Only two states in the country require that attorneys carry malpractice insurance, and Florida is not one of them. However, must and should are two very different things, and attorneys who fail to carry insurance put themselves at risk. Now those risks may be higher than ever as many in the industry are predicting that COVID-19 could lead to a surge in malpractice lawsuits against attorneys.
COVID-19 and Potential Rise in Malpractice Claims
When the economic pressure is on, malpractice claims spike because struggling businesses and individuals will look for people to blame for their hardships. In 2008, the recession and resulting financial instability led to an increase in legal malpractice claims throughout the country. Even before the coronavirus started wreaking havoc on the economy, complaints against attorneys for malpractice were on the rise. The pandemic may only exacerbate this trend.
Insurance Can Protect Lawyers and Law Firms
Malpractice lawsuits are costly to defend, even when an attorney has not committed malpractice. If the attorney must settle or is found liable by a jury, the damages owed can be devastating. Reports indicate that in 2018, the number of multi-million dollar payouts jumped, and there were two cases with reported settlements of more than $250 million. Malpractice insurance helps to limit the risks that attorneys face. Clients often expect that lawyers carry insurance policies, and doing so helps to project professionalism.
No attorney sets out to commit malpractice. Unfortunately, even good attorneys can make a mistake, or face accusations of making a mistake. Carrying a legal malpractice policy gives attorneys peace of mind so that they can focus on representing their clients. Lawyers work hard not only to achieve their educations and licenses but also to maintain their reputation in the legal world. All of that hard work is well worth protecting.
If you would to like to discuss your options for professional liability insurance please call us at 561-732-9305 our quoting hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. In addition, you can request a quote online. Please remember, We Handle All the Work, While You Save!
Robert Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates are vested members of the community who are committed to doing business face-to-face and being your insurance advocate in times of need.