Did your attorney tell you why s/he was recommending the settlement? Sometimes we discover things during the litigation that we did not know before filing suit, which make a trial less likely to result in a good outcome for the client. I am very troubled by your statement that the attorney was offered a kick back from the defendant or carrier to settle your case. That is something you would need to take up with the Florida Bar. First, I would suggest making an office appointment to sit down and talk to the attorney face to face about the future of your case. If you have lifelong disabilities related to your case, then it seems the delay would not cause that much damage to your case, certainly it would not be "damaged beyond repair" if you have devastating injuries. It often takes a long time to get a case to trial anyway, so it's difficult/impossible for any attorney here to say whether your attorney did anything to damage your case. You should read the contract you signed with your attorney - most contracts give the attorney a lot of discretion on case strategy. You should talk to your current attorney about the status and future of your case and if you are still unhappy, consider seeking new counsel. I hope you are still able to have a good outcome and wish you the best of luck.
Although I am happy to give my opinion freely based on my knowledge, experience, and training as a personal injury attorney, the opinions I give in response to questions posed on AVVO should not be construed as legal advice and should not be relied on to make legal decisions.
Legal malpractice claims can be very difficult to assess, especially when talking about whether a settlement is appropriate. Therefore, I suggest you consult with a good local lawyer to thoroughly review the facts and circumstances of your case. Good luck.
First, it is extremely unlikely that a kick-back was offered. I have heard these allegations repeatedly, but I have never seen any proof of them. Of course, if you have proof, you should turn it over to the Florida Bar. The lawyer's career will be at an end with proof of that kind.
Second, I see no damages. None. You did not accept the offer, so you saved yourself from what you see as a betrayal. All you have to do is discharge your lawyer and get a new one. If the old lawyer charges a fee you can attempt to defend against the claim with your assertions.
Third, why did your lawyer change positions? Did you ask? What was the answer? Maybe there is a problem with proving liability? Or maybe critical damage testimony was compromised? Or maybe there is not enough left on the liability insurance policy? But, if you lawyer really does not want to try your case for some reason not related to its merits (liability, damages, or collectability) , get a new lawyer who will try the case.
This is a summary based on incomplete facts. You should not rely on it as legal advise. No attorney-client relationship is intended to be formed.