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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4083
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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In 1992 at the age of 14, i was involved in a serious car accident,

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In 1992 at the age of 14, i was involved in a serious car accident, as a passenger. I broke both of my legs, my left leg (very close to ankle) was compound fractured. I had reconstructive surgery done and multiple procedures after...my parents were obviously my legal guardians at the time. We settle in 1994 for $100,000 with the insurance company. My parents nor myself no longer have the documentation for this case. And im not sure how to acquire them. Now at age 34, after 20 years of excrutiating pain in my left ankle, I need an ankle replacement. I no longer have health insurance since my divorce in 2010 and was wondering if I could go back on the insurance I had for the accident to pay for my medical expenses. Again, being so young at the time, my parents signed/did everything for me. I am not sure of the official agreement in the final settlement, besides what I recieved for a monetary settlement. Also, my lawyer was completely insufficient with my case...ignored phone calls, didn't "fight" for my cause, promising my parents he was going to sue for over $1M plus medical bills paid, which he never even attempted, numerous things i still remember, he was dis-barred within a few years after my case was settled. What can i do in regard to both situations?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.

Zachary D. Norris :

Hi,

Zachary D. Norris :

I am reviewing your question.

Zachary D. Norris :

Thank you for your question

Zachary D. Norris :

Unfortunately, you don't have many options in your case.

Zachary D. Norris :

My understanding is that when you were injured, you sued the party that was in the other car for damages.

Zachary D. Norris :

Your lawyer obtained a settlement.

Zachary D. Norris :

You also had medical insurance that covered you at the time.

Zachary D. Norris :

Is this correct?

Customer:

Hi there, thank you for your help. I was the passenger in a ffriends vehicle, we sued the insurance company (Farmers)

Zachary D. Norris :

OK.

Customer:

Correct, my lawyer obtained 30% of $100K

Zachary D. Norris :

The long and short of it is that the claim against the insurance company is final.

Zachary D. Norris :

A settlement is a lump sum payment\

Zachary D. Norris :

And it does not provide for future payments for future medical

Zachary D. Norris :

It will pay out the future medical in the lump sum at the time of the settlement.

Zachary D. Norris :

In regards XXXXX XXXXX lawyer

Customer:

Understood...now is ther anything i can do about my lawyer

Zachary D. Norris :

The statute of limitations has passed on any possible professional malpractice claim

Zachary D. Norris :

So unfortunately, there's nothing for you there either.

Zachary D. Norris :

Sorry to give you the bad news

Customer:

How long is the statute of limitations in the state of Illinois? Im not sure of the settlement date...

Zachary D. Norris :

Generally, for professional malpractice claims it is 2-4 years. I'll check the statute in Illinois and get right back to you.

Customer:

Is the fact I was a minor when we settled help me at all?

Customer:

To my understanding my lawyer was dis-barred approx 1999-2000

Zachary D. Norris :

The statute of limitations on legal malpractice is 2 years from the date of recovery. The fact that you were a minor means that you could possibly argue that the statute of limitations did not start running until you were 18. However, since you are 34 now, this means that the 2 year Statute of Limitations has already run and your claim is barred.

Customer:

Sorry for all the questions so quickly, but is there a way i can obtain a copy of the settlement to see if there are any "loopholes"?

Zachary D. Norris :

The fact that your lawyer was disbarred, while indicative of the bad job he did on your case, is not specifically related to this case unless he was disbarred for particular actions on this case. Nevertheless, the Statute of Limitations would still bar a suit.

Zachary D. Norris :

In regard to finding your settlement.

Zachary D. Norris :

Your best bet would be to contact the insurance company.

Customer:

Does that mean the date my doctor "released" me for my injuries?

Zachary D. Norris :

And see if they have any records. However, being that it was so long ago, it is unlikely that the insurance company does not have those records anymore...but you might get lucky.

Customer:

He had a MAJOR suit against him for personal injury clients he had served

Zachary D. Norris :

I'm sorry...we are getting jumbled here. What is your last question?

Customer:

I think we're typing at the same time and im shooting you questions every 15 seconds, sorry.

Zachary D. Norris :

No worries.

Customer:

So basically, call the insurance company, see if they have records? But in regard to the lawyer im SOL

Customer:

?

Zachary D. Norris :

Unfortunately, yes. I would not get my hopes up on the settlement having any loopholes either. If your lawyer was terrible, I'm sure the insurance company's lawyer took advantage of that and made the settlement air tight from the insurance company's perspective.

Customer:

Point taken. But it couldn't hurt to try to obtain it from the insurance company.

Zachary D. Norris :

No it couldn't hurt.

Customer:

Is there any chance my stupid lawyer would have an "umbrella" suit he had to pay to multiple clients? (hope that made sense)

Zachary D. Norris :

I understand what you are saying. You could investigate whether there was some sort of small class action against your lawyer where the judgment/settlement would provide benefits to you. However, you (or your parents) would have likely been contacted about it.

Zachary D. Norris :

So, it is unlikely that anything is out there on that claim still.

Customer:

I'll call the insurance company tomorrow to see if they have (hopefully) record of the settlement. Im sure it's airtight as you said, just want to be sure. Looks like i waited about 10 years too long. :(

Customer:

Case closed I guess....dammit

Zachary D. Norris :

I'm sorry about this situation. Permanent injuries are hard to deal with and the law seems to be unfair when it comes down to the aftermath of trying to get medical care further down the road. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

I dont believe so, thank you for your input.

Zachary D. Norris :

Good Luck.

Customer:

Thank you!

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you on this issue and please press "Accept" so that I may be paid for my services.

Thanks,
Zachary D. Norris
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4083
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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