If I am sued, does my insurance company defend me in court?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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When you buy liability insurance, part of the insurance company’s obligation is to provide a defense for you if you are sued. The insurance company will do this by hiring and paying for an experienced attorney to represent you in court. Even though the insurance company selects the lawyer and must approve the payment of all legal fees and other expenses of the lawsuit, the lawyer represents you. In some cases your insurer may send you a reservation of rights letter. This is because your insurer is required to defend you on any claim that could be covered. If the lawsuit against you involves some claims that might be covered and others that are not covered, the insurer will have to offer you a defense. If the verdict in the case indicates that you were liable on a claim that is not covered, the insurance company will not pay the claim, even though they paid for the lawyer. The appointed lawyer is not required to represent you in any counterclaims that you might have against other parties. If you find yourself in this sort of situation, you should consult your own attorney about what steps you can take to make sure that your interests are protected.

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