Professional negligence, also known as professional malpractice, is a general intent tort involving the breach of duty owed by a professional to their client.
The duty of care is the responsibility to act as an ordinary person would in similar and/or same circumstances. For example, a driver of a vehicle has a duty to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians not to cause harm to them while operating the vehicle.
A professional has a higher duty to their clients to act as a skilled person would in similar or the same professional circumstances. This is because the professional has received specialized education and/or training, such as attorney or doctor. In both a regular duty of care and a higher duty of care, the defendant has a duty not to injure the plaintiff.
The most common professional negligence is medical malpractice. This form of professional negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to act in the same manner that a reasonable medical professional with the same amount of training and expertise would in the same and/or similar circumstance. This duty extends to doctors, surgeons, nurses, and hospitals.
Attorneys have a duty of care to clients not to make critical errors a reasonable attorney would not make in the same situation. Contractors and architects have a duty to clients to ensure buildings are built according to common construction practices and government regulations.
In all jurisdictions, a plaintiff must prove specific elements in order to show that professional negligence occurred:
Yes, if you have been the victim of a professional’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney. The attorney will guide you through the steps of the legal process, such as filing a lawsuit for negligence and representing you at trial.
Last Modified: 07-28-2015 07:34 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.