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Email that my lawyer wants me to sign stating I have no guarantee of a net recovery??? Do I sign?

West Palm Beach, FL |

This confirms that The Law Offices of *********. has authority to resolve my claim as a result of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on ******* for the highest amount possible which at this time is $********. I understand that this settlement amount is inclusive of my medical bills, attorney fees and costs. Upon final settlement, the firm will be obtaining final medical balances and I will be provided a settlement statement showing a full breakdown of the medical bills, attorney fees and costs. At this time I understand that based upon my medical bills I have no guarantee of any net recovery but would like to settle this case regardless.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

That's pretty standard contingency fee contract language. Think about it: How can your lawyer GUARANTEE you a net recovery? I'm sure he/she would love to get you a net recovery, that makes him/her look like a hero, and then you'll go tell your friends and family how happy you were with your lawyer, etc., etc., etc. It's the "guarantee" part that's the stickler. If you trust your lawyer, sign it. If you don't, don't. Good luck!

I often take cases other attorneys won't, so call me for a free consultation. My number is 727-712-3333, or you can view my website at www.TampaConsumerLawyer.com

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Asker

Posted

The wording "any" net recovery worries me. I could walk away with nothing and, as much as I have been happy with my lawyer on a previous case, I understand that this is a business. As long as their firm gets paid, my situation is irrelevant to them once the case is closed. I don't want to be stuck with excess medical bills and having gone through all this extra testing for my lawyer to walk away with a bigger paycheck. Don't I have a right to the medical costs, attorney fees beforehand if we know what amount we are settling for?

Asker

Posted

Also my insurance has paid the chiropractor for ever visit yet there is somehow still a balance of over $14,000?? I barely saw this man and he was getting paid the whole time. I can see a claim amount for every specialist and even the emergency bills.

Eugene P. Castagliuolo

Eugene P. Castagliuolo

Posted

You should expect to get your medical and surgical bills paid from the settlement proceeds, either at their full value or a lesser, negotiated value. Why else bring the case if not to get the cost(s) of your injury paid? But I've done all I can do in this limited forum. You really need to schedule a meeting with your lawyer and bring your questions and concerns on this topic to them. Their explanation is the one that matters, not mine. Approach them with a positive attitude, and I think you will be satisfied when you walk out.

Posted

This is Joesph Gufford responding to you inquiry. I have never seen any document even remotely like this. How does anyone know what the "highest amount" actually is? Is this something that is being sent out at the begining of the case or at some point after some real work has been put into it? In evaluating any settlement offer, the client needs to know to the value of their case including all of the various aspects of damages that are availaible or reasonable, the hard dollar number of medical bills (these can sometimes be negotiated down) and what the attorney's fees and costs are. Giving a blanket authorization to settle for fictitous amount without knowing those things is in my view, unwise. No lawyer can guarantee any result in any case. So, that goes without. Balnket authorizations to settle are in my view, unwise.

This response is to an unknown person and is for general information purposes only. Under the terms of AVVO policies, an attorney/client relationship is not formed by the answering of questions posted on a public portal. The attorney answering these questions may or may not have an attorney-client relationship with the opposing party. Other conflicts may exist with the person asking the question. A conflict check must be performed in order for the attorney to determine ifa conflict exists under the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar should the questioner desire to use the attorney's services.

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Eugene P. Castagliuolo

Eugene P. Castagliuolo

Posted

Call me crazy (won't be the first time), but I was reading this language simply as the firm making it clear that there was no guaranteed net recovery. At the end of the case, the client still has to sign off on the case settlement statement. If they don't agree to it, they take their ball and go home. So I'm not seeing how the client is really giving up anything. But again, what little personal injury I did was long ago., so Mr. Gufford probably knows more about personal injury contingency fee agreements than I do and so you may want to listen to him.

Joseph Gufford III

Joseph Gufford III

Posted

Unfortunately, in the personal injury realm, there are many settlement mills out there. Giving a blanket authorization to settle the claim at some number is just not a good idea. You really need to look at the components on your claim, medical damages, past and future, lost wages past and future, pain and suffering, past and future and loss of consortium. Also, the strength of the case itself needs to be evaluated.

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