Damages for Professional Malpractice – To What Compensation Am I Entitled?

Lawyer malpractice. Accountant malpractice. Home inspection malpractice. Financial Services Malpractice.

If you’ve been the victim of any of these or other types of professional malpractice you may be wondering about the amount of compensation you are due.

In law, the rule is that victims are entitled to the compensation for the damages that naturally result from a wrong (such as professional malpractice) which is reasonably foreseeable based upon nature of the wrong. This may sound a little confusing, so let’s examine a couple of examples.

Example 1 – Car Accident Case

Let’s suppose that a person is hit by a drunk driver and sustains severe injuries, pain and suffering, and lost time from work. From the facts it is clear that the drunk driver is completely responsible for the accident.

The attorney for the victim, however, fails to file a lawsuit until after the statute of limitations (the time period by which a case must be filed) has expired. The injured victim, as a result, can no longer recover from the drunk driver.

The victim would be entitled to sue the attorney for professional malpractice. In determining damages, the victim would have to prove the amount of damages that likely would have been awarded in the injury case had it been properly brought. A jury would be entitled to determine such damages based upon the evidence presented at trial; such evidence might include judgments for injuries similar to those received by the injury victim.

Case # 2 – Home Inspector Fails to Notice Termite Damage

Suppose a professional home inspector failed to notice that a home had suffered from substantial termite damage, and thus failed to notify the buyer who had hired her to conduct the home inspection. What would the damages be?

Setting aside the possibility that the home seller might be liable if they knowingly failed to disclose this matter, the buyer would have a right against the home inspector based upon what it would cost to remedy the problem, or to otherwise make the buyer “whole.”

In some cases, repairs might be possible to fix the damage. A buyer, therefore, would be entitled to the cost of such repairs. The buyer would not be entitled to a new house.

In a really severe case, repairs might not be possible. In that case, the buyer might be entitled to the full value of the house (likely the purchase price) less any salvage value or off-setting benefit.

What Compensation Will Be Due to You?

Once I learn about the facts and circumstances of your professional malpractice case, I can discuss with you the types of compensation that should be sought. Please feel free to contact me to learn about your legal options for recovery.


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