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Your guide to engineer negligence

Engineer on a construction site - engineer negligence

When you instruct an engineer to carry out work on your home, business or other property, you expect them to meet the duty of care that they owe to you. Engineers are highly experienced professionals with many years of training, and their expertise is invaluable.

However, there are occasions when engineers make mistakes through negligence – and the effects of their errors can be incredibly costly to the client. Perhaps they provided an incorrect design, failed to comply with industry standards or made a wrong calculation that has thrown an entire project off-track. Whatever their negligent actions, if you’ve been left out of pocket as a result, you may be able to sue your engineer for professional negligence.

What is professional negligence?

According to English law, professional negligence is when a professional (an engineer, a solicitor, an estate agent, etc.) fails to perform their responsibilities to the standard expected of them.

If you’re planning to pursue a professional negligence claim against your engineer, you’ll need to demonstrate three things in order to win the case:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the engineer
  • The engineer in question breached that duty of care
  • The engineer’s negligent actions caused you a financial loss of some kind

At Your Legal Friend, we understand just how stressful it can be to pursue a professional negligence claim against someone – especially if you’re already dealing with the backlash of their negligence in the first place. Our expert team of highly experienced solicitors will make the process as stress-free as possible and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

The role of an engineer

There are four main types of engineer, with those four falling into two categories. Their duties differ depending on the type of engineer they are:

  • Civil and structural engineers operate in construction. They’re heavily involved with the design and supervision of all construction work on a site, and are expected to liaise closely with the architect and the client to deliver a project on time.
  • Mechanical and electrical engineers don’t work in construction – they oversee the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical and mechanical machinery and systems.

Naturally, engineers face a lot of pressure in their day-to-day jobs. A small mistake can result in an entire project falling apart, and their work is closely linked with health and safety procedures. One wrong move, erroneous calculation or piece of inappropriate advice could not only see a project fail, it could also see someone injured.

Professional negligence claims against engineers

If you’ve lost out financially because your engineer acted negligently, you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against them. Here are some examples of negligence by engineers:

  • The engineer provided an incorrect design
  • The engineer provided a report giving incorrect advice
  • The engineer made incorrect calculations which affected the project
  • The engineer failed to follow industry standards
  • The engineer failed to inspect or supervise work on site

This is by no means an exhaustive list of examples – there are many other actions that could fall under the category of negligence, many of which would see the client eligible to pursue a claim.

The consequences of an engineer’s negligence

One of the main consequences of engineer negligence is financial loss to the client. If a project is significantly delayed by an engineer’s mistakes, the client could lose valuable rental payments.

Of course, not all consequences of an engineer’s negligence are related to finance. A miscalculation on a construction project could render a building totally unsafe for use – and anyone living or working there could be at real risk of injury. The failure to inspect or supervise work can also be an enormous breach of health and safety regulations and  could put people in severe danger.

Making a claim against engineer

At Your Legal Friend, we have the skills and experience to help you pursue a successful professional negligence claim. So that we can represent you effectively, we’ll need to know the following things:

  • The name of your engineer
  • What you instructed the engineer to do
  • When you instructed the firm
  • How you feel the engineer was negligent
  • The value of the financial loss you’ve incurred as a result

Once you’ve supplied us with these details, we can start investigating the case and advising you on your next steps.

Most engineers have professional indemnity insurance which will ensure you recover the full amount from them when you win your case.

Time limitations

  • Professional negligence claims must be brought within six years of the day on which the negligent act occurred. If you haven’t brought a claim by this deadline, you will be unable to do so.
  • Sometimes, claimants aren’t actually aware of the negligence when it first occurs, and so the first rule would be unfair to these people. In this instance, the claimant would have three years from the date of discovering the negligence to bring their claim to court.

How Your Legal Friend can help

We know that the prospect of taking a professional engineer to court can be daunting. But our experienced team of professional negligence solicitors has the skills and experience to ensure your engineer is held to account.  We’ll act quickly and provide you with sympathetic, practical, jargon-free advice to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way

  • Specialist team of professional negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • Over 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation