What does legal malpractice insurance cover?

If you believe your Florida attorney committed some form of malpractice while representing you, you have the right to sue him or her for the damages you sustained as a result of his or negligence. Before you do so, however, you should determine whether or not (s)he carries malpractice insurance. This type of insurance also goes by the names of errors and omissions insurance and professional liability insurance.

Most attorneys carry some type of legal malpractice insurance, but if the attorney you plan to sue does not, (s)he will be personally responsible for paying any monetary damages a jury awards you. Unfortunately, should you win a large judgment, (s)he may not have sufficient personal assets to cover that amount, resulting in your full judgment becoming unenforceable.

Typical legal malpractice insurance coverages

12InsuranceAgency.com explains that most errors and omissions insurance policies cover not only the attorneys in a law firm, but also their support staff. However, the policies cover only acts of negligence, not deliberate acts. For instance, your former attorney’s policy likely covers the following types of negligence:

  • Incorrect interpretation of laws and statutes
  • Inadvertent commingling of your funds with the law firm’s funds or those of another law firm client
  • Missed filing deadlines
  • Incompetent performance in court

As to the dollar amount of this coverage, most errors and omissions policies pay the following:

  • The amount of any settlement you negotiate
  • The amount of any award a jury gives you
  • The amount of any judgment a court gives you
  • Whatever pre-settlement or pre-judgment interest you may be entitled to

While this information is not legal advice, it can help you understand what legal malpractice insurance policies cover and what they do not.

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