Negligence is where someone breaches their duty of care to you causing you injury, loss or damage. The compensation you can recover may be reduced if your are found to have contributed to your injury, loss or damage.
Examples of negligence
- Poor professional service/advice or mistakes made by a solicitor, barrister accountant, financial adviser or other professional person
- Defective workmanship, delays and errors by a builder, contractor or other tradesman
- Holiday company promises a holiday which it does not deliver
A major area of negligence is personal injury. If you suffer personal injury, mental or physical, as a result of the negligence of someone, you may be entitled to damages or compensation. More on claiming for personal injury
Breach of contract and negligence
Negligence and breach of contract often occur together, most notably where there is a contract between you and your opponent . A breach of duty amounting to negligence may also amount to a breach of contract. There may also be misrepresentation as well as other breaches you can rely on to recover compensation.
Where there is negligence or breach of contract, you can claim damages or compensation for your losses. In an appropriate case, you can rescind any contract and you may be able to get an injunction to compel or prevent something. Other remedies may be possible.
Negligence by professional advisers
With professional people, such as solicitors and barristers, negligence may also amount to a breach of that person’s professional code of conduct and you may able to obtain redress, including compensation, via that route also.
Case Example 1
Solicitors take on personal injury case two years after the injury, do little for 12 months and fail to inform the client that he has to commence the claim within 3 years of the injury. The time for commencing the claim passes and the claim becomes time barred. Client can report the solicitors to their professional or regulatory body and sue for negligence and/or breach of contract.
Case Example 2
Builders agree to carry out works at homeowners property for an agreed price. Work done slowly, to poor standard and builders refuse to carry on unless they are paid extra since things have “cropped up” which they “did not expect”. Client can report builders to any trade association they are a member of and sue for negligence and/or breach of contract.
Time limit for bringing claims
Normally a negligence/breach of contract claim has to be brought within 6 years of the breach, however the usual time limit is 3 years in the case of personal injury negligence.
No win no fee
We provide NO WIN NO FEE in negligence/breach of contract cases where it is believed that the case has a reasonable prospect of success. There are many other ways you may be able to fund your case including by way of legal expenses insurance.
Work we will do
Once you retain us, we start by taking your instructions and advising you generally. We then prepare a detailed statement on your behalf. We obtain expert reports as required and we investigate the merits of your case and what it might be worth. After a letter of claim is sent to your opponent, or their insurers, we will attempt to reach a settlement if possible. If not, we will take court proceeding and the case will go to trial if it cannot be settled before then. If it is possible to complain to your opponent’s professional or regulatory body, and you want to pursue that option, we will normally do that before starting court proceedings.
Length of cases
It is hard to predict how long a negligence/breach of contract case will last since litigation is by its very nature unpredictable. However, we aim to conclude the vast majority of our cases within a 6 to 18 months timescale.