Clients often seek our services when they want to make a claim against a professional person or body after they have been given incorrect advice and things have gone wrong. Whilst every eventuality cannot be avoided, prevention is better than cure. Here’s a few tips from us for safeguarding yourself against needing to bring a claim for professional negligence.
It sounds simple, but start with the basics. Ensure the company/person you are dealing with is properly accredited/qualified with their governing body. You can also check any available reviews of the person/company you plan to do business with through any available directories and generally online. You can start with an internet search engine to see if there has been any local or national press regarding that person/company. You can also search reviews on social media to see what their clients are saying about them.
Carefully consider your selection of person/company. Start by ensuring that the company/person you are dealing with is properly accredited/qualified with their governing body. Also think about whether they have the requisite skills to deal with the issues involved. Carry out your research to prevent any potential risks to you or your business.
Get it in writing
When you get to the point where you’re ready to sign on the dotted line, make sure you both have a very clear understanding of the agreement you are entering into or the services you are buying. Contracts should be legally enforceable, with clear terms and conditions. Expectations should be clearly discussed and documented so there are no “misunderstandings” further down the line.
Always keep detailed records of any conversations you have or phone calls. Ensure any key discussion points are documented and/or confirmed in writing so you have a contemporaneous record to look back on if necessary.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to test the advice provided or to clarify your understanding of the position. It will be much harder to complain about something further down the line that you may have agreed to at the time.
If you would like some further advice about dispute resolution, or more information relating to anything in this article, then contact DMH Stallard to see how we can help.