There is a real concern for lawyers not willing to carry sufficient law malpractice insurance. Not having adequate attorney liability coverage can have negative consequences when it comes to referral services. This often results in a reduced workload that may have serious financial consequences. Being properly insured is a very critical element to your practice and your professional reputation.
As a rule, a request for proposal (RFP) for legal services requires that you have this vital coverage in place. Most law firms and other attorneys, who may retain lawyers for per diem or contract work, will also require that you carry sufficient amounts of malpractice coverage.
A malpractice claim is a serious cause for concern
There has been a significant increase in the frequency of claims against lawyers in recent years, and this is a concern to every practicing attorney because, even though many claims of this nature often lack any real merit, they still wind up being rather expensive to defend against. Why, it only takes one viable claim to create a situation where, if the attorney is ruled against, it’s likely to have a devastating financial impact where insurance is not in effect.
As a lawyer, it’s your responsibility to protect your clients and not place your clients in situations where your negligence has a damaging effect on their case in any way. Yet another important thing to consider is that malpractice claims can be difficult to predict, especially in instances where the client seems perfectly satisfied with your performance.
Many excellent lawyers have been sued for legal malpractice. They failed to see the signs until it was too late. A check of a new client’s history may reveal that they had fired their previous counsel, or been turned away by other attorneys. When things turn ugly, a solitary claim against you can wipe out years of hard work spent building a successful practice, not to mention the impact it could have on your personal assets as well.
Think twice before you neglect a client, because you have other, larger matters pending. While you may never have to make use of your legal malpractice insurance policy, it‘s never practical to dismiss this important coverage.