The Ontario province allows citizens to sue for professional negligence. Professionals who are held to a higher standard than others and are considered stewards of the public trust, such as doctors, accountants, or engineers are eligible to be sued for professional negligence. When these professionals make a serious mistake because of their negligent behavior or their inability to perform their duty correctly, it could lead to a personal injury claim by their client. To determine if you have a claim, it is important to understand the meaning and basics of professional negligence.
Professional negligence can be simply defined as when a professional fails to meet the care standard that any reasonable person in their position, knowledge, and experience would. The meaning and definition of professional negligence are too complicated to be regarded as a mistake made by a professional. It is also very important to prove that the error made by the professional is one that any other professional in their position would not have made under the same circumstances. This is why it can be very difficult to prove professional negligence in court.
Examples of Professional Negligence
There are many examples of what can be called professional negligence. For example, if you purchased some medicines from a pharmacist and he or she gives you the wrong prescription or gives you the wrong dosage of the prescribed medicine then you can conveniently file a claim for professional negligence against the pharmacist.
Similarly, if an accountant doesn’t perform his or her job properly, like completing your tax returns in a bad manner or managing your books inadequately then they can be held guilty for professional negligence. One more example of this would be, having a claim against an architectural engineer if the building designed by them collapsed due to an egregious error by them.
Elements of Professional Negligence
In order to prove professional negligence in the court of Canada, one must meet five elements. The first one is the existence of a lawyer, this means proving that the professional that you intended to sue actually performed the duty and then failed to provide reasonable care Once you are able to establish the existence of a duty in the court, you can move on to proving their inability to offer reasonable care.
Then you should also be able to prove that their negligence in performing their job has caused you to harm in some way. The harm could either be a physical or financial loss. The last element in proving professional negligence is that the harm you suffered must be in the scope of liability.
To have a case, it is important to prove these elements in the court, If you are unable to prove even one of these elements in the court then you may not be able to sue under professional negligence in the court of Ontario.
Another thing that you must remember as a client is that, you also have obligations to fulfill as a customer under the law. Such as, you should be able to provide full information to your accountant to manage your books properly, You should inform your pharmacists about any allergies you have to any medication. If you fail to provide the complete information to any professional that you are working with, then you can limit your ability to file a claim for professional negligence.
Proving and Suing for Professional Negligence
Before filing for a claim to sue a professional under professional negligence, you can file a formal complaint with the organization that governs the professional. For example, if you want to sue an engineer then you can file it with the Professional Engineers Ontario, similarly, to file a complaint against an account you can fill it with the Chartered Accountants of Ontario.
It is also important to note that filing a complaint doesn’t mean that you can not sue the professional. You can consult Pace Law Personal Injury Lawyers and understand the whole process to get your compensation.
Do You Have a Professional Negligence Claim?
It can be fairly difficult to prove professional negligence in court because of the variety of claims involved. However, it still offers a great way to obtain relief via a lawsuit. Before consulting a legal professional, it is important to review your claim and check if your case fulfills the requirements of all or a few of the five elements for a professional claim.
Here are some of the things that you need to determine:
- Was it the duty of the professional to provide reasonable care?
- Was the professional unsuccessful in providing you reasonable care?
- Did their failure to provide reasonable care result in causing you physical or financial loss?
- Do their actions fall under the scope of liability?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may have a claim for professional negligence. You can now consult a lawyer and build your case against the professional to get compensation for your loss.