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My work comp lawyer left me without pay for 8+ months due to his mistake. Can I ask him for his % back when my case settles ?

Lakewood, CO |

W/C used a legal loophole to close out my case is April. Money stopped coming into his office in my name. His paralegal never followed up on it. I figured he'd take care of it. I had just received a major TTD check. 3 months later I called to ask why it stopped and they said they "just found out about it now". I've been in financial hell for 4 months now. They set a hearing for December to request all the back pay. Many thousands of dollars. I've been really needing that money. I owe thousands to those who helped me stay afloat. His NEW paralegal called to say they're getting ready to settle my claim. They decided to abandon the back pay issue. The back pay is greater than the settlement money. Do I need to hire counsel to get that money from him, or will asking for it be enough?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

If you allow your attorney to continue working for you and you accept the settlement, then there is very little chance that the attorney will give you his payment. You can't have it both ways. You cannot accept the settlement and then demand return of the attorney fees. You couldn't have handled this case on your own and the attorney will expect to be paid. He's not going to finish your case and then agree to have done the work for free. If you don't believe that the case is being handled correctly, you need to sit down with another attorney and explore retained different counsel.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

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Posted

You should probably discuss this with your current attorney. Whether you are objectively owed the money is a factual issue, although I am confident that you KNOW it is due you. Your Attorney cannot settle your case without your permission, but he most likely knows much more about it than we do. You should listen to him.

We give free general concepts to be helpful, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.

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Posted

Your attorney may be settling your owed TD payments in the settlement. I would suggest that you have a sitdown with your attorney for him to explain the current situation and to take care of the owed TD if any and then settlement. If he is unable or unwilling to do so, you need to get a new WC attorney. Remember as Mr. Corson stated your case wont settle unless you sign settlement docs. Good Luck!

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

His paralegal says that 2 things hurt my case. #1. 3 W/C doctors say it's "chronic" back pain. 2 disks reinjured, 2 new ones. the new one's are never mentioned in any of the reports. #2. the prior injury. He says it would cost $950 to hire a DIME Dr. but it still might not help to overcome the 3 stooges opinions. They don't want to pursue the back pay issue since the insurance company wants to settle. He doesn't want to pursue both. I told him I want both back pay & settlement money. He thinks I can only get the settlement money. I told him I have to pay for my own medical to fix the disks. They'll "try" to get me a little more. He knows I feel betrayed by him, and is just trying to close out the case. I think I'll look into another lawyer, or file a complaint with the legal regulatory agency. I need both monies, not just the one.

Asker

Posted

Previously he said the legal loophole is binding in favor of the insurance carrier. He never said if he could fight it, and work it to my benefit. He never fully explained the loophole. I don't want to drop the back pay issue, but he knows I desperately need the settlement money & asked if I wanted them to settle the claim. I told him to proceed & that I feel screwed in both ways. Settlement money is just enough to pay back everyone that helped me out. Back pay money would help me get healed & ahead.

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