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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111654
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Several questions (sorry I am a bit slow in responding as I

Customer Question

Several questions (sorry I am a bit slow in responding as I have a father (in home hospice) & mother-in-law (in hospital) who just passed away and services are Sat/Mon and this is the 2nd set of duplicate docs I have received. I am to go to court on Mar 21st--date of funeral) and called atty to tell them I will not attend.....that they are not assisting me*.etc so to confirm....1) Would it not be considered malpractice if I was hurt in 1996 and the attorney's just went to the judge to close the case out in December 2015?.....and if so, what would be the possible and or probable results of suing them?
1a) Can they come back on me and state that I should have pushed to have this closed?2) How would you suggest I locate a local attorney to handle this situation
2a) How should I go about finding really good atty --- someone who actually scored on the upper part of their class---and is doing well in their profession -versus not
2d) What wording would you suggest I use to speak with an attorney to sue this current attorney & her associates/assistants
***The letter -Enclosed find proposed stipulations that we have negotiated on yr behalf. These stipulations would finalized yr claim.
***Page 6 para 3 provides for a permanent partial disability of 62%, which is $61k. By law, this amt is paid at $170/wk from date yr condition stabilized. However, the 5 years has expired in yr case and we would be unable to reopen your claim for further disability.
3. I am assuming this amount would be the the grand total they are offering, but would this amount be lowered per the amount they "fronted" me back when I was first injured towards the settlement?
3a) Will new attorney have to re-negotiate the level of disability? or
3b) Can the companies atty re-negotiate level of disability because I am changing attys
3c) I am also assuming that I have no recourse against the companies atty as they did not attempt to close my case out either. Is this correct?
3d) Will I get any penalties or ? for not closing the case in a timely manner?***Para 4 provides for continuing lifetime medial treatment for your injury. When you are in need of treatment, you should report to your doc and above the doc contact for authorization and appropriate billing instructions.
4) WC consistently denies everything so my Kaiser doc actually started giving me epidurals under my husbands medical....to help me as the doctors stated years back if they had been working with me, I would have had the surgery and been back to work, instead of laying in my bed only getting pain meds and being ignored....they took me over about 7/8ish years ago...and ignored I was on WC to get me back on my feet...without them, I would still be bedridden or would have just decided to finally kill myself and be done with it...which is about where I was at before they took me over....
4a) Incredibly stressed NOW with WC & the Atty's back in Nov/Dec when the attorney's started to go to court to speak with each other....Workers Comp denied my morph pain pills. As Kaiser did my surgery under my husbands medical plan approx 5 years ago - I have been doing much better and wasn't taking as much morp so wasn't as stressed about this...BUT...
4b) Until mid Jan WC was still approving my liquid morp for falls (which I do need - fallen at stove poured hot oil onto foot---and just last week fell & twisted other foot and bruised it deeply) and my muscle relaxant and sleeping pills (which I really really need) as I still have enough pain at night where I cannot sleep without them. Last time (years and years ago) they did not approve the muscle relaxants and ambien for 7 days and I didn't sleep for the entire week and became seriously disturbed...was going to kill myself...so my questions is what good is having medical when they are now rejecting all of my meds and the Matrix WC case worker won't speak with me about why they are rejecting it and I called the attorney's and they have not responded....all they did was send me a new copy of settlement.
4b) How do I get my meds if no one will speak with me (still have some from ones I didn't use but will run out soon)...My WC doc has writes Rx, and WC rejects them over and over---.If you agree with the proposed stipulations, please sign.....
5) Can someone force me to sign this? ie: judge or ????
5a) How much time do I have to work on hiring another attorney before I become pushed into having to deal with this negotiated documents (negotiated/"finalized" Jan 2016.
6) How long do I have to turn in medical miles? Never done & will have to research.7) Is there anything you can think of that I have missed/overlooked in the above letter / questions that you think I should address. If so, what would they be?I was apparently upgraded to $52/monthly - was going for the $5 per question, so now just going for it all. Thx Trish
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Please do not forget to leave positive feedback on your other question and this one, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.
1) If you contacted your attorney with a valid reason for continuing the case, the funeral, and they do not respond to you and instead close the case, yes it could be malpractice if they did not have good cause to close the case. However, you cannot just not show up without hearing back from your attorneys before Monday. So, you need to contact them again and make sure you get in touch with them. If you do not, you must go to court, even though the funeral is on Monday.
2) You can find a good attorney locally at the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org.
The offer you are describing for your disability is not off of the normal offers. If you are getting 62%, that is not a bad offer that you are describing and you need to consider it and get your new attorney to review it. Tell them you want to engage them to review the validity of your offer.
3) Your level of disability is based on your doctor, not your attorney. Your attorney cannot renegotiate the disability rating, that is your doctor's responsibility.
4) WC is NOT like a personal injury case, the amounts they pay under WC is much lower than a regular tort claim in a personal injury case, the amounts you get are set by the laws and that has nothing to do with your attorney doing something wrong and your attorney's hands are tied based on the doctor's disability rating and the workers compensation laws.
To get payment, that is what your attorney should be arguing for in court that your medications should be paid for by WC and you need to contact your attorney and let them know you want them to get your bills paid for.
5) Actually, if the judge finds the proposed stipulations are within the guidelines of the law, as I said above, the judge cannot order you to sign, but he can allow your attorney to resign from your case based on you not agreeing to a valid agreement in accordance with the law. If you do not agree to a reasonable agreement in accordance with the law and your doctor's disability rating, then you will find it hard to find any other attorney willing to take your case.
6) You have to turn them in quickly, because there is a settlement here and you cannot just sit on it (there is nothing in the law, it is based on what time the court gives you to submit them).
7) I think that as this is a workers compensation claim and your doctor said you are 62% disabled, you are expecting a settlement like a tort personal injury claim and that is never going to happen. You need to take this offer to another local attorney to have them review it for reasonableness, but based on what you have said so far, it does actually sound reasonable.

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