One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, ‘How much compensation can I claim for professional negligence?’
In most instances it is pretty straightforward to identify the amount of compensation that is likely to be recovered in a successful professional negligence claim. The calculation is primarily based on the financial loss that has flowed directly from the actions of the wrongdoer.
So, if for example a solicitor misses an important time limit and your case is struck out as a consequence, then you will claim compensation for the financial losses you have incurred as a direct result of the solicitor’s carelessness. This will usually be the value of the case that has been lost, together with any wasted legal costs.
But sometimes, the compensation people want to claim can give rise to more difficult legal issues. Under English law for instance, compensation cannot be claimed for loss that is deemed to be too ‘remote’ from the error or not ‘reasonably foreseeable’.
If you are left wondering, ‘How much compensation can I claim for professional negligence?’, then you are very welcome to call our free legal helpline. Our specialist professional negligence solicitors will be happy to give you guidance on the compensation that can be claimed in a particular scenario. While it is not always possible to identify a precise figure right at the outset, it is usually possible to establish the basic legal principles that will apply and use them to offer an informed estimation of what the compensation is likely to be.
The principles of ‘remoteness’ and ‘reasonable foreseeability’ can give rise to very complex legal disputes. It can be difficult for someone who is not legally trained to appreciate the nuances. Indeed, even some solicitors struggle with the concepts. In the remaining part of this article we will look in greater detail at the difficulties that can arise, with particular emphasis on a recent court decision that is set to impact directly when anyone asks, ‘How much compensation can I claim for professional negligence?’
At the heart of many disputes over the level of compensation that can be recovered is the “SAAMCO” principle, named after a 1996 case which said that:
“a person under a duty to take reasonable care to provide information on which someone else will decide upon a course of action is, if negligent, not generally regarded as responsible for all the consequences of that course of action. He is responsible only for the consequences of the information being wrong.”