What is professional negligence?
The definition of professional negligence is when a professional fails to perform their responsibilities to the required standard or breaches a duty of care. This poor conduct subsequently results in a financial loss, physical damage or injury of their client or customer.
A claim of professional negligence can be made against anyone considered to have expertise in the services they provide; for example, a technology or management consultant, surveyor, etc. For the claim to be successful there must be evidence that the service provided fell below the standards of their profession, resulting in negative consequences.
Examples of professional negligence
If, for example, you are a personal trainer and you fail to your client ask about any previous injuries and this then results in them injuring themselves during your session, you could be liable. As a professional trainer, you would be seen to have fallen short on your duty of care to that individual, a professional negligence claim could then be brought against you.
Some other examples of professional negligence are poor business strategy recommendations, failure to advise about tax relief available, failing to identify serious structural problems with a property or a breach of confidentiality.
What to do if a negligence claim is made against you?
Whether found to be in the wrong or not, after a professional negligence claim is made against you, you or your business could still be liable for legal fees or even the cost of closing your business while the court proceedings take place. Having the correct insurance can help negate any loss to earnings and help to get your business back on its feet after a claim.
Professional indemnity insurance can help to cover the cost of compensation claims, or legal fees if a claim of professional negligence is made against your business.
For professionals in the health, beauty and wellness industry, the consequences of negligence will be different to those experienced by, for instance, a business consultant. Our treatment and professional liability insurance is specially designed to cover a range of business activities, including complementary and beauty therapies. This includes negligence. So, should you be accused of failing in your duty of care to your client during a treatment, you would be covered.