Attorneys owe it to their clients to complete their intended and agreed upon tasks to the best of their ability. And while not every case can be won, clients do expect a level of professionalism and attention to detail from the attorneys they bring on. If clients do feel that mistakes have been made that altered the outcome of a case, they can turn around and sue their hired lawyer for malpractice.
Legal malpractice claims happen when an attorney handles a case in the wrong way due to negligence or with intent to harm. But not every mistake made by a lawyer is premeditate or sinister in nature. That’s why it’s important for legal professionals to take advantage of attorney insurance, which can provide the resources needed during litigation. But while attorney insurance may seem to some as an extra expense it can be just the right coverage needed to protect a lawyer’s reputation and finances.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding attorney insurance.
Q. Do I really need professional liability insurance?
A. While a small number of claims are made against attorneys every year, there has been an increase from clients who felt their representation made mistakes out of negligence. Lawyers of every experience and size of law firm are at risk of these kinds of claims, making attorney insurance imperative.
Dealing with a liability claim can be expensive. Even if a lawyer who has been targeted by a former client is found innocent, the cost of going through litigation can add up in major financial loss. It’s important to bring on attorney insurance to ese the burden of monetary and reputation risk due to negligence claims.
Q. What are the commons causes of malpractice claims?
A. Malpractice claims against lawyers are varied, especially since most claims seemingly come out of nowhere. The most common types of claims brought against attorneys usually point to simple mistakes such as administrative errors or substantive errors of law. Frequent claims alleging lawyers improperly represented are also part of common claims. Also, lawyers face suits in which the main or only allegation is one of breach of fiduciary duty, often because of a conflict of interest.
Q. What risks are covered by attorney insurance?
A. Legal malpractice policies are typically designed to provide coverage for claims that come up from “wrongful acts” committed in the rendering of legal services. In general, covered acts usually also include those executed in a variety of subsidiary services provided by lawyers. These can include services as a notary public, a title agent or title agency, acting as a trustee or executor of an estate, or acting as an officer or director of a legal professional association.
Q. Is there anything not covered?
A. The scope of attorney insurance coverage is broad, but it is not unlimited. Some activities or errors may simply not be legally covered or are just outside the insurer’s interest. These are called exclusions and can include fraudulent acts, criminal acts, dishonest acts, bodily injury or property damage, and claims involving one insured against another insured within the same law firm.
About Coast General Insurance
Coast General Insurance Brokers is an insurance brokerage entirely dedicated to business owners. Our agency’s purpose is to partner with our business clients to maintain a pulse on their risks as the business evolves. We match Property and Casualty products and help mitigate claims. Our agency has a dedicated team for Commercial Insurance as well as a team dedicated to Health and Wellness benefits for any size company. Give us a call today at (805) 644-4740 to learn more about what we can do for you.