It sounds like this may just be a misunderstanding. Ask your attorney for a breakdown of how the settlement was disbursed - what was the total, how much did the firm earn as attorney's fees, how much did the firm spend on expenses (filing fees, depositions, copies, experts), and how much were you supposed to receive. For example, a $50,000 settlement could easily result in only $25,000 or so going directly to the injured party.
General advice based on limited facts. No attorney-client relationship created.
You do not get the full settlement amount. Double check your retainer agreement, but the most likely case here is that your attorney took his fee off the top plus expenses, and then gave you the balance due. I doubt that a law firm forged anything or provided false checks. If you really think that's the case, then you should contact the Georgia State Bar.
This is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. This is for education and informational purposes only. It is always recommended that you contact an attorney with any concerns as each individual case is unique.
When a contingency fee personal injury case is concluded, the attorney should have prepared a closing statement which you reviewed and signed. Did you receive such a document or a similar document? If you did, I suggest you review it in detail and see if it matches up with what you claim happened. If you still have questions, I suggest that you schedule a face-to-face meeting with your attorney to review your file and get answers to all of your questions. If you do not receive a satisfactory response from the Law Firm, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the State Bar authority which oversees attorney licensing.
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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.
This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.
I suspect this question has come up as a result of a misunderstanding between you and your attorney and that your attorney may not have explained the entire disbursement well. No attorney wants to deal with a bar complaint, and I suggest you take that route only as a last resort. As others have noted, your attorney's fee and reimbursement of his/her expenses would have been deducted from the gross settlement, so the net to you should obviously have been less than the gross settlement figure. If there were any outstanding medical bills, those may have been paid of of the proceeds as well.
Take some time to try and speak with the attorney or someone in their office to understand how the funds were disbursed. If you still have questions, schedule an in-office meeting and ask for the disbursement documents.
Call the disciplinary board of your state's bar, and they will get to the bottom of this with lightning speed.
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