In the majority of building projects involving an architect, the work they carry out is conducted in a correct and professional manner. However, occasionally poor service is experienced or the architect may even be negligent in their work.
Although regulations are in place to prevent any such negligence or misconduct including poor standard or late delivery of work, this cannot always be prevented. In instances where these mistakes are not prevented it can become costly and consequential in the correction of poor quality work.
Got a question about Architect Negligence? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice – with no strings attached – wherever you live in England and Wales.
Your negligence claim. Make sure you appoint a specialist solicitor
Whether the error arose in the design of a new building or if development or extension of an existing one, mistakes made by architects can be extremely expensive.
What’s more, professional negligence claims against architects are usually complex and are often hard fought by the defendant insurance company. That’s why you need a solicitor who specialises in professional negligence, who really understands how to run these cases – and one with plenty of experience of construction and building disputes.
Architect Negligence – Some of the Common Problems
Examples of common architect mistakes include the following:
• Contractual problems and many other issues
• Insufficient plans or project / preparation work
• Negligent building works
• Poor guidance by the architect
Your Architect negligence claim – what you will need to prove
To win compensation against a negligent architect, you must prove your case.
To win your professional negligence claim you will need to provide evidence to establish three things.
1. That the architect owed you what is referred to as a “duty of care” and that the architect breached his duty. Normally the easiest way to prove this is by looking at any contract you signed with the architect. This is often the easiest of the three steps to establish.
2. That your architect failed to carry out work to a reasonable professional standard. And in considering this, the court will compare them to any other reasonably competent architect. Will almost certainly need at least one expert report to back you up on this – often from another totally independent architect.
3. That as a result of the negligence you have suffered some form of direct financial loss or measurable damage. Again, you may need an expert report to show the extent of your loss.
The court will also look at whether you have taken any reasonable steps to mitigate your loss i.e. keep that loss to a minimum.
Will my architect be able to pay me any compensation I’m awarded?
Claims for compensation, damages and any legal costs are usually covered by an independent insurance policy which all architects must have. The Architects Registration Board (ARB) rules require minimum insurance coverage of up to £250,000 for each and every claim. Depending on the kind of work they do, your architect may have a higher level of professional indemnity insurance.
Professional Negligence Claims against Architects – Strict Time Limits
From the start date of the work an architect carries out in a negligent manner, there is generally a period of 6 years in which you can make a claim. What that means, in general terms, is that if you don’t commence a claim against the architect within that period, you will probably lose your right to claim compensation entirely [unless the fault didn’t come to light immediately – when you may be able to argue that the six-year time limit ran from when that negligence was first discovered].
Specialist professional negligence solicitors can advise you more clearly of time limitations and the options available to you in bringing an architect negligence claim.
In any event, it’s always sensible to get the right legal advice in these kind of compensation claims at a very early stage – whilst memories are fresh and before any evidence is lost.
How to fund your architect negligence claim
There are 3 ways in which we may be able to help you pay for your legal costs for a your compensation claim against a negligent architect
- We may be able to run your claim under a no win no fee agreement.
Click here to find out more about how no win no fee works
2. You may have any legal expenses cover under a home or contents or other insurance policy. If that’s the case, then although the insurance company may try to persuade you to use their recommended solicitors, you should be aware that you have the legal choice to choose your solicitor – so don’t feel railroaded into instructing however they push
3. Paying paying – some professional negligence claims are funded privately in whole or in part. This is most commonly used for the initial investigation of a claim where there is not yet enough information or evidence to support running a claim under a no win no fee agreement
Professional negligence – it’s not the same as poor service
Our team of professional negligence specialists and are able to help with compensation claims in which an individual has suffered any losses or damages due to the negligence of an architect. However we cannot deal with criticisms of lack of professionalism or situations where simply the service has been poor – as this doesn’t amount to professional negligence.
However, complaints about the misconduct or poor service of architects, that have not resulted in the loss required for a professional negligence claim, can still be dealt with by one of the 2 bodies who regulate architects in the UK – the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). RIBA and ARB have a range of penalties available ranging from a formal warning to the permanent removal of someone from the Register of Architects.
Other claims arising out of defective building plans
There can be a range of additional or alternative compensation claims arising out of problems with errors either in drafting plans or in the build process. our experienced team regularly deal with those as well.
Victim of Architect Negligence? Thinking of claiming compensation? Call us today
If you’ve been on the receiving end of negligent plans or advice from your architect, our specialist Professional Negligence lawyers can help you win the compensation you deserve.
So if you have questions and concerns about suing an architect contact our experts should be your first port of call.
We offer FREE initial phone advice and no win no fee representation – so you don’t have to worry about paying legal bills.
- One of our team on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or locally on (01722) 422300
- E-mail us using the online enquiry form below: