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If you own a law firm, you’re probably already aware that you’re involved in a potentially risky business. Unlike other unlicensed professions, you are held to a standard that demands you act and conduct yourself in a specific way. Failure to do so can mean facing a devastating lawsuit from a disgruntled client.

What follows are a few of the most common reasons why attorneys nationwide find themselves in legal malpractice disputes.

1. Failure to Know the Law

As an attorney, you are obligated to know the law when you are handling a client’s legal affairs. It sounds so simple, yet the American Bar Association states that this reason is the most common for legal malpractice claims involving negligence.

Attorneys who practice in more than one area of law may at most risk of this. Although many attorneys practice in multiple areas of law without issue, there is a heightened risk that a client will come forward with an allegation that they didn’t understand or know how to apply the law.

2. Failure to Meet Deadlines

Everyone has deadlines, and there are significant consequences for failing to meet them. As a lawyer, failing to meet deadlines not only impacts your life, but can also adversely affect the outcome of your client’s case.

Missing a filing deadline or court date puts an attorney at risk of a legal malpractice claim. Sometimes these incidents are due to human error or miscommunication, but they can also be interpreted as negligence as well – especially if a client suffered as a consequence.

3. Inadequate Counsel & Planning

Attorneys have a responsibility to fight for their clients, which means considering every likely outcome and planning a competent legal strategy. An attorney who fails to think ahead for their client’s case or decides to “wing it” may be accused of negligence and face a legal malpractice lawsuit as a result.

4. Inadequate Discovery

As advocates for their clients, attorneys are expected to find all relevant information to a client’s case. When reasonable measures aren’t taken to obtain the information or documentation an attorney would need to fully represent their client, they may be accused of negligence.

How Professional Liability Insurance Can Help

As an attorney, you understand the importance of thinking ahead. You know how to evaluate all possible outcomes and plan for the worst, even if it seems like an unlikely scenario. If your law firm faces a legal malpractice claim from a former client, you can protect your business with professional liability insurance.

At Insurance Specialists, Inc., we offer professional liability insurance products built for all kinds of professionals – even lawyers like you. Learn more about how you can protect your business by getting in touch with an insurance specialist today.

Contact Insurance Specialists, Inc. online or by calling (888) 451-0883.