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Expense of defending a lawsuit. To mount a legal defense against civil or criminal liability, a defendant faces expenses for lawyers, investigation, fact gathering, bonds, and court costs. Of critical importance in purchasing liability insurance is not only the limits of coverage under the policy but also the obligation of the insurance company to defend the insured against suits, even if a suit is without foundation. Because legal defense costs can be extremely high, the consumer should consider liability insurance that pays all defense costs in addition to the policy limits.