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Can I settle behind my attorney's back with adverse insurance company?

Spartanburg, SC |

I was in a car accident in February 2009 that was not my fault. 10K lost wages; 10K medical costs. I am not happy with the attorney I hired. I need to settle now - even if it's for the measely 25K the adverse insurance company wants to give me b/c I have NO money to live on (single mom). Att. doesn't return calls; I feel like I'm going in circles with this guy. If I would settle for the 25K, the attorney would get about 8K and I would get about 16K. Assuming I'm not worried about contracts or my insurance leins, could I call the adverse ins. co. and get them to settle for 20K? The ins. co. would be paying out less, and I'd be getting more that if I went through the attorney. Thanks!

I have called this attorney on a daily basis...he is either out of the office or "with a client." I went to his office 2 days and sat there until he came out. He brushed me off and said he had a meeting. I've requested several meetings with him and received no contact. I called another local attorney and he said it was unethical for him to discuss another attorney. What are my remedies? I'm afraid to talk to him (or his office personnel) in a gruff tone b/c they might hold it against me. Thanks again!

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Attorney answers 3


I would not recommend it. It is too easy for lawyers to sue you to enforce their contract. In addition the insurance company knows that you are represented and is unlikely to simply forward the check to you. Make an appointment with your attorney and discuss your concerns with him or her.


You would be a foul if you were to do that.

But it is your right to be one and the answer to your question is yes-you can settle if you wanted. However, attorneys are not fouls and I can assure you that one of the first thing you attorney has done is to issue an attorney lien on your case and so any settlement check the insurance will want to issue will have the name of your attorney on it and in all likelihood will be sent to your attorney's office. So, the attorney will get his share from any settlement you care to make plus any costs he has incurred and if you get the check and forge his signature on it, I can assure you aside from the attorney general's office, your attorney's office will come after you and the bitter taste all this will leave in your mouth will make your current situation smell like roses!

if your attorney is not returning you call-he is wrong. Unless, you have called him 15 times in the past 2 weeks in which case any attorney in his place would do the same. You have to remember that because more money you make will translate in more money for the attorney, the attorney will ultimately do everything he can to make sure that the case returns the highest amount possible.

if you feel that what your attorney is doing is not clear to you you have options. You need to ask for an appointment and go see the attorney and ask for a detailed status of your case. The attorney has an obligation to give you full status report at reasonable time intervals. Find out why the case is taking longer than you care to. tell the attorney you need money- your attorney is not your enemy- he is the ONLY friend you have in this situation.

I hope this helps-

Nima Taradji

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information and for entertainment purposes and is only for issues arising under Illinois Law. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is always advisable to contact an attorney directly to find answers based on the facts unique to your case.


You have a contract with your attorney so he is entitled to be paid pursuant to the contract. I do not practice in your jurisdiction, but in California, a client is able to discharge his attorney at any time, for cause or without cause. The insurance company likely will not speak with you directly while you have an attorney. They likely would also include the name of the attorney on any settlement check. Call and make an appointment with your attorney. Tell them about your unhappiness about their lack of communication. Tell them you are interested in resolving your case but do not feel they have earned their fee. See if the attorney will work with you and reduce the fee.

THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. The response given is not intended to, and does not create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney client relationship.

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