There are certain establishments, institutions and services out there that you grow up thinking are completely imperious in their nature – fonts of absolute knowledge that produce the right result no matter the circumstances. For the average person, this show of faith typically extends to professional services that cater to areas of expertise well beyond our own. Doctors, mechanics and lawyers are just a few examples that spring to mind.
In any process, though, no matter how technical or sophisticated, human error is still a very real issue, and even the smartest and best equipped professionals out there make mistakes from time to time. That means a top surgeon can get a medical procedure wrong, a mechanic can do a substandard job of fixing your car or a lawyer can miss a decisive element in a case. Especially where the latter is concerned, it can be difficult to know the next steps if you feel like you’ve been let down.
Indeed, solicitor negligence is a prime example of being betrayed by a service you trusted was there to protect you, but what does solicitor negligence actually mean and when do you have a case for it?
What is solicitor negligence?
In simple terms, solicitor negligence is when your solicitor fails to perform their duties to the professional standards required of them, resulting in loss or damages to you as their client. Solicitor negligence comes in many forms – you may have not received the settlement you deserved on a case because your lawyer bargained too low, or you may have a lost a case you should have won because your representation didn’t present your side effectively.
The idea of having someone as highly trained and skilled as a lawyer let you down might seem a little farfetched, but recently professional negligence solicitor claims have been on the increase. In the UK, standards of legal representation are monitored by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA), whose Solicitor’s Code of Conduct is the rule book that solicitors must adhere by.
If you think your legal representation isn’t up to SRA Code of Conduct standards, that’s where you may have a case to address, but knowing when a legal service is and isn’t up to scratch can be tough to figure out.
What reasons might you want to file a claim against a solicitor?
If you are let down by a solicitor, the end result of your case can naturally come with a lot of stress and upset, not to mention financial damages – and if you have suffered through no fault of your own, it makes complete sense to want to go after the result you deserve. The challenge for victims is understanding when a solicitor has been negligent.
Here are a few common examples why you might want to file a case against a solicitor:
- They missed key deadlines that disrupted your case
- They under settled on a claim
- They didn’t inform you as the client of key updates through the course of the process
- They provided flawed or substandard advice
- They produced errors in legal documentation
Those are a few key areas of concern, but even with them stated for you above, it’s tough to know what nuances do and don’t dictate negligence. The best advice would be, if you think you’ve been victim to one of the failures listed above or feel like any part of your service wasn’t up to scratch, speak to a negligence claims specialist, and they can advise on whether or not you have a viable case.