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 ?

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?

Lakewood, CO -

Attorney Answers (3)

Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Clark Harkess

Bankruptcy Attorney - Wheat Ridge, CO
Answered

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... more
George Ellis Corson IV

George Ellis Corson IV

Workers' Compensation Lawyer - Orange, CA
Answered

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... more
Ruben Alonso Montoya

Ruben Alonso Montoya

Workers' Compensation Lawyer - Anaheim Hills, CA
Answered

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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