Finding yourself in the middle of a legal matter is stressful and complicated. Even before taking your legal battle in front of a judge, you must find a lawyer who you believe in and trust will fight for you. But what happens if your lawyer makes a mistake that hurts you or your case? What happens? If your lawyer carries legal malpractice insurance, and you can prove that your lawyer committed acts of legal malpractice, you may be entitled to receive more compensation than if your lawyer were not covered.

Much in the same way doctors need medical malpractice insurance to properly compensate you if they are at fault for causing harm, lawyers have legal malpractice insurance for essentially the same thing. 

Follow the short guide for malpractice basics below to help determine if it’s time for you to contact a Nashville medical malpractice attorney, or a specialist in legal malpractice, to get the justice you deserve.

What is malpractice?

So, what exactly is malpractice? Just because your lawyer or doctor made a mistake doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve committed an act of malpractice. To determine whether you’ve fallen victim to a lawyer or doctor’s negligent actions, think back to the incident in question. At the time the mistake was made, did they act accordingly, or did they brush it off? Is it possible that they were making decisions and acting in your best interest, but in the end, you did not receive the desired results? If so, it doesn’t qualify for a malpractice suit. Only if your lawyer or doctor acted blatantly negligent, causing significant damage to you or your case will you have a valid malpractice case on your hands.

Is malpractice insurance required? 

Malpractice insurance requirements vary by state. Some states don’t require lawyers or doctors to carry, while other states may require a certain amount of coverage. For example, lawyers in Tennessee are not required to have malpractice insurance, while in Ohio, lawyers are required to have insurance. However, they can continue working without having insurance as long as they inform their clients that they aren’t insured.

If you’re curious about the insurance carried by your lawyer or physician, it’s perfectly acceptable for you to ask about their malpractice coverage. If you want further proof of the necessary coverage, you’re allowed to ask them to show you verifying evidence that they do, indeed, carry the necessary malpractice insurance.  

How to prove malpractice

Malpractice claims are often difficult to establish as well as being incredibly expensive. If you’re confident that you’re entitled to compensation because of your lawyer or doctor’s damaging mistakes, remember these four steps: breach, duty, causation, and damages.

If a lawyer breached responsibility and sloppily mishandled your case, causing you lasting damages, either medically or legally, you may need to act. Duty means that your doctor or lawyer had a duty to uphold; they were supposed to represent or treat you to the best of their ability, giving you a fair chance at winning your case or recovering from your ailment or injury. Did their mishandling cause damages to you or the success of your case or recovery? If so, did the damages cause you significant financial trouble? 

If you can prove that all four of these means were exhibited or caused by your doctor or lawyer, you should be well on your way to successfully filing your malpractice case. If you have further questions regarding legal malpractice insurance, consider looking into one of these insurance guides for more information.