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Can my Attorney hold money out of my settlement, because the company have a lien?

Riverdale, GA |

I was in a car accident. So my medical bills were handled through my workmans comp. I guess since the hospital could not collect the money from them, which I was not aware. They put a lien on my house, which I was also not aware. They did not give me the opportunity to settle the debt with them. Well, my house foreclosed, so I guess they contact the workman comp and they gave them my attorney's info. So they called her and told her they had a lien. When I settled my case she took her 20% out of the total amount and then took the additional amount that the hospital said I owed them and it she has been holding it for 5 months. Says she is still investigating if they followed proper procedures to collect before the filed a lien or if i was given proper notification. I shouldnt take this long.

She told me that she wasn't going to pay the hospital because she had already received settlement check. And in that amount included reimbursement amount to pay the workmen comp for medical bills. So case was already settled and I wasnt aware when she settled with the workmen comp that they hadnt paid the hospital bill at the time. How can she feel like its her obligation to disperse my money out how she see fit. Well I understand why she did it that way now.Had the company that settled included the hospital amount in with the settlement she would not have made as much money. So in the end I'm getting screwed. And everytime I call her about it she will say well I can just pay them the whole amount so that I'm no longer involved in it or I can turn it over to the court and let the judge decide. How can this be fair? She know they didnt give me proper notification. She need to release my money. Should I contact the bar association and file a complaint?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Your attorney must settle any liens against the settlement before they can issue the funds to you.

Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted in the States of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts only and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to those three States. This advice is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation. Facts and laws change and these possible changes will affect the advice provided here. Consult an attorney in your locale before you act on any of this advice. You should not rely on this advice alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney client relationship.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

So it doesnt matter that they did not go about the collection process the correct way. I never new my workmen comp did not pay them. Wouldn't I have received collection letter or something giving me the opportunity to settle this with them myself. or they can put a lien without my knowledge. I did'nt think the process work that way.

Theodore Lyons Araujo

Theodore Lyons Araujo

Posted

Most liens are 'statutory" liens which mean they attach as a matter of law. If your attorney distributes the funds without the liens being satisfied they are personal obligations that survive the suit and they can go after you, however, again, you should consult an attorney in your community for a second opinion on your state law. _____

Posted

When you are injured, many states give the medical providers liens on settlements. The attorney who settled the case is responsible for paying those liens before paying you. You are not getting screwed. The providers are getting what the law entitles to get and your attorney is doing what the law requires.

Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

So it doesnt matter that they did not go about the collection process the correct way. I never new my workmen comp did not pay them. Wouldn't I have received collection letter or something giving me the opportunity to settle this with them myself. or they can put a lien without my knowledge. I did'nt think the process work that way.

Mitchell Paul Goldstein

Mitchell Paul Goldstein

Posted

There is no correct way. The provider did not have to send a letter before sending the debt to collections. Also, the lien on any settlement is based on statute.