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Tina, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  Personal Injury & Wrongful Death experience includes judgment for $10M & $3M settlement
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My daughter-in-law was in an accident in 2/10, and sustained

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My daughter-in-law was in an accident in 2/10, and sustained neck & back injuries. She was contacted by a lawyer who said he was sent from an insurance company. The driver of the auto that hit her had no insurance. The lawyer said he opened a case. After 1 1/2 years of PT for her neck and back, her doctor did surgery on her neck --10/12. The lawyer said that he was going to file a case for the Pain & Suffering. My son was to be paid for taking care of her, helping her with ADLs. But the lawyer said he didn't want to open the P & S case until after she had her back surgery (it would make her case look better, he said). In 2/13 she had her back surgery. PT, cane, back brace (which she has since been told they never should have had her wear). 6/13 the neurosurgeon that did they neck surgery did xray (or maybe it was ultrasound) and states that one of the 2 screws in her neck has broken. It will "only be a problem if the other screw breaks, then she will need repeat surgery". Her lawyer stated she had an offer of $11,000. She did not accept. As you can tell, this is a nightmare. Then last month, after not being able to speak with her lawyer (always unavailable, on vacation, broken leg, etc, etc), she had a meeting with another lawyer from that firm who states that her lawyer has been disbarred. The offer of $11,000 is still there. But she took papers from the lawyers office that they gave her regarding her case to another lawyer, who states that she has no case, as it is over 3 years since the first lawsuit was filed. This other lawyer also told her that there was NO evidence that a case had been filed for the P&S. And he said no other lawyer would take the P&S case 'because her lawyer never opened the case.' We need help in knowing whether any of this is true, should she take the $11,000? (her lawyer was supposed to pay medical bills for her, but that was not done, and the hospital is suing the insurance company). What a mess!!!
Also, I would think that she has a case against the manufacturer of the screws that were used. Do you agree?
Please help.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am very sorry to hear of your daughter's extremely difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Approximately how much has your daughter sustained in actual damages, including medical bills? Who made the offer of $11k?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She does not know what the total medical bills were. The lawyer had her sign a paper sometime if 2012 with the figure of $10,000 -- and said she was signing off rights to payment of future or other past bills. Then before he was disbarred he told her she had signed off that the insurance company doesn't have to pay anything more -- but she said she never signed that. My son was to get at least $21,000 for her care, which he never filed for. The only bills she has received recently are for $1010 and $700+ for a back stimulator which was custom made for her, and State Farm isn't going to pay for.

I see. Thank you for providing this additional information, Gloria.

This appears to involve a case of professional malpractice by her attorney and your daughter-in-law needs to look for a local professional malpractice attorney to represent her in suing the disbarred attorney. If he carried malpractice insurance, she should be able to recover damages against him that the insurer will pay.

Since it is too late to pursue litigation against the at-fault driver, she would typically have to settle for the amount which is being offered since she has no leverage to negotiate a higher amount if she no longer has the ability to pursue a lawsuit. However, I would first consult with a local attorney who can review the case and verify this to be sure.

There may be a cause of action against the maker of the screw which broke but she would typically need to consult with a local firm which handles product defect cases to evaluate whether this is indeed a defect, depending on all the circumstances, including whether there was a subsequent impact to your daughter's back where the screws are located.

But she should be able to obtain compensation from a professional malpractice case against her former attorney who has been disbarred. She could also file a complaint with the state bar association but since he has already been disbarred, they may not take any further action against him.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!


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