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HELP! My Attorney is wanting to charge me more, because I felt the settlement was not fair.She want her % and case cost.

Snellville, GA |

this has been along almost two years. I had to have back surgeryMy attorney had settle my case back in march. I was very unhappy with settlement. She said,she never finished my case and didn't finish any settlements with my medical bill that portion begins after all settlement money is received. in her hands.she received1/2 of the total amount available. she is telling me I owe her the % plus case cost. this was earned when the funds were received from the insurance co.she also told me I should have told her about Rawlings co. why did she not tell me about Rawlings if she handles cases before.I felt the settlement was unfair and I went to another attorney and they told me she had settle. I was hit from behind 3facture to spine $25,000,from ins co.what can I do? my was 25, as well. Why

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Review you retainer agreement. If you feel you were treated unfairly, speak with another attorney. If you were getting material from Rawlings and not telling your lawyer about it, that is a problem for you. I hope you can work things out.

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

Posted

In a normal circumstance, the attorney is owed their fee plus costs as they have paid all of the costs the entire case. However, no settlement is ever to be finalized without the client's approval. Assuming you gave it, then your attorney did the right thing and now it is up to you two to negotiate down medical billing if necessary and to work out something. As it is, if the case is settled, you are not getting something else for your injuries. If this was a car wreck, then the policy determined the amount of recovery not your injuries. There may have been a limited amount of funds. In Georgia, many people have 25/50 coverage. Meaning 25,000 per person MAX and 50,000 per accident MAX.

If you have already signed a settlement distribution, you can't really do much at all.

Posted

Is it possible that the limit of the defendant's policy? It sounds like there was no excess policy. Did you have supplemental underinsured motorist coverage? It looks like you may have had $25k in underinsured. If that is the case it will do you no good as your carrier is entitled to an offset/credit for the first $25k. Georgia is not a no-fault state, therefore all of your medical bills must be satisfied by the proceeds of your settlement or verdict. This is almost without exception. All of your medical providers will have asserted a lien against your case to get paid. You must have signed something that gave them a right of recovery (lien) . Rawlings is simply a collection firm for medical bills. Once you got the letter you were obligated to give it to your lawyer. Not having done so, you may have a problem. The good news is that with very few exceptions, liens are negotiable.

Your lawyer is entitled to be paid in accordance with the terms of the retainer. Your case disbursements (your lawyer laid these expenses out) are to be paid back to your attorney from the proceeds of the settlement. Your lawyer may have recovered all that was there to recover. You MUST have a face to face, calm, reasonable discussion with your lawyer. Call now and make an appointment.

We are serious lawyers for the seriously injured. I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO FAULT HANDBOOK. The opinions expressed in this answer are not legal advice. These opinions are thoughts based on New York practice. We have no attorney-client relationship. Conducting a conversation with me through the avvo comments section does not create an attorney-client relationship. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance.

Andrew Lawrence Weitz

Andrew Lawrence Weitz

Posted

The first sentence above should have two more words: "was $25k?" And, ya know, I had to check something. Georgia is one of the many states that allows "stacking" of policies, as long as there are multiple policies. Your layer can tell you if this means that you may be able to collect on your SUM policy (25k) if your policy language does not foreclose this option. The Georgia stacking law is complicated, so you must consult with a Georgia lawyer fluent in auto policies.

Posted

Sounds like you don't fully understand that you are only entitled to the amount of coverage that the at fault driver had. After that, you would need to look into going after any other policies or assets of the driver. This is only worth your time if the driver has assets to go after. Talk to your attorney about whether it makes sense to trace the driver's assets and take the case further.

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