You may be aware that you’re able to make a claim for compensation if you’re the unfortunate victim of medical negligence, but did you realise that you can contest the work of a number of other professional individuals? If you’ve had professional involvement in any aspect of your life which has resulted in damage to you, your family or your business, you may have the basis for a professional negligence claim in Australia.
Take a look at three considerations to bear in mind before deciding to go ahead with a professional negligence claim:
1. Accidents do happen
Unfortunately, there are many occasions where an unfortunate incident occurs which could not have been reasonably predicted or prevented by professional foresight.
The standard of care looks at whether a reasonable person would have done (or not done) the same thing in the same circumstances. While it can be tempting to blame, for example, an accountant if your business collapses, they may have acted appropriately in the circumstances and other, unexpected factors were to blame.
2. A successful professional negligence claim can’t turn back the clock
Although financial compensation is always welcome, it can’t undo the outcome that professional negligence has created. The legal process can be protracted as well as emotionally draining. A payout after legal proceedings is by no means a certainty.
If you decide to proceed, it’s wise to consult with a supportive, experienced lawyer who can provide the professional empathy and technical expertise that’s required.
3. Get legal advice as soon as possible
If you believe that a professional organisation or individual has been negligent in their dealings with you, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible after the event. Professional negligence is a complex legal area that requires considerable skill to negotiate successfully.
If you feel you have grounds to sue a professional for negligence, the first thing to do is book a consultation with a lawyer who specialises in professional negligence to obtain further information on:
- whether you have a basis for a legal claim,
- your options, and
- your likely chance of success.
Its important that you don’t delay as time limits apply to bringing a professional negligence claim. The sooner a lawyer can give you advice and/or start preparing your case, the more likely it is that you will be able to progress in the right direction.