Malpractice Claims Report

The Missouri Department of Insurance recently released it’s report on legal malpractice insurance for 2016. The report is illustrative of legal malpractice in not only Missouri, but also other states located here in the Heartland.

There was a slight increase in the number of claims. The number of closed claims in 2016 was 183. This represents a 2% increase in the number of claims when compared to 2015.

The average payment in 2016 was $145,046. This was slightly less than the average payout in 2015. However, the 10 year average payout is $126,057. As a result, the average payout in 2016 was $18,089, higher than the 10 year average payout.

The average payout reflects a trend towards an increasing value of legal malpractice claims. A recent example of this is a jury award in Jackson County, Missouri for $2.5 million against an attorney. To protect yourself against this trend, review your policy limits to make sure you have adequate policy limit to cover a claim.

You can rely on the experience of Kaestner & Berry. Mark Berry, of Kaestner & Berry, served as the head of the claim department for almost 20 years at a prominent legal malpractice insurance carrier located here in Missouri. During that time he handled thousands of claims for attorneys in Missouri and Kansas.