Expert/Witness Evidence: The Role of Experts in Professional Negligence Cases

It is not always obvious whether or not the level of service provided by a professional is so poor that it can be termed "negligent".

The answer will therefore depend to a large extent of the customs and practices in the particular profession itself. Accordingly it is common for parties to rely upon what is known as "expert evidence" in professional negligence claims. By doing so the professional is being judged by his peers. So, in a case of surveyors negligence, for instance, an expert surveyor will be asked to comment upon the work of the negligent surveyor, or in a case of accountants negligence an expert accountant will consider the standard of service of the negligent accountant.

Experts in professional negligence cases are normally instructed to prepare a report by the solicitor handling the case and if the case goes to trial then the expert may be required to give his evidence in person to the court and be subject to cross examination. It is therefore important to take great care when selecting a suitable expert. Ideally the expert should not only be someone at the top of his or her profession but also experienced in acting as an expert witness and familiar with the basic rules of evidence.

At Pro Neg we are well placed to locate and recommend suitable experts in professional negligence claims and have access to a vast number of suitably qualified people in every profession.

For further information about the role of experts in professional negligence compensation claims call us on 0808 139 1595 or email lee.dawkins@sleeblackwell.co.uk