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My lawyer plans to split my PI insurance settlement 3 ways between lawyer/negotiated medical bills/myself. Is this fair to all?

Katy, TX |

I will reach policy limit with my final claim after surgery. My attorney has explained to me that the way he distributes the settlement amount is to negotiate with the medical providers to receive 1/3 of the total, the attorney will receive 1/3, and I will receive 1/3. Does this sound fair and reasonable for PI type settlements?

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Attorney answers 6


When the medical bills are enormous and the amount of insurance found is far too little, a "three-way split" like this one can actually be a great success given the cards you and your lawyer were dealt. So, yes, it can be reasonable if those are your facts.


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Marc C. Lenahan
Lenahan Law, P.L.L.C.

214.295.2664 fax
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2655 Villa Creek, Suite 204
Dallas, Texas 75234

National Crime Victim Bar Association

Vice President,
Texas Brain Injury Alliance
(formerly Brain Injury Association of Texas)


Too hard to tell. It really depends upon who the medical providers are, if you have health ins that paid at all, if you have medi-care or medic-aid, etc. Some providers have hardship programs and greater reductions. There are various legal arguments that can be made for further reductions, based on state laws (possibly) and various equitable doctrines that may or may not apply. Hopefully your lawyer has looked into all of this.

Are you certain the deft doesnt have sufficient assets to contribute to the policy limit?


Mr. Lenahan is correct. There are certainly times when such a split is very fair., and potentially more advantageous for people such as yourself. Especially if the medical bills are high and the attorney negotiated a significant reduction of those liens. Not knowing the specifics of your situation though, it is hard to tell if your situation is "fair to all". I would encourage you to speak to your lawyer more on this issue. Good luck with your surgery.

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I agree with all of the opinions you have received so far. It really depends on the circumstances. As a blanket However, the answer depends on the amount of the settlement, the specifics your injuries and medical bills.


It does sound fair. Many times if you don't have an attorney the health insurer will try to take most of the proceeds especially under certain plans. So I would say its fair although it sounds like the claim itself was probably worth much more. Hope you recover well from your surgery and wish you a happy holiday.



No, not fair nor reasonable at all. A good lawyer would be able to negotiate a medical lien down significantly. I'll give you an example. My firm only deducts a 29% fee. We don't charge the client a penny in costs, as it comes out of our 29%. We usually get the lien down to ten cents on the dollar or less. The client with medical liens typcially walks away with 60-70 percent of the settlement. Not all firms are created equal. Good luck to you.

Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755

Timothy Leo Bowden

Timothy Leo Bowden


I can't speak for other firms but my firm never takes equal to what the client receives. Ever. So if I litigate an Erisa plan issue and the court rules that the plan takes, we don't go by a percentage in that case. It just will always be less. Even if its 5 percent. Long ago I decided that the attorney should never receive more than the injured person. I don't damn those who do. We just don't do it. Tim

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