my injuries have yet to be corrected nor will they return our calls, now they call and say insurance company we are going after has just filed bankruptcy. What does that have to do with us they were not in bankrupt when the accident occured now what am i suppose to do??
First, let me say that I am sorry to hear that you were injured because of a drunk driver. Make one more attempt to find out what is going on, what your alternatives for settlement will be with the bankruptcy, and whether your current attorney is still interested in representing you. If you continue having this type of difficulty with communication with your current attorney you should start looking for another one in your local area.
You can still make the claim, but it will (at the very least) be delayed until the bankruptcy court decides what to do. There is also a good chance that your claim could be extinguished by the bankruptcy court. Your best bet would be to proceed under your uninsured motorist coverage. At the same time, I would monitor the claim in the bankruptcy court and try to collect again depending on the outcome. But you might have to negotiate with your uninsured motorist carrier in case they want to seek reimbursement from any settlement you might get with the other carrier. On another issue, it is not a good sign that you are unable to meet and confer with your lawyer. You need to document in writing your efforts to confer with your lawyer. A nonresponsive attorney is good cause to discharge that lawyer from your case.
Call me for a free, no obligation, consultation.
Robert C. Slim, Attorney at Law
It depends upon whether the insurance company is in receivership or liquidation. Under the former, they still pay your claims. Under the latter, usually responsibility to pay the claim falls upon a guarantee association in your case, the texas property and casualty guaranty association (i believe) Contact the Texas department if insurance or check the guarantee association website for details on your particular insurance company.
Texas law requires that contingent fee contract be in writing. You mentioned that you have not met with your lawyer. I am curious about whether you have a written contract. You may not have assigned an interest in your claim. The nonstandard automobile insurance company writing policies Texas recently went under. I believe it is called Drivers Insurance out of Georgia. Most people who purchase this type of insurance do not have nonexempt assets against which you could execute a judgment. I agree with Mr. Slim – look into whether you have UIM coverage. You will need to prove that the liability insurer is bankrupt. If you never signed a contingency agreement with an attorney in Texas, that attorney has no valid assignment of any contingent interest in your claims. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you would do well to consider hiring another attorney. Even if you did sign a contract, it sounds like your attorney would be willing to release you from any interest that he or she might claim against your case. Another consideration is that other insurance might exist. For instance, the driver of the other vehicle might be covered by some other policy. You do not know unless you investigate. YOu can ask your lawyer to give you a letter releasing you from any claims the lawyer might have against your case (and also a complete copy of your file). Then seek another attorney that is willing to investigate insurance coverage issues for you.
I recommend that you call and set a face to face meeting with the attorney you hired and get your questions answered. Be very clear with who ever you speak with that you are calling to set an appointment- and keep calling back until the meeting is set.
Document your efforts to speak with your lawyer and consider also sending an email or fax asking for a meeting and referencing your phone attempts.
I would show up at the attorney's office and aske for your original file and a copy of the contract. If no contract, fire the attorney. Consult with another attorney, preferably board certified in personal injury trial law. If you have uninsured motorist coverage and the at-fault party's carrier in fact filed for bankruptcy, make a claimi on your own policy. Further, I believe that there is a fund in Austin to cover bankrupt insurance companies. Need to check that. But if you hire another attorney, they will do all that for you and get you to a doctor hopefully. Good luck to you.
Most states have an insurance guarantee fund that will compensate injury victims when the adverse driver's insurance company goes belly up. But with the State of Texas, anything may be possible.
I suggest you write your attorney a letter in which you demand a face-to-face meeting within the next 10 days. If you do not receive a satisfactory response to your letter, I suggest you change attorneys and file a complaint with the State Bar.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
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.
It sounds as if the insurance company for the drunk driver may be in a receivership proceeding. If this is the case, then you will likely be dealing with many issues relating to making a claim against all available insurance and then the Guaranty Fund. You can also make a claim with the Texas Crime Victims Compensation fund if there is no money to recover from other sources. Good luck. www.urhurt.com
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