I had an accident in january of 2007 in pennsylvania. I hired a PI attorney. After 5 years, many epidural injections, discectomies, physical therapy and 2 cervical neck surgeries resulting in 3 fused discs and loss of work for 3 yearsI obviously exhausted my auto insurance medical in 2008 of $100,000, my health insurance only picked up $86,000. the tortefeasor offered a settlement this past June for $250,000 (policy limit of $300,000). we declined, due to extent of injury, and a week later they came back at $275,000 which we accepted with the right to recover additional from UIM. I signed the release on June 20th 2012. July 10th, after the check had cleared escrow, i received a disbursement list from my attorney with medical bills still owed to various providers totaling $178,000. Had no clue medical was so much, never received any bill or notification of and on July 13th my health insurer suddenly exercised a lien of the $86000, leaving me without a penny this time around. Not
State/Country relating to question: Pennsylvania
Hello and welcome to Just Answer
First, what made you decide to settle for the $275,000.00
The quick answer is you may have a legal malpractice claim against the attorney.
The attorney should have negotiated down your medical liens prior to allowing you to settle the claim
While you can still negotiate down these liens, it becomes much harder once a settlement has been reached
the attorney suggested close enough to full policy. Insured at time of deciding settle or not that UIM will provide another settlement in a few months. I had no idea of medical liens at the time of settlement. What are my options now?
Keep in mind that you also have your UIM to go after
What is your UIM
$100,000 per vehicle, 3 vehicles
You can try to negotiate down these liens
prior to settlement most insurances will offer a discount based on the facts of the case
The discount can be significant as they want to be paid something rather than nothing
Your attorney should have handled this for you
You should inquire if he is willing to negotiate down your liens and medical bills
and if he isn't?
you may want to consider talking to a legal malpractice attorney in your area
A great resource for this is
www.Martindale.com. This is a nationwide directory that is useful in finding highly qualified legal specialists in various fields of law. The lawyers in Martindale are not selected because they paid to be included, but rather because they have been rated by other attorneys as qualified experts in their field. Consider consulting with two or three different attorneys prior to selecting the one you feel most comfortable with. Other great sites are www.lexmundi.com, www.justia.com, and www.lawyers.com.
for real! He also stated something about suing Rawlings (collections for my health insurer) to recover the lien. Is that even possible?
Anything is possible, as there may be more facts than I am privied to
I am not sure under what theory he is planning on suing them though
what if i live in New Jersey now, the accident happened in Pennsylvania? Can I hire an attorney in my current location rather than PA? How long does legal malpractice take? Should I wait til the UIM case is handled? this is obviously making me very ill
There are numerous statutes in place to protect injured parties, which could have been exercised in negotiations to reduce, or possibly even forgive the lien
You can look for an attorney in your area, but to file a claim the attorney will need to be in Pennsylvania where the legal action took place
should i wait til the UIM case is wrapped up?
If he is willing to try and fix the problem by finding a legitimate reason to bring a claim against them then you may not have a case
That is up to you, but it may not be the worst idea
If he tries to charge you attorneys fees to sue Rawlings, however, then you should definitely look into finding a malpractice attorney
Your UIM limits should be relatively easy to get in this case, so at least this portion of your problem can be averted by letting him finish
no charge on the rawlings case.
my original question was if could received higher than policy limits on the UIM if settled lower on tortefeasor
You can only receive up to your policy limits
Does that answer your question or do you have additional questions or need additional clarification
I am still at a loss, kept me up all night thinking about it, was going to question attorney on monday about why negotiations not made with health insurance and medical provider liens, and why i hadn't received notification of all this prior. Are negotiations somethings i handle my self?
They should not be
your attorney should have handled this
Most attorneys will negotiate beforehand because Rawlings would not have been able to recover absent a settlement.
Thus you have some leverage to get them to reduce the amount that is owed
what if there was a something like a promise to pay lien through the attorney's office with medical provider
Again, depending on the facts, the attorney should have tried to reduce this amount
With insurance limits as high as they were the attorney should not have settled the case if you were going to end up with nothing
as the third party likely had assets
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that these doctors would reduce their liens
as they are not required to by law
Separate from the insurance company which is.
my understanding is third party is renting, with little assets according to deposition. thank you, i will talk with attorney monday, lots to think about and inquire about. would like to give attorney reasonable time to correct or react to concerns. Have a good day
not a problem
please do not forget to provide me with a rating in the middle or above so that I may receive credit for my time
Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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