Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Face of a Legal Malpractice Claim
As a lawyer, you can be sued for failure to render adequate legal representation, committing fraudulent acts or performing any illegal activities during your time of service. While lawyer malpractice insurance can help prevent damage to your reputation in the face of a lawsuit, there are a few common mistakes to avoid to ensure the best possible outcome.
Don’t Admit to Legal Malpractice
It is one thing to report the facts of a case, and an entirely different thing to outright admit to legal malpractice. If you or your firm is guilty of legal wrongdoings, report the mistakes to the client but don’t use the term “legal malpractice,” as doing so will make it immensely difficult to defend you if the client chooses to sue.
Don’t Ignore the Problem
It may be tempting to ignore a legal claim, but this could be the worst thing you can do. Address the client’s concerns directly, and if they still wish to proceed with a lawsuit, inform your legal malpractice insurance carrier. Providing timely notice to your carrier gives them adequate time to prepare your defense.
Don’t Make Ill-Advised Settlement Offers
Many legal malpractice claims can be settled without much ado, but even if you assume you know what your insurance carrier will suggest, do not make a settlement offer without their consent, as it can jeopardize your coverage for the entire claim.
Lawyer malpractice insurance can protect you, but only if you take additional steps to protect yourself. Avoid the above mistakes to ensure utmost protection.