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Professional Malpractice

Professionals such as doctors, certified accountants, lawyers, and other licensed professionals may be held liable for injuries and financial harm if the practice of their profession falls below accepted standards.

Professionals have a duty to use reasonable care in working for their clients, and if the failure to exercise that care caused a loss to the client, they are liable for the harm they caused. If you have been harmed by professional malpractice, the attorneys at Swartz Culleton PC can help you obtain financial compensation for the harm and loss you sustained.

Professional malpractice claims may be pursued against the following:

  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Engineers

For professional malpractice claims against health care providers, please review the Medical Malpractice section of this Website.

Malpractice cases can be more complicated and costly than other personal and property injury cases because they require expert testimony on the standard of care, i.e., testimony on the standards and good practices for the profession given the situation. Unlike a car accident case, where in general the average person can recognize careless driving, with professional malpractice the average person may not so readily recognize negligent professional practice. Your lawyer must have the experience to hire the necessary professionals to define the standard of care.

In addition to proving that the professional breached the standard of care, you must prove that the breach, and not some other factors, caused you harm. The plaintiff has the burden of proving that he or she would not have gotten hurt, or hurt as much if the alleged malpractice did not take place. In a legal malpractice case relating to an attorney’s botched handling of prior litigation, you must prove the case-within-the-case. This means you must prove that if your previous lawyer had done what he should have done in your prior case, you would have been successful in that case. Again, this proof requires expert testimony.

Finally, you must also demonstrate the amount of financial loss you sustained because of the professional malpractice. This may require testimony from an accountant.

To summarize, the elements of a professional malpractice case are as follows:

  • Duty: The professional owed the plaintiff a duty of care to act properly.
  • Breach: The professional was in breach of that duty.
  • Causation: The professional's actions caused the plaintiff to sustain Damages: The plaintiff suffered injuries and/or lost money as a result of the professional's malpractice.
  • Damages: The plaintiff suffered injuries and/or lost money as a result of the professional's malpractice.

Contact the attorneys of Swartz Culleton, PC if you or a loved one is in need of representation. Contact us to schedule a free consultation in Philadelphia or give us a call at 1-800-JUSTICE® today.