Q: Must a defense lawyer in Illinois inform his client that he may have insurance coverage for a lawsuit?
Does a defense lawyer practicing in Illinois have an ethical obligation to inform his client that the client may have insurance coverage for a lawsuit that would cover the client's legal fees? Even if this means that the case would have to be tendered to the insurance company and that lawyer would likely be replaced by an insurance company lawyer?
A: Generally, any claim/case should be reviewed to determine if there is possible insurance coverage. If there is potential coverage then the claim/case should be forwarded to the parties insurance agent who will transmit to the insurance company. If there is coverage, then the insurance company will provide an attorney to defend and if any indemnity (settlement payment or jury verdict) is paid, the insurance company will pay up to the limits of the available coverage. Based upon your description the first inquiry should be if the claim is or may be covered under the applicable policy of insurance. That will then answer your second question.
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