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I received a significantly different amount for settlement than quoted, was I cheated out of funds?

Boise, ID |

My wife was in a car accident involving a drunk driver, she received a Traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, collapsed lung, and cracked ribs. The lawyer quoted 500k for her, 300k for her sister and about 100k for the other 2 guys. Her sister held her head on and kept her alive. After all was said and done, my wife received 50k, her sister about 10k and the other 2 guys about 10k. That is a HUGE difference. Her cousin was in an accident not to long ago as well, her and her husband received about 100k each and all they had was a ruptured spleen and a few broken bones and the accident was THEIR fault. I am no lawyer nor do I understand the system, where did all this money go? Even though its been 2 years, if mal-intent happened, can it still be taken back to court to receive lost assets?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Re-post your question in the Avvo sections dealing with civil liability and personal injury. By contrast, this section of Avvo deals with those charged with DWI/DUI and related crimes.

Best of luck to you both.

Christopher I. Simser. Sr.

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

Your wife needs to obtain a copy of her settlement statement from her former attorney. Assuming you were married at the time of the collision then the attorney should also provide this information to you. She should have signed a statement at the time she received her $50,000 which showed the amount of the settlement and what was paid out of it for medical bills, attorney fees, advanced attorney expenses, etc. You cannot compare her cousin's collision with your wife's -without seeing her settlement check and statement there is not any actual confirmation of what your cousin received.

Merry Fountain is licensed to practice law in Indiana. She can be contacted at 1-888-242-HURT. This is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. It is legal education intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. If the question does not include important timeframes and facts the answer could change. Merry Fountain strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state.

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

We were not married at the time, I have just been told and i have seen some of the paper work, there were very high quoted amounts, but she received no where near the amount. Its been 2 years since the accident and the money, that was put in a trust, is near depleted for her college and a car, but my main question is, if something can be done even though that much time has past due to mal-intent. A note to consider is that at the time of "signing" any papers my wife was not in a clear state of mind, her hair hadn't even grown back and the wound still fresh, I think she was taken advantage of.

Posted

They should not have signed a release and accepted the money then.

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

it would have been like asking a mentally challenged person sign a document saying they are getting back 1 dollar and the lawyer is keeping 999. The mental person is not gonna know they are being screwed and the lawyer knew this

Posted

I'm not sure what is going on--I've answered a number of similar questions. None this should be happening. Before any settlement offer was accepted, your wife and you should have been informed of the amount and then you both had a right to say yes or no. Were you told by your attorney that 500K was offered and asked whether he/she should accept that offer.
If this did happen the lawyer must prepare a settlement sheet. EVERYTHING is listed on this sheet--the gross settlement amount, the amount of attorneys fees on this settlement, every cost/out of pocket expense the lawyer is claiming--filing costs, costs for medical records/reports, depositions,, etc, then any liens or other costs to be subtracted from the gross settlement. Everything is itemized. In my firm we offer to make copies of all the receipts.
Typically the client signs off on this though I do not think the client signing is required. Get a copy of this...if one was not done????????? demand one be done immediately. You should not be asking "where did money go,?" you should already know!

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Posted

Your sister needs a lawyer, and a brother who will tell her so. There may or may not be something amiss with the settlement. See the attached links. She needs another set of impartial eyes to review the situation to determine whether her rights were violated.

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3 comments

Eric Brian Swartz

Eric Brian Swartz

Posted

Your wife, I should say, needs you to director her to counsel as well as your sister and anyone one else who was advised that their settlement would be larger. Also, if the same lawyer represented all of the injuried people, he or she may have done so improperly.

Asker

Posted

We were not married at the time, I have just been told and i have seen some of the paper work, there were very high quoted amounts, but she received no where near the amount. Its been 2 years since the accident and the money, that was put in a trust, is near depleted for her college and a car, but my main question is, if something can be done even though that much time has past due to mal-intent. A note to consider is that at the time of "signing" any papers my wife was not in a clear state of mind, her hair hadn't even grown back and the wound still fresh, I think she was taken advantage of.

Asker

Posted

it would have been like asking a mentally challenged person sign a document saying they are getting back 1 dollar and the lawyer is keeping 999. The mental person is not gonna know they are being screwed

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