Professional negligence is a breach of the duty of care between professionals and their clients. The duty of care is a common law arrangement where the client expects a level of professionalism and standards of care commonly held by those in the profession. Professional negligence is not a willful act, but an inadvertent act or act of omission to meet the obligation or duty of an individual’s profession. Professions which require certifications and/or licensing to become a professional in a particular industry possess a code of ethics and standards of care which the public relies upon in the engagement of professional services. The failure of a professional to meet the standards of their profession which are relied upon by a client may result in a professional negligence claim. The professional standard of care requires that a professional exercise the skill, care and diligence which may reasonably be expected of a person of ordinary competence, measured by the professional standard in existence at the time of the negligent act.
Professional negligence acts require the following components to have a meritorious claim:
- Professional owed the Claimant a “duty of care”, in other words, was obligated to act in a certain way toward another;
- Claimant must demonstrate that the professional breached the “duty of care” he owed the Claimant;
- Claimant must demonstrate that the professional’s breach of their duty of care caused damages;
- Claimant must prove and quantify what specific damages occurred.
Professional negligence (commonly referred to as “malpractice”) involves claims against professionals acting in various capacities on behalf of their clients, including:
- financial advisors;
- insurance agents; and
- general contractors.
Professional negligence occurs when individuals fail to live up to commonly-held professional standards in a manner that causes specific harm to clients of theirs. Professional negligence lawsuit involves legal elements similar to a simple negligence claim for damages. The differences between the two types of negligence claims comes from the technical nature of subject matter which generally requires expert testimony concerning a professional’s duty of care and causation related to professional’s action or inaction in a particular client matter.
Frequently, these claims relate to negligence or direct participation in Ponzi schemes and other financial wrongdoing or cases against third party professionals for their failure to conduct necessary due diligence, failure to reveal misconduct, and for breach of duty they owed their clients. Many of these cases involve misconduct in the offer and sale of securities or other investments, though the field of professional negligence stretches much broader than that.
The filing of a professional negligence claim is a time-sensitive matter which requires immediate consultation with an experienced legal team. Silver Law Group has years of experience representing clients in cases involving professional negligence. With the experience of past representations comes our ability to represent clients holding accountable professionals who have failed to satisfy the standards that govern their respective professions and have done harm to our clients.