What are the general principles of compensations?
An award of compensation aims not to punish the professional individual involved but to compensate the injured or affected party which is the client. The courts of different states established various legal rules and principles over the years to ensure that the compensation awarded to the clients, and the corresponding financial exposure of any professional involved is being kept within sensible bounds. Although these are being considered complicated, not only for both parties but also application, note that:
- Not all the loss stated financial will get recovered as compensation for professional negligence;
- There could be an element of uncertainty in some cases to both the type and amount of compensation that the court will award in a successful claim for professional negligence; and
- A claim needs to fall within the scope of the professional’s retainer and caused by the mistake made by the professional to be able to recover any loss or damage as compensation for professional negligence.
Listed below are common categories of loss and damage that the courts awarded in claims for compensation for professional negligence.
- Compensation for loss of chance – This is most common in claims for professional negligence as they arise where the injured party has, through the mistake of a professional individual, prevented from securing a financial gain which is contingent upon the actions of a third party involved in the negligence. Although these claims are most of the time successful, the court will award as damages such as percentage of the loss suffered as reflects the chance that the injured party or the claimant otherwise had of securing the gain.
- Compensation for diminution in value – Professional negligence claims against surveyors receives damage awards for a reduction in the value of the property. The court in this area will award as damages the difference between the price paid for the property and its actual market value taking into account the defects which the professional claimed to be negligent failed to identify.
- Compensation for wasted expenditure – The assessment of loss in claims against solicitors can be less predictable than in the case of claims against surveyors. There are some scenarios wherein a party extricates itself from a disastrous transaction brought about by professional negligence, then the court may award as damages the reasonable costs caused by a party in both entering and leaving such a transaction.
- Compensation for extra legal costs – A client claiming may find themselves embroiled in litigation with another party as a consequence of a mistake made by a professional that caused the negligence in an event. The client may embark on litigation again the other party involved in the negligence to mitigate the losses that he or she would otherwise incur. More costs incurred in either case may then get awarded as damages against the negligent professional.
The compensations stated above are only a few of all the compensations that a claimant may raise in professional negligence claims. Some of the losses get recovered through an immediate response yet others may not resulting in double recovery. Should you have encountered professional negligence, a professional negligence specialist can act to resolve your claims against a professional.