My lawyer Scott Rovenger of Ft. Lauderdale, gives me the runaround. Now I see that he was disbarred! What can I do?
When you settled your personal injury case you should have received a closing statement that showed how much money was received and where that money went. If it showed money was paid to Humana, I would send them a copy of that statement and show them that you were told it was paid.
While I am also in Fort Lauderdale, as are you, I have never known Mr. Rovenger. If your closing statement shows money was being held in his trust account to pay Humana, I would send a written letter asking the status of those funds. Send it certified mail. Assuming you get no response, the Florida Bar has a fund for persons who are injured by lawyers, contact them. Good luck and I'm sorry this happened to you.
Your lawyer should have retained in his trust account the full amount that Humana was claiming that they are owed because they paid medical bills which were caused by another party (the party that settled with you). Generally, any negotiated reduction in the amount of the lien to be paid back is then sent to you. These negotiations can legitimately take months.
But, if your lawyer was disciplined by the Bar, there is a chance that this did not happen the way it was supposed to. Contact the Bar, and find out if they can tell you anything about trust funds being held for your benefit. If the funds are gone, there is a program for that.
I would also suggest contacting Humana, and finding out what they think the status of the lien negotiation is.
There are lawyers in the state who specialize in negotiating and resolving liens for medical bills. I would suggest researching those firms, the "Medical Bill Clinic" is one that comes to mind, and seeing if you want to hire them as a new lawyer.
How much money was held back by Mr. Rovenger? Although he may be disbarred, you should still insist on some communication from him regarding the status of the lien negotiations. You may need to make an appearance at the office and insist on a copy of your file. If he still will not comply, you may have to contact the Florida Bar to make a complaint and/or to see if it can provide some follow up on your case.
Mr. Rovenger was disbarred for not protecting and paying the money owed to a hospital from a personal injury settlement. Your money to pay your Health insurance lien should have been indicated on your disbursement/closing statement and be in Mr. Rovenger's trust account. unless Mr. Rovenger told you that you would be responsible for it out of your money in which case you must negotiate the lien.
I'm sorry for your experience. My advise is for you to contact the Bar to find out who is handling the winding down of Mr. Rovenger's practice, if anyone. It is important to learn what happened with the money that was supposed to be held in trust for that lien. That is, was it held in trust and simply not dealt with, or was the money not held in trust and dispersed to someone other than Humana. You will likely have to deal with the lien either way, but may be entitled to compensation through the Florida Bar if that money was wrongfully dispersed to anyone other than Humana. Again, I"m sorry for your experience and
wish you the best.
Hopefully Mr. Rovenger has held the balance in his trust account pending negotiations with the insurance carrier. However, seeing that he has been disbarred; hopefully the bar has some type of fund for individuals financially injured by their attorney.
Best of luck.
Contact the Florida State Bar association. They may have a restitution fund for this scenario. You should also contact Humana and find out the status. This is probably what is called a "subrogation" lien for money they paid on your behalf and their may be ways to either negotiate no reimbursement or at least a reduction.
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