Did you know, a case was filed against the lawyer in Bihar who sued the popular Hindu God Ram for leaving his wife, Sita? Though the court rejected the lawyer’s plea; many other lawyers had filed a case against that lawyer for hurting the religious sentiments.
The purpose of highlighting this case is to make you understand that even lawyers have to face a legal battle. Even lawyers have to hire lawyers sometime! In fact, the legal profession is rife with different types of legal risks, and many such situations may arise when a lawyer is sued.
Though one can act prudently while discharging professional duties; mistakes can still arise. What if you have been sued by the client for professional error and negligence? Even if the verdict were given in your favor, you would have to incur expenses in defending yourself in court. The situation can turn awry if you lose the case and have to pay compensation.
To combat your financial losses, it is strongly advised to go with the lawyers’ professional liability insurance to get financial coverage in case of unfortunate situations.
To understand the importance of lawyers’ professional liability insurance, let’s have a look at those situations when a lawyer can get sued:
1. Claims of Negligence
It’s not uncommon for clients to feel that they have been betrayed or cheated by their lawyer, especially when they don’t win the case. In this case, a client can sue the lawyer if he/she feels that there is negligence on their part.
2. Breach of Confidentiality
The relationship between a client and a lawyer depends on trust and confidentiality. But what if, you unintentionally disclose the facts about your client to a third party? If your client suffers any monetary loss due to this, you can be sued.
3. Administrative Errors
Lost documents, paperwork, errors, and other administrative issues are common reasons for which a lawyer could be sued.
4. Missing Filling Deadlines
What if you miss the deadline for filing the document in court? Or, what if you forget the hearing date and do not appear in court? A lawyer can be sued if he missed the deadline for filing the case.
As a lawyer, notary, or legal consultant, you are subject to a myriad of risks. You are liable to settle clients arising from errors & omissions. Here lawyers’ professional liability insurance can help you as the policy has been specifically tailored to suit the individual needs of your profession and also takes care of the mandatory legal obligations. In certain cases, having lawyers’ professional liability insurance is necessary, if it involves a big client or a costly lawsuit.
With the lawyers’ professional liability insurance, you are protected from claims arising out of professional negligence, like:
- Errors in litigation
- Failure to give accurate legal advice
- Failure to meet deadlines
- Loss of documents
- Failure to give accurate tax advice
How does lawyers’ professional liability insurance work?
For a covered professional liability claim, your insurer will cover attorney fees and court expenses. If you lose the court case, the insurer will also pay financial damages which the court has decided you owe the client. In certain situations, the insurer also agrees to pay the out-of-court-settlement. In any case, your lawyers’ professional liability insurance company will help in covering the big-ticket costs of a lawsuit.
Is there anything that is not covered?
While the scope of lawyers’ professional liability insurance is wide, it is not unlimited. There can be some activities that are not covered by the insurer or are simply beyond the control. Usually, these uncovered areas are called exclusions. Some examples of exclusions are:
- Criminal acts
- Dishonest acts
- Fraudulent activities
- Claims involving one policyholder against the other policyholder in the same legal firm
- Claims arising from the situation where the policyholder knew or foreseen the claim at the inception of the policy, however, it failed to inform the insurer
While you work towards protecting the interests of your clients, it is high time to go with the lawyers’ professional liability insurance to safeguard your interests.