Although it comes up infrequently, occasionally you will receive a Subpoena. Even though it is a benefit in many policies this is a 2 edge sword. Responding to the subpoena without notifying your malpractice insurance carrier could down the road lead to a malpractice claim's denial.
Many Professional Liability Insurance policies offer Subpoena Assistance that is not related to a case you are currently handling or a malpractice claim that your carrier is currently defending. There are occasions where you receive a subpoena either to testify in a matter and/or compel you to produce documents. One the first steps once you receive a subpoena is to notify your carrier of this request and at the very least ask as to how to proceed with complying with the request. Most policies state that the carrier will appoint an attorney to provide you legal representation and advice. Take them up on this policy requirement.
Although subpoena may not result in a malpractice claim, it might. Putting the carrier on notice will help protect your rights in case the information provided in the subpoena turns into a malpractice claim against you. Many malpractice policies state that the notice of a subpoena to the carrier serves as notice of a potential claim.
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Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU
Managing Director, CEO
(616) 940-1101 Ext. 7080