If you feel you have a claim for malpractice against an attorney, you may find out that his or her insurance coverage limits could impact your case.
While you certainly have the right to ask for everything owed to you due to the negligence of the lawyer, it may be difficult to ask for damages that far exceed the attorney’s insurance.
How insurance works
The attorney’s malpractice insurance will typically pay for his or her legal fees first. In some cases where the claim is complex, this could result in the fees eating up all the insurance. If this happens, the attorney will become personally liable for paying any damages the court awards you.
Damages beyond insurance
If the attorney’s insurance only covers his or her defense costs, you may have additional court costs or other expenses to recover the damages the court awards you. You will have to act like a collection agency, going after the lawyer’s personal assets and income to recover the money owed to you. It may not always be easy to get the full amount he or she owes to you, and there is a statute of limitations on how long you can continue to try to collect.
Be aware but not reluctant
The fact that the attorney you are suing may not have enough insurance is not something you should worry about. You have the right to make a claim based on the harm done to you. You should ask for everything you can to cover your losses due to the attorney’s negligence. Just be aware that you may have to work to get the money in the end.