This guide looks at who could start a claim against a solicitor for professional negligence. We will explore the duty of care medical negligence or personal injury solicitors owe when providing legal services and how a failure to uphold that duty can have a detrimental impact on your initial claim.
In this guide, you will find examples of how professional negligence can take place, and how a solicitor’s negligent actions can have adverse consequences for your medical negligence or personal injury claim. We also explore how compensation awarded following successful legal action for professional negligence is calculated.
We have concluded with an overview of the No Win No Fee contract our solicitors can offer and what advantages you can enjoy from working with us on your claim.
Contact our dedicated team of advisors for a free consultation regarding the validity of your potential claim. You can speak to a member of the team using the following contact details:
- Call on 0800 073 8801.
- Use the live chat box on this webpage.
- Complete our online “Contact Us” form here.
Select A Section
- What Is A Claim Against A Solicitor For Professional Negligence?
- Do I Need Expert Evidence To Prove My Claim?
- Common Examples Of Professional Negligence By Solicitors
- How Much Are Claims Against A Personal Injury Solicitor For Professional Negligence Worth?
- How To Make A No Win No Fee Claim Against A Solicitor For Professional Negligence
- Speak To Our Specialist Claims Team Today
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulator for solicitors and law firms in England and Wales, requires solicitors to meet high standards. Solicitors have a duty to not fall below an expected standard when providing their clients with legal services.
The eligibility criteria to start a professional negligence claim against the solicitor who handled your personal injury claim are as follows:
- The solicitor owed a duty of care to provide legal services at the expected standard to you.
- There was a breach of this duty by the solicitor through failing to meet the expected standard of service.
- You experienced a loss of chance because of the breach.
A loss of chance refers to you losing the opportunity to pursue the claim, either in whole or in part. In order to begin a claim against a solicitor for professional negligence, it needs to be demonstrated that you would not have experienced this loss had you received the correct standard of service during your initial claim.
Check The Time Limit For Starting A Claim Against A Solicitor For Professional Negligence
The time limit for a professional negligence claim is, in most cases, 6 years. Any legal proceedings for professional negligence should start within 6 years of the negligent action.
For further advice on the time limitation period speak to our advisors via any of the contact details given at the top of this guide.
Your professional negligence claim will need to be supported by evidence. Below we have provided some examples of evidence that could be used to support your claim, but you will also need to show that on the balance of probabilities, your initial personal injury claim would have been successful had your solicitor not committed the negligent action.
Possible evidence you could collect in support of your claim.
- The letter or email from your solicitor detailing why your claim ended.
- Correspondence between you and your solicitor concerning the original claim.
- The case file from the original claim could help show where the negligent action occurred.
To get further guidance regarding supporting evidence, talk to our team today. You can reach our dedicated advisors using any of the contacts provided above.
Below we have provided some examples of scenarios where a solicitor could breach their duty of care, and cause you to experience a loss of chance.
Can You Claim For An Under-Settled Personal Injury Claim?
An “under-settlement” means you received less compensation than you were entitled to. This can occur, for example, if your solicitor fails to include certain injuries in the compensation calculations despite having the correct medical evidence showing what harm you experienced.
Can You Claim For A Missed Limitation Date?
Personal injury claims must be brought within the relevant time limitation period. In most cases, this is 3 years from the date the accident occurred, as per the Limitation Act 1980. Your solicitor failing to begin your claim within this period can lead to your claim being “statute-barred.” What this means is you are barred from bringing your claim as the time limit has expired.
Losing the chance to be awarded compensation for your injuries because your solicitor did not adhere to the limitation period could constitute professional negligence.
Can You Claim If A Court Struck Your Case Out Due To Solicitors Negligence?
A court has the right to “strike out” a claim either in part or in its entirety. What this means is your claim is ejected from the court, and you can no longer pursue the case. This can occur if your solicitor:
- Does not abide by court deadlines or instructions.
- Has failed to acquire sufficient evidence to support your claim and is therefore making an unsubstantiated claim in the court.
Claims that have been struck out in full can no longer be pursued. You could continue with the rest of your claim if only part of it has been struck out. Having a claim struck out due to your solicitor’s negligent action could be an example of professional negligence.
To get further information on what constitutes professional negligence, contact our advisors using the details above. You can also see our professional negligence FAQ here.
The aim of a claim against a medical negligence or personal injury solicitor for professional negligence is to put you in the position you would have been in had the negligence not occurred. What this means is you could receive compensation under the two heads of claim, general and special damages, as would have occurred had your initial claim succeeded.
The pain and suffering caused by your injuries will be awarded under general damages. To create the below table, we have taken figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This document contains the guideline award brackets for a variety of different injuries.
Compensation for professional negligence claims may also include interest at 8% per annum to account for the interest that would have been accrued had your initial personal injury claim been successful.
Please be aware that this table has been included to offer guidance only as compensation is calculated case-by-case
|£219,070 to £284,260
|Lower body paralysis. Level of award will depend on factors such as pain level and independence.
|£90,720 to £150,110
|Cases involving moderate to modest intellectual deficit, significantly reduced work capacity and some risk of epilepsy.
|Total Loss of Hearing in One Ear (c)
|£31,310 to £45,540
|Awards at the top end of this bracket will include problems such as dizziness, headaches and tinnitus.
|Traumatic Injury (a)(i)
|£43,010 to £61,910
|Severe damage and continuing discomfort.
|Loss of spleen (a)
|£20,800 to £26,290
|Continuing risk of infection due to compromised immune system.
|£7,890 to £12,770
|Frozen shoulder with discomfort and limited movement persisting for around two years.
|Pelvis and Hips
|£78,400 to £130,930
|Extensive pelvic fractures, and dislocation of a low back joint. Substantial residual disability will be present.
|Permanent and Substantial Disablement (b)
|£39,170 to £59,860
|Cases involving serious fractures to one or both forearms causing significant permanent disability.
|Amputation of One Leg (a)(iii)
|£104,830 to £137,470
|Award will be dependent on whether prosthesis was successful, presence and severity of phantom pain and any side effects in the remaining joints.
|Moderate or Minor (c)
|Up to £12,590
|Simple fractures, tennis elbow syndrome, and lacerations
You could also receive compensation under the second head of claim, special damages, for any financial losses that you experience due to your injuries. This can include any lost income, as well as the costs for any in-home support or care.
Make sure you retain copies of any receipts, invoices and payslips for example as evidence you experienced financial losses as a result of your injuries.
Our advisors can assess the validity of your potential claim against a solicitor for professional negligence free of charge. After our team has completed their assessment, and decided you have valid grounds to bring the claim, one of our specialist solicitors could then take your case under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), a type of No Win No Fee contract.
By beginning your claim with us under a CFA, you will enjoy a number of key benefits. Generally, you will not have to pay a fee upfront for the solicitor to begin working on your claim nor accrue fees during the claims process itself. There will likewise not be a fee for the services of the solicitor in the event your claim is unsuccessful.
You will receive a compensation award upon the success of your professional negligence claim. Your solicitor will take a small percentage of this compensation. This is called the success fee. There is a legally binding cap so you will keep most of any compensation you receive.
Contact our advisors for a free assessment of your potential claim. Our team can also provide further guidance and advice regarding the claims process. You can speak to a member of the team using the following contact details:
- Call on 0800 073 8801.
- Use our live chat box for a quick response to your queries.
- Fill in our “Contact Us” form online.
Discover More About Starting A Claim Against a Solicitor For Professional Negligence
Have a look at some of our guides on other types of claims:
- Learn more about making a claim following a data breach that affected sensitive information.
- Read more about making a serious injury claim after an accident at work.
- Find out when you could make a complaint about misdiagnosis.
Other resources you may find helpful:
- The Law Society has prepared this resource on professional indemnity insurance.
- Read through the SRA’s principles here.
- The Legal Ombudsmen handle complaints against the conduct of legal professionals.
We’d like to thank you for reading our guide on when you could be eligible to claim against a solicitor for professional negligence. For further guidance or a cost-free, zero-obligation assessment of your particular circumstances, speak to our advisors. You can reach our team via any of the contact details given above.