Professional negligence occurs when there is a breach of the duty of care between a professional and their client. The duty of care is an arrangement where the client expects a level of professionalism and service that is commonly expected by the profession. One of the most common forms of professional negligence is medical malpractice. This happens when a patient expects their doctor to adhere to certain standards of care, but the physician fails to do so. In this blog, we explain how to establish a professional negligence claim.
Duty of Care
Duty of care protects individuals from others who partake in activities that can cause harm if proper precautions are not taken. This can range from operating a delivery truck to performing life altering surgery. Duty of care also covers situations where individuals suffer economic or emotional damage due to someone’s poor professional advice or conduct. Manufacturers of products and goods have a duty of care to their consumers. This is because consumers generally assume that the products they purchase are safe and adhere to regulatory standards.
To establish a professional negligence claim, you must prove that:
- The standard of work provided and advice given fell below the standard of a reasonably competent professional in the same or similar field
- Financial or emotional loss occurred as a direct result of the professional’s negligent actions or failure to act
- If proper advice had been given you would have rejected the offer
Any instance where a client is reliant on a professional to fulfill their duty of care can be a form of professional negligence, if there is a glaring breach of conduct. For example, a professional who provides poor investing advice while breaching their duty of care to the client can be sued for financial damages.
Need legal assistance with your professional negligence claim? Contact our San Francisco team of professional negligence attorneys to get started on your case today.