WHEN SHOULD I REPORT A CLAIM OR ERROR?
Lawyers are required to report as soon as practicable after learning of a claim or becoming aware of circumstances which might give rise to a claim, however unmeritorious.
HOW DO I REPORT A CLAIM?
Lawyers may either complete our online Claim Report Form.
Lawyers may also complete a PDF version of the Claim Report form. Return this completed PDF form, along with relevant file material or other documentation:
Mail or courier:
Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia
801–2000 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3K1
Fax: (902) 421-1822
If the matter is urgent and requires immediate attention, contact a Claims Counsel member at (902) 423-1300.
ENSURE THAT YOU KEEP AN ENTIRE COPY OF YOUR FILE.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER I REPORT A CLAIM?
The claim is assigned to a Claims Counsel, who will confirm coverage. If the claims counsel identifies any potential exclusions or breaches of Policy conditions that place coverage in issue, they will initiate a coverage review.
Claims counsel will then investigate the claim, and contact you, either by letter or by telephone, to discuss the claim and request any additional information that will assist in the investigation. LIANS may retain counsel to provide an opinion or defend the claim.
The claim may be settled or defended by LIANS, as it deems appropriate after a review of the claim and the relevant facts, evidence, legislation and legal principles. Once claims counsel has completed a review of the claim, LIANS will review its position with you. Once the investigation has been completed, either the claims counsel or defence counsel will present LIANS’s position to the claimant.
WHAT SHOULD I REPORT?
The Policy requires that you report any act or omission that might reasonably lead to a claim against you. You must report both actual and potential claims.
Your Policy states in section 4.3 – Notice Requirements:
(a) Written notice. An Insured shall, as soon as practicable after learning of a Claim or becoming aware of circumstances that might constitute an Occurrence or give rise to a Claim, however unmeritorious, give written notice to the Insurer at the local address for service shown in the Declarations. This is a condition precedent to the Insurer’s liability for the Claim or Occurrence under this Part A.
(b) Information. After notification, the Insured shall submit promptly to the person(s) designated by the Insurer all information reasonably required by the Insurer that the Insured is reasonably capable of providing. In addition, the Insured shall immediately forward to the person(s) designated by the Insurer any demand, notice, summons or other process received by the Insured in connection with the Claim or Occurrence.
(c) Failure to notify. If the Insured fails or refuses to give notice in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Condition 4.3, LIANS may, at its sole discretion, assume the Insured’s responsibility for provision of notice and information. Coverage with respect to any Claim reported in the first instance by LIANS shall apply to protect the Insured only to the extent that the position of the Insurer or LIANS has not been prejudiced by the Insured’s failure to give notice.
WHAT ARE SOME TYPES OF INCIDENTS THAT SHOULD BE REPORTED?
Default judgment entered against your client; missed statute of limitation; missed lien or judgment in a title search; case dismissed because the wrong party was named; case dismissed because of improper service; threatening or complaining letter from client. This is not an exhaustive list.
WHY SHOULD I REPORT?
Your Policy requires you to report any claim or potential claim to LIANS as soon as practicable after you become aware of it. Failure to report in a timely fashion can jeopardize your coverage. Late reporting also makes the handling and resolution of a claim more difficult.
DO I HAVE TO REPORT ONLY WHEN I’VE BEEN SUED?
No, as required by the Policy, you must report any “circumstances that might constitute an occurrence or give rise to a claim, however unmeritorious”.
WHAT IF I BELIEVE THAT THE “CLAIM” HAS NO GROUNDS?
It must still be reported. It is always best to report out of caution.
SHOULD I TRY TO FIX THE PROBLEM MYSELF?
No. Your coverage might be denied if you try to remedy the problem on your own without notifying LIANS.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR A LEGAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
Generally, the limitation period for negligence is six years. However, if the action is framed in a different manner, the time period may be different as well.
SHOULD I RETAIN MY CASE FILE?
Maintain all personal notes, memos or drafts relevant to the case, including jotted ideas on scraps of paper, and old telephone and electronic communications. Have all parties involved (client, your staff, etc.) make a record which describes the events surrounding the error. Make all records, details and file material available as requested by LIANS claims counsel. For a property claim, your certificate of title, title abstract, search notes, survey plans, and objection letter are generally always relevant.
WHAT IS MY INVOLVEMENT FOLLOWING REPORTING?
Your communication, cooperation, and to duty to provide any additional information that will assist in the investigation is required by the Policy. Interfering with the process could result in loss of your coverage. LIANS will contact you with respect to all major decisions related to your claim.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY CLAIM BECOMES A LAWSUIT?
Very few of the incidents reported proceed as a lawsuit. If your claim does become a lawsuit, LIANS may retain counsel to provide an opinion or defend the claim. The claim may be settled or defended by LIANS after a thorough review of the claim. Once claims counsel has completed a review of the claim, LIANS will review its position with you. Once the investigation has been completed, either the claims counsel or defence counsel will present LIANS’ position to the claimant.
WHAT ACTIONS SHOULD I AVOID WHEN I HAVE A CLAIM?
You must not admit your negligence; discuss your claim with anyone other than your claims and defense counsel; or attempt to resolve the matter alone.