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Was disabled and was told to sign settlement papers without a guardian.

Odenville, AL |

I got hurt at work, broke my back and had 2 surgeries. 1 major and the other semi-. My lawyer at the beginning told me "your most likely getting 500k. I was skeptical at 1st, but along the way he made me believe this. I have mental problems with a long history of them too. Can't think right at pressure times and not able to read that well also. My wife told him at time of settlement that I needed some1 like Vocational Rehab to be there to help me read and understand the process. Really I needed some1 with good understanding with me. My lawyer told me "NO!" I have this under control, no 1 is allowed to be there with you. I was scared to death, cause I knew I woudn't be able to understand all this myself. When they told me how much they were settleling for I said NO. but they kept begging me

both my attorney and the WC attorney told me eventially that 25k is all I would ever get and made me believe it too. Is there a law against making a disabled person decide things like that on their own? My wife was furious! After about the 10th time of asking and basically making me sign, I signed, because they said to me "If you don't sign for this amount u will get nothing and that this is the only day I have to decide. Every1 in my family said I need to get some1 who knows if this is missreputation or fowl play? Please help me. thx

Attorney Answers 4


Alabama courts can set aside workers' compensation settlements for various reasons within 60 days of the settlement. You need to have an attorney who specializes in workers' compensation claims immediately review the settlement.

No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Rule 7.2, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct.

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This is a contract and you can claim many defenses to it. In your case you want an order setting aside the Compromise and Release due to duress and not being capable to enter into a contract without further clarification. As stated previously each state has its own time frames for which when you can petition court to set aside docs. I would recommend you talk to a WC attorney ASAP.

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Losing your ability to contract forever is a serious consideration, and not one to be taken lightly. Your wife may be appointed as your Guardian or Conservator, but that may mean that you can never legally sign your name again. There is a big gap between Slow and Legally Incompetent, and you will have to decide which side you really want to stand on.

Your Attorney had a high ethical/moral/legal obligation to look out for your best interests, but in the end Settle/Litigate is your choice. If he took your case to Trial and you received nothing, you would probably have the same sad story. You cannot have it both ways; you are either capable of making a decision, or you are not. Once you figure that out, the choice will be clear.

We offer general concepts, 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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An attorney who tells you that you are going to get 500K for a WC in Alabama is either crazy or the best WC lawyer around. Alabama has one of the worst comp rates in the country. What type of impairment and loss of earning capacity rating did you receive? I do not see why you would need vocational rehab to help you understand the legal process. That is not what they are for. Did you mediate the case or see an ombudsman? Talk to someone before 60 days runs.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.

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