Understanding Legal Malpractice Insurance in Texas
Obtaining professional liability insurance is a part of sound financial planning for any Texas attorney. Even with the best of intentions, an attorney may miss a deadline or inadvertently make a mistake that has a devastating impact on a client’s case. While malpractice insurance can assist in covering some of the losses related to a malpractice claim, in some cases a policy will not cover certain claims, or a claim may be beyond the policy limit. It’s important to understand how Texas professional liability insurance works for attorneys long before a malpractice claim is filed.
Who Must Obtain Legal Malpractice Insurance in Texas?
Under Texas law, attorneys are not required to carry malpractice insurance. However, some clients, particularly larger businesses, will refuse to hire an attorney or firm that does not carry malpractice insurance. Many referral services also will not allow attorneys without professional liability insurance to engage in their services.
How Much Malpractice Insurance Should a Texas Attorney Carry?
There is no magic number for how much a professional liability an insurance policy should be for. This will largely depend on the size of your practice, the type of work that it does, and the size of cases that you take on. Obviously, you should seek out a policy that will cover any claim that might be made against you, or at least a large part of it.
What Does Malpractice Insurance Cover?
Understanding exactly what your insurance policy covers requires reading it. Many policies will only cover your main area of practice. For example, if your practice does insurance defense work, a policy may only cover a claim that arises from one of these clients, but not a claim from a tax client who alleges malpractice. If you realize that you have made an error that will likely result in a malpractice claim, it’s important to contact your insurer immediately to make them aware of the issue. Oftentimes, this is a requirement of the policy.
Professional liability insurance will never cover cases of fraud or criminal behavior. And of course, the policy is only valid for incidents that occur while it is effective.
Looking for a Legal Malpractice Defense Attorney?
If you’re a Texas attorney accused of committing malpractice, you’re in for the fight of your professional life. Campbell & Associates Law Firm, P.C. represents Texas attorneys who are accused of committing malpractice. To schedule a consultation, contact our Dallas office for professional assistance or call us at 972-277-8585.