In 2001, I was injured at work and after 3 months the insurance company denied my claim. I hired an attorney and in 2005 we settled on the compensation portion but left the medical open. Every few years the insurance co. would give me a hard time and every time I tried to reach my attorney he wouldn't respond. Recently, they contacted my pharmacy (IWP) and told them I was receiving medication that wasn't related to my injury and they cut me off. I tried to reach my attorney again and still no response so I told the paralegal that I was coming to get copies of the transcripts from the hearings and I was told they were shredded. The next day I received a letter from attorney stating since we settled he was no longer my attorney. Since he was paid and we left medical openisn't he still obligated to handle any medical issues involving the insurance company?
it seems like a good time to talk to another attorney, especially after your attorney letter that he is "no longer" your attorney.
You should discuss the pharmacy issue with an attorney.
Without reading the original attorney fee agreement you signed, many agreements reflect that the 20% fee is for the work resulting in the settlement. Some agreements specifically address future represnetation for issues arising from the settlement, as these medical expense issues can arise. Look at your agreement.
IMO I would not want an attorney representing me if they were no longer interested in my case.
A future attorney can earn a fee if there is an unreasonalbe denial of your medical expenses.
This is an issue that should have been discussed when you resolved your claim. The "normal" practice is to continue to represent a client when there is a indemnity only C&R, i.e. future medicals left open. You are free to "fire" your old lawyer and hire a new lawyer as it does not appear that your old lawyer is interested in representing you. Don't worry about your shredded file as your "new" lawyer can re-create it as needed. Best of luck to you!
The position of your "former" attorney is unique. The general rule is that representation continues until such time as the entire case is resolved. You should definitely check the language of your fee agreement to make sure your attorney's representation ended with the settlement.Sometimes the medical portion of the case remains open indefinitely and sometimes the carrier will approach you at a later time to try and settle the medical portion of the claim only. I would check AVVO and search for Workers' Compensation attorneys in your general area, so that you can retain someone to file a Petition for you promptly. If you choose to go it alone, the form Petitions are available online at the Bureau of Workers' Compensation's website. Good Luck!
Legal disclaimer: The advice provided does not create an attorney/client relationship. The within information contained herein is a general overview and does not apply to all states or situations as state laws vary. Every situation is different and the advice herein may not be applicable to your state. We have not undertaken representation of you and we will not file anything including, but not limited to, pleadings or petitions on your behalf. We will not protect any statute of limitations, which may exist in your state. We recommend that you consult with an attorney for legal advice, so that your specific concerns and situation can be analyzed by a legal professional in your state.
Your attorney is not unilaterally obligated to represent you for any period of time- it's a mutual understanding between you and him. However, it appears like there was a miscommunication- at least on his part- at the time of the indemnity only settlement. When the attorney/client relationship is broken, what normally happens is a letter from the attorney to the client or vice versa, is written which clearly communicates that the relationship is severed. I usually continue to represent my clients, even if the wage loss portion of the case is over. It looks poor in my opinion to "cut and run" like that once the attorney pocketed the fee. At the very least, he should have made it clear that his services were ending. Good luck to you.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline