Claiming Compensation for Professional Negligence in the UK

In our everyday lives we come into contact with professionals all of the time -ranging from medical professionals like doctors or dentists to other professionals like surveyors or accountants. Most people working in these occupations are diligent at all times, but it is unfortunately a fact that sometimes things simply go wrong. When something does go wrong it’s often out of our hands, and impossible to rectify the situation at the time. After the event though there is always the possibility for claiming compensation if the negligence has caused us some sort of loss. But what exactly is professional negligence, what different types are there and what is the process for making a compensation claim?

Definition of Professional Negligence in the UK

Every professional negligence claim is different in terms of the situation, the type of profession and the client involved. There are however three key aspects which have to apply in each and every claim.

1. Duty Of Care – the first thing which has to be proved is that the professional involved had a duty of care to you as his client or patient. In the case of a negligent health care professional this is fairly obvious, but when it comes to dealing with others like accountants or lawyers, it may not be as clear cut. If you have directly instructed your surveyor, architect or lawyer, this can be used as proof that they had a duty of care to you.

2. Once duty of care has been established, you then have to prove that there has been a breach of that duty of care in some way.

3. It is also essential to prove that the breach of duty of care has caused you some sort of loss. This could be a financial loss, or another sort of loss as a consequence of medical injury or disease.

Different Kinds of Professional Negligence

There are many different events which could constitute professional negligence, but cases for compensation are more common in some professions than in others. Most claims come from the medical world, simply due to the hospital environment and the numerous things which can go wrong. Medical negligence is also sometimes called clinical negligence. Claims are also regularly made against solicitors misadvising their clients and architects making errors on building plans.

Getting the Right Legal Advice

It can be hard to trust another professional if you are considering taking on a claim against a member of the legal profession or a similar profession, so research is key when it comes to finding that specialist solicitor for advice and guidance through the claims process. Check out legal firms’ websites for details about the services they offer and their experience with similar claims and speak to them about their track record with similar claims. In particular are they members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association. Just remember that there are deadlines imposed on starting a professional negligence claim, so do not delay unnecessarily over your choice of specialist solicitor.

Tim Bishop is senior partner of solicitors Bonallack and Bishop. For more information about they can help you with claiming compensation for UK professional negligence, call them on 01722 422300 or visit their specialist websites at and

Tim Bishop
Having qualified as a Solicitor in 1986, Tim Bishop is a legal entrepreneur who owns leading law firm Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors. Find out why you should choose Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors: Visit
Tim Bishop
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