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Infolawyer, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 1133
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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Please answer this is you are a Pa lawyer only. This is a

Customer Question

please answer this is you are a Pa lawyer only.
This is a matter of a personal injury case that has settled out of court after it being brought into small claims court for disputes on settlement. It is an issue involving one of the doctors on the case who did the bulk of the treating and billing.
to make it short, the doctor was totally disruptive on this case, trying to control the pipp, slowly billing the insurance, letting my visits pile up after i indicated that i wanted treatment to end after the pipp ran out and i would continue under my own insurance with another doctor. Also they refused to turn over records for months and months at a time and then turned over records that were total crap most of which i filled out myself.I came so close and am still considering contacting and filing a complaint with the medical licensing boards about this doctor, there were many more unethical practices that i have witnesses to that i will not go into detail about here. The doctor billed 390$ per visit for things they did not even have to facilitate treatment for. Leaving a 5,000 balance after the pipp ran out(after being paid almost 4500$ 0f the 5k pipp from the insurance) and left hanging for when settlement was to come about.
the 5 thousand dollar balance leading me to the issue at hand which involves my question.
I asked my lawyer repeatedly to get me something in writing from this doctor when settlement came about if the doctor were to be paid/accept a lessor amount than the 5,000 balance that was pending on the case owed to that office. I indicated over and over again that this would be the only way my mind would be satisfied after the fact of this case with them not being paid in full due to the type of person this doctor is and what type of chaos they cause for me throughout this case, some of which my lawyers office dealt with direct dealing with this doctor over the phone. so they were and are fully aware of the type of person they were dealing with.
So the case has been settled with the insurance company for way less than it was worth and expected for 7,000 dollars. With the attorney fees and other doctors to be paid off the doctor that has been causing me the concern with the 5,0004 balance supposedly after a grueling conversation(according to my attorney) agreed to accept 1,000$ for the payment.
My attorney states to me that once the doctor in question cashes the check that is agreed upon legally as payment in full and that there is nothing more that this doctor can do to collect any other money owed from the existing balance. So this is a reiteration of terms that he agreed upon with me early on towards the settlement process and all through this case for that matter that he would get me something in writing from this doctor at the end of the case stating payment in full over and done with.
I signed a release pre settlement as to what and whom money would be distributed to but after a phone call today from my attorney saying the check was in and they were calling me to authorize to cash the check to distribute the money I authorized him to do so but then after receiving a final distribution settlement sheet with some real concerning legal jargon I called and unauthorized it but did so to his answering machine and email.
Reason I called and unauthorized the payment distribution is this wording copy and pasted below from the final distribution sheet I received by email today from my attorney: "I approve settlement of claim in amount noted under Gross recovery above, and approve distribution as proposed above. I understand that the payment received by virtue of this settlement represents the total money which will be received for injuries suffered in the above accident, and this matter may not be reopened even if the medical condition worsens or a new injury becomes apparent hereafter. I will also be responsible for any outstanding bill for medical or other services arising out of this incident, to the extent that such claim may be legally asserted and will also be responsible for any subrogation claim which may be asserted, including but not limed to attorney fees and court costs in the action."
After reading that I decided not to trust my attorney telling me that the doctor cashing the check for $1,000 is proof that they accepted it as payment in full for the $5, 000. I am not signing that, nor will I further authorize anything until i receive something in writing pertaining to this doctor accepting the distribution of $1,000 as final and full payment with some type of jargon in a release similar to something to the one he sent me with wording similar to above for ex, this is acknowledgment and acceptance of full and final payment in this accident matter.
My question is , " Do I trust what my attorney is saying that once the doctor cashes the check that is legally known and understood as full and final payment, or should i continue to insist for something in writing like a release with a signature accepting the payment from the doctor in question? " "Can this doctor come back after the fact after cashing that check to pursue the rest if the balance or is there real legal merit to what my attorney is saying, that once the check is cashed there is no legal way for this doctor to do so?"
I imagine I am already kinda screwed to a degree on this issue cause i did sign the pre-settlement release but i did try to undo agreeing to cashing any check yet for distribution after receiving my attorneys email with the wording i listed above.
Your legal expertise in detail will be greatly appreciated and well received at this point as expert legal advice. Please be advised when answering this that is what I am looking for at this point and expect as an opinion to proceed further in dealing with my own attorneys office and the doctor in question involved in the issues of my questions.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer: I thank you for submitting your question to JUST ANSWER. I believe that two factors are mitigating against you receiving an answer from us. The first, is the length of your question. The facts, rather than conclusions or opinions, should be summarized so that they can be read in a few minutes. Then, specific legal questions should be addressed to those facts. The second factor is limiting your choice of experts to those practicing personal injury law only in Pennsylvania and specifically Philadelphia. Personal injury law, is very general in nature. There are many lawyers among our group who are well-qualified to respond to your question.