you have a duty to mitigate your losses.  This means that you must take reasonable steps to minimise your loss and avoid steps that increase the loss. If you fail to mitigate your loss you are unable to recover damages for losses that could have been avoided by taking reasonable steps.

10- Will I need to attend court?

If your claim reaches trial, you will be required to attend court to provide evidence. However, the majority of professional negligence cases settle before trial (even after proceedings have been issued).