Recently Closed Claims’ Lessons July 2019
Post on July 26th, 2019
OBLIC paid approximately $96,850 to resolve seven claims that were closed last month.
Payments included loss payments, such as judgments awarded or settlement payments, and the attorneys’ fees and costs OBLIC paid to defend its insureds.
This is the first part of a new monthly series providing information on recently closed claims.
We will provide claim statistics on the areas of practice in which the act, error or omission occurred and generalized information on the cause of recently closed claims. Our intention with this series is to demonstrate the value that we provide to you, our insureds, through the experiences we have had with our other insureds and make you aware of the common areas of risk and ways to avoid similar claims in the future.
Hopefully, by seeing where your colleagues may have taken a step in error, you will know where to be cautious!
Recently Closed Claims by Area of Practice and Alleged Cause of the Claim:
- Probate, Estate and Trust – Will contest in out of state probate matter was filed outside of that state’s deadline.
- Probate, Estate and Trust – Inadequate investigation of assets when drafting a subsequent will for a long time client.
- Real Estate – Failure to inform client of change in property ownership known at the time of closing.
- Plaintiff Personal Injury – Missed statute of limitations for personal injury auto case
- Domestic Relations – Disciplinary action involving mishandling of IOLTA funds
- Plaintiff Legal Malpractice – Former attorney and pro se litigant alleging malicious prosecution
- Civil Rights – Libel and slander alleged by pro se litigant in insured’s handling of matter for a municipality
These claims demonstrate how easy it is to get caught up in transactional matters that normally resolve quickly and without much issue. While Probate, Estate and Trust is continuing to be the area in which we see the most claims of this nature, several of the claims involved causes that could have been avoided with a second look at the client’s file and a final discussion with the client before the completion of the legal services.
Second looks at the file can save time, headache, a deductible and becoming a defendant.
Cause of the Claim does not mean that the claim was meritorious or that there were any damages arising from the alleged breach of the standard of care. The alleged cause of the claim is the brief summation of the allegation made by the claimant as to the error allegedly made by our insured.
There are lessons even from those claims in which are liability is heavily contested.