When you are the victim of professional negligence, the idea of hiring professional negligence lawyers can feel one more overwhelming thing to do while dealing with an already stressful situation. In reality, professional negligence lawyers can help clients more easily overcome the obstacles that are between you and your ability to make things right.
Ross Sears, Clay Crawford and their conscientious team of professional negligence lawyers and staff at Sears & Crawford know how to aggressively pursue negligent professionals to the full extent of the law. We help our clients submit legal claims, seek justice, and obtain compensation from professionals whose actions caused them harm.
Learn more about why and how we sue lawyers, doctors, architects, accountants, and other professionals, then call us at 713-223-3333 to set up a FREE consultation today.
What is professional negligence?
When someone has been designated a professional, the people who enlist their services make the reasonable assumption that the person they’re hiring has mastery over their profession and will act in a trustworthy and accountable manner.
There are good reasons for this. Most professionals make sacrifices to achieve their professional status; they undergo a significant amount of schooling and training and work hard to become accredited and earn a good reputation. The result? Because of their specialized knowledge and the fact that the average citizen cannot do what a professional does, and earns them a respected and trusted place in the community.
When professional negligence occurs, that respect and trust is violated, and the result is harm. In professional negligence cases, this harm is typically a personal injury and financial harm, but may also extend to one’s reputation or property.
How do you prove professional negligence?
There are essentially three standard elements involved in proving that professional negligence occurred. Your professional negligence lawyers will be familiar with these steps and will know what evidence should be gathered to prove that professional negligence occurred.
- That the defendant owed you a duty: You hired the professional in question and they agreed to render services to you. Contracts are the typical primary evidence that a relationship between you and the defending professional was established.
- That the defendant breached said duty: To breach a duty in these cases is to fail to perform actions promised in your agreement, including but not limited to negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud, and more.
- That the breach of duty caused harm. Your professional negligence lawyer will need to prove that the professional’s breach of duty, and not some other cause, is what caused you harm.
Central to all of the above elements is the idea of duty of care/standard of care. Legally, professionals are viewed as owing a standard duty of care to their clients and customers. To establish what is standard, it is expected that, under the same set of circumstances, one professional will act similarly to other prudent professionals in their same line of work under the same or similar circumstances. When a professional’s actions and standards of care vary significantly from what another professional would do and that deviation from the standard causes harm, this can give rise to a cause of action against the professional.
This idea is what we point to when clients ask, “What is the difference between negligence and professional negligence?” When an act of negligence that’s related to someone’s professional duty occurs, the actions of the professional in question are compared to that of other professionals in their field, not a layperson. Typically, we need to hire an expert to testify as to what the standard of care is for such a professional and to confirm that a breach or deviation from that standard of care occurred and damages resulted.