Under most professional liability insurance policies a “claim” arises when you first become aware of a proceeding, event or development which could result in liability for you. A claim includes a lawsuit, a regulatory complaint, a request for mediation or arbitration and a demand for money or services. Any claim should be promptly reported to your insurer.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts when faced with a claim:
DO . . .
· Notify your insurance carrier immediately by telephone and in writing.
· Send all claim documents to your appointed lawyer.
· Keep a copy of all claim documents for yourself.
· Put all pertinent documents, memos, etc. in chronological order.
· Notify all involved personnel about the claim.
· Respond promptly to all reasonable requests from your E&O insurance carrier.
· Talk to your lawyer.
DON’T . . .
· Ignore the claim.
· Attempt to handle the claim by yourself.
· Discuss the matter with the other party.
· Attend any meetings involving the other party.
· Sign or accept releases / affidavits.
· Write a letter explaining your position.
· Talk to investigators or claim adjusters by giving recorded statements.
· Talk to the other party’s lawyer.
· Respond to regulatory complaints without legal advice.
Author: Myles P. Hassett - The Hassett Law Firm P.L.C., Phoenix