A hummer ran into our bedroom and hit me while my wife and I were in Bed. I thought it was an open an shut case and I was hurt pretty significantly. I was in the hospital for 6 days and was on bed rest for another month and then out of work for 3 months. My total medicals were 61000 my lost pay was 12000. Now the time to settle and my lawyer says there is a 100K liability limit and the insurance is offering that. The guy does not seem to have very many assets so take the settlement. Lawyer was initially at 33% and he says he will offer to take 25% so I can pocket more. I am not able to trust my lawyer because he lectures me like I am trying to fake my injuries. Is there anything I can do? Can any of his other insurance policies or my rental property insurance cover anything?
If the guy doesn't have any assets to go after, the insurance is really your only hope of recovering money. I'm assuming you don't have UIM (underinsured motorist) coverage. If you had a policy that provided more than $100k you could pursue additional coverage. For example, if you had a $500k policy, you could go on your policy for up to another $400k. That's why it's important to carry high UIM limits.
You may be able to tap into your own car insurance for underinsured benefits, since the injury occurred at the result of a car accident. That is assuming you have more than a 100/300 policy yourself. I'm curious to know why you didn't submit your medical bills to your health insurance company for payment. Also, you do not have to accept the 100K. You can sue the guy, get a judgment, and plague him for payments on it for the next 20 years. Not sure its worth the effort, but technically it can be done. I'm sorry that your attorney is not warm and fuzzy, but sometimes we have to be very direct to the point of rude in order to get clients to hear what we are saying, instead of just what they want to hear. Getting money out of insurance companies is difficult even under the most obvious of circumstances, its not whistling Dixie, or shuffling papers, however it may appear to the outside world.
Why shouldn't you trust your attorney? He has secured the policy limits despite the fact that it doesn't seem that your injuries are al that significant (you don't mention your pain level or permanency). Then he unilaterally agrees to take a substantially lesser fee. From my perspective that is a pretty sweet deal for you and pretty generous on his part. You could try to take the case to trial, spend more and possibly get less from the jury.
Part of the reason you are paying an attorney is for him or her to use their expertise in identifying and tracking down all possible avenues of recovery. Surely your attorney has investigated all underinsured motorist coverage and all types of medical payments coverage which may be available to you. A formal asset search can also be run on the tortfeasor, for which you will need to pay. Once all avenues have been exhausted, you can rest assured that you have done the best you can to make a recovery. Certainly you will have medical liens of various types and probable subrogation liens, all of which your paid attorney will assist you in resolving or minimizing. This is another reason why you need an attorney to assist you in these types of situations. It is not as simple as filing a few pieces of paper. Your attorney has already offered a reduction of his or her agreed fee and perhaps your attorney would consider a further reduction.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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