What’s Driving the Surge in Malpractice Claims?

 Friday, June 11, 2021

 Insurance Business

As Eileen Garczynski sees it, her firm’s recent survey of lawyers’ professional liability claims is definitely a good news/bad news type of situation – although that ‘good news’ part might change in the near future.

‘Frequency of claims has been leveling off at least in the past year, but claim severity is up,’ she said.

‘So then you have to wonder are people just waiting to file their claims? We’re not sure. Sometimes the uptick in claims frequency doesn’t happen for a couple of years.’

Referencing her firm’s 11th annual survey of lawyers’ professional liability claims, the senior vice president and partner at McLean, Va.-based Ames & Gough says periods of economic downturn like the one caused by the pandemic tend to lead to higher activity on the legal malpractice front, but that activity also tends to unfold over the years following the downturn.