I have had two workers comp incidents. I have a lawyer, but i am having questions. All my saved funds are gone and I have tried to get a pre-settlement loan. But, my attorney,[firm name omitted]say it is against company policy that they sign any paper work for me to get a loan. The document only states that when everything is over, they will get paid. I stead they want me to settle, sense i need money. But I can not do that, I am still hurt. My doctors have not even released me. One of my doctors have given me two referrals for more test.
So, how can I get a loan, without my attorneys signature. She will fax any and all paper work at a cost but that is it. Please Help!
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
I handle workers' comp cases, too. As a matter of practice, I usually refuse to participate in these transactions, mostly because I think that they prey on people facing hardship with their extreme finance charges and interest rates. I will do so only under unusual circumstances and only where I am allowed to modify the paperwork, if necessary, so that it comports with law. The reason for the modifications is that the deal that most of these funding companies offer is actually not a loan; it is an agreement to purchase a portion of your recovery. In my opinion, it is not lawful to assign a portion of your w/c case in Florida. Many of my clients have called pre-suit funding companies seeking money like you have. When the companies call me to get the paperwork signed, I always ask for a copy of their contract. When I call back to explain the purchase-versus-loan problem, they all tell me that they've worked with lots of Florida lawyers who have no problems with their agreements. My answer is that I don't care what other lawyers do; I won't do it if I think it's not lawful. There's a reasonable chance that your lawyers have had the same experience. If you have an open and compensable w/c claim, as you seem to have, and the doctors are actively treating you, then you should be eligible for bi-weekly checks from the w/c carrier. If you are not getting them, you should talk to your lawyer to find out why not.
Ken Schwartz, Esq.
West Palm Beach, FL
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
I totally agree with Ken Schwartz's reply. During my 35 years of representing injured workers, I did only 1 of these assignments for a client with a pregnant wife about to be evicted, etc. And, the settlement was only a few weeks away!! These companies simply prey on vulnerable people who are desperate, and in many cases, end up with the majority of the settlement. You may have the best lawyer in Florida but, when settlement time comes later in the case and you end up with only a small part of the settlement and the lending company gets the majority of the money, you won't be happy and this doesn't help the lawyers' reputation. I tell clients from the beginning that having a WC case can be financially devastating and painful and that they must tighten their belt to lower spending even if that means giving up their home, getting rid of car(s), etc.