Given the broad and varying areas of work and expertise within the engineering profession, if you are considering making a professional negligence claim against a civil engineer it is essential that your professional negligence solicitor has the specialised knowledge and experience necessary to proceed confidently with your claim.
Claims against civil engineers
It is a given that engineering work and advice should reach a minimum standard and not cause defect or damage – failure to ensure this may result in the civil engineer being considered liable to pay damages.
However, for any claim against a civil engineer to succeed it will be incumbent upon the claimant to prove the following:
- That the defendant civil engineer owed the claimant a duty of care;
- That the defendant's work fell below the required standard;
- That the negligence caused either injury or significant loss; and
- That the injury or loss sustained was not "too remote".
There are many legal vagaries, relating to both torts and contract that are used to determine questions of liability in negligence claims against civil engineers. However, one frequently cited piece of guidance is drawn from Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee . In giving advice to the jury, the judge stated:
"Where you get a situation which involves some special skill or competence … the test is the standard of the ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill. A man need not possess the highest expert skill … it is sufficient if he exercises the ordinary skill of the ordinary competent man exercising that particular art".
Complaints against civil engineers
Negligence alone does not necessarily mean that formal complaint should be registered with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). However, where you believe that gross or serious negligence might have occurred a complaint may be made with the ICE.
Claims for civil engineer negligence
Under the Limitation Act 1980 and the Latent Damage Act 1986 there are time limits in place for the making of a negligence claim against a civil engineer – depending on individual circumstances, these usually range from three to twelve years from the date the claimant had awareness of the negligent act or omission.
For solid and trustworthy advice and guidance from a team of leading professional negligence lawyers, contact Healys today by calling our London office on 020 7822 4106 or sending us an email.