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Can a lawyer withhold payment to massage therapist after they reached settlement?

Denver, CO |

a lawyer settles but there was no negotions with either the lawyer or insurance company and they got settlement based on the billing sent but he has been withholding the payment to me for over 4 months. He tried cutting down payment to an hourly rate which i turned down, now he is saying he will only pay what he says the insurance company usually negotiates for massage.There was no mention of negotions of any type until after he got the settlement. I need to know if this is an ethical or fraudulent issue on the part of the lawyer. he got a settlement from insurance company based on the billing amount not a negotiated rate which means the insurance company did not negotiate down they settled based on the amount he provided to them. Is there anything I can do to get payment?

The client signed a lein which stated that the rates billed are standard insurance rates..which is the same evrywhere.this lawyer had all the information before going to court, He did not contact me with any negotions on the amount billed. He has tried a number of things in order to not pay the full amount which tells me he is grasping at straws to keep some of the settlement at my expense. and to my knowledge, the client is not happy that the lawyer has not paid.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Normally the attorney does not have a duty to pay any of the bills unless their is a statutory lien or he has signed a letter guaranteeing payment. We pay the bills if our client asks us to pay them. We often negotiate the bills so that our client gets more money in the settlement. Contact a Colorado attorney and see if there is a requirement that the attorney pay the full amount of the bills.

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.

Asker

Posted

and the lein does state that the lawyer will pay the charges when settlement is reached.

Randy William Ferguson

Randy William Ferguson

Posted

I am assuming you are the massage therapist. Did the attorney sign the lien guaranteeing payment

Asker

Posted

no he did not but the client did...I just have not ever had a problem like this or a lawyer do things the way he has. There has been no negotiating what so ever on this...just flat holding payment and a total of two times..including today..to make any kind of attempt to even contact me back in the last 4 1/2 months. It almost as though he is trying to come up with ways to not pay, since there has been no talk of negotiating at all and he hopes I will get mad and just agree, which will not happen, which makes me wonder if its his client he wants to get paid more or if he wants it for his pocket, which would make it an Ethical question. Anyway, thank you for the feedback and your time.

Randy William Ferguson

Randy William Ferguson

Posted

If you file suit against his client, he will have to do something.

Posted

I don't really understand this question. Are you a client or a service provider seeking to be repaid for services rendered? If a client, the attorney cannot settle without your consent. If the lawyer was collecting a bill on your behalf, he also cannot settle without your consent. If the lawyer is your lawyer, talk to him/her. If not, you may need your own to fight for you. Also keep in mind, very often there are set rates insurance companies will pay for services so you may be limited to that.

Good luck.

Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Habberfield is licensed to practice law in the States of New York and Pennsylvania. 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 time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Habberfield strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

Asker

Posted

I understand if I was negotiating with the Insurance Company or even the Lawyer for that matter on a lower or set rate but they chose to take it to court and they won settlement. he has not supplied me with the paperwork of the settlement to show me if the Insurance Company even negotiated a lower rate which I do not believe they did..also what he had wanted to pay, which is only one time he contacted me, is not even 1/4 of the amount billed...but thank you for your time and input.

Posted

I assume that you provided therapy to this person. If the person has not paid you out of the settlement, take the person to small claims court.

Licensed in Pennsylvania & New Jersey & Serving the Nation. Only 29% Fee Deducted. 1-877-258-3083. www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com

Posted

It is common for attorneys and their clients to attempt to negotiate the payment of medical liens. However, you are not required to accept a particular amount just because the offer is made to you. Your alternative is to go to court to enforce your lien agaisnt the proceeds. If you don't reach an agreement, this is how you will move forward to enforce your right to get paid.

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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