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Who is responsible for paying the bill after a legal malpractice case?

If you get into a car accident and you know the other driver caused the crash, you can likely file a civil lawsuit against that driver and their insurance company to get funds to cover the costs that result from the accident.

But what happens when the injury is a legal malpractice lawsuit?

Legal malpractice claims are different from a car accident case in many ways. One of the main differences is the fact that a legal malpractice claim is often referred to as a case within a case. In order to win a legal malpractice claim, the client needs to show that they had a successful case that warranted hiring an attorney in the first place. The victim must show the court that without the incompetent representation or other mistake made by their attorney, they would have won their case.

If this is true, who does the client file the legal malpractice lawsuit against? Sometimes it is not as simple as the attorney that the victim hired — at least the process does not stop there. Although the lawsuit will likely name the attorney who provided poor counsel, these cases often reach out to get payment to cover the claim from other parties like the insurance provider that the lawyer used for malpractice coverage.

In some cases, like an attorney that is working on their own, the attorney will have their own insurance provider. In others, where the attorney is part of a large firm, the firm likely has its own legal malpractice coverage.