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John
John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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I was injured in a department store on 3/23/10 and retained

Customer Question

I was injured in a department store on 3/23/10 and retained council to handle my injury case. I originally requested $125,000.00 at mediation and was offered just $5000.00 which I refused. 2 months later my attorney contacts me stating that the dept store made an offer of 25K which he felt was fair but after all his jargon he stated he would get 40% of the 25K and after paying my medical cost I would get 5K. I had requested a copy of the 40% affadavit he claims I signed and have not yet received it. We have been going back & forth with this and now I have received an affadavit from him stating that if I sign it I would get $6700 and he would get 45% of the 25K which would total $9293.73 but then he listed another $1500 worth of expenses separate from the medical bills that total $7705.31. He also states that whatever medical bills that are not paid for are my responsibility. This does not feel right do I have any alternatives in this case?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John replied 10 months ago.
Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.

Your attorney is your agent in a matter and his acceptance of the settlement offer is binding on you. So you are stuck with this amount as your settlement of the matter. So, the case in chief here is settled and there's nothing you can do to re-open it or get more money from the store.

Your question is not clear on whether you actually consented to your attorney accepting that offer for you. As a client you always have final authority to accept a settlement, not your attorney. If you didn't consent, then you may have a malpractice claim against the attorney.

With regard to the fee agreement, you appear to have a dispute with your attorney as to what the terms of his service were; specifically his fees. This is a problem - especially here where you're dealing with limited funds to settle your matter and don't want to spend money on a fee dispute. What you can do is call your local bar association to determine if they'll mediate a settlement of the dispute. Otherwise, your attorney has to hold the disputed portion of the funds in escrow until the matter is resolved. The only other way you can resolve the matter is by suing the attorney, but then you're in the position of spending money to get the very limited funds you need; not a very good solution of course.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

John, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2813
Experience: Licensed and practicing attorney.
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