Back injury on dolphin cruise...

by Anonymous

I was on a recreational dolphin cruise. The water was very choppy and the captain said "hold on, water is choppy today." We hit a wave that propelled the front of the boat up out of the water and 6 people flew up into the air. Myself and five other people came down hard on the seats.

We were all taken to the ER. I fractured my L1 vertebrae. My fracture was fixed but I have severe muscle pain and can no longer work. My attorney wants to settle for an amount that is only 3 times what my medical bills are. I can no longer work and need enough money to sustain me for the next 12 years until I can draw my social security.

My question is, Can I get another attorney to review my case without jeopardizing my relationship with my attorney now? How do I do that? Why would my attorney only be asking for a multiple of 3 times medical bills if I can no longer work? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Back injury on dolphin cruise...":

Anonymous (USA):

It is our policy here at not to interfere with the attorney-client relationship. To do so would be entirely inappropriate. Your best interests would be served by heeding the advice and counsel of your attorney.

Generally speaking, clients always have the right to seek second opinions from one or more attorneys. Whether or not seeking a second opinion would jeopardize your relationship with your present attorney will depend on whether your present attorney is made aware of your additional consultations.

Your present attorney will not know about your seeking additional opinions unless you tell him or her, or unless the attorneys you are consulting with tell your present attorney. To avoid that happening ask the attorneys with whom you are consulting not to contact your present attorney.

In fact, most attorney who are rendering second opinions do not want the primary attorney to know they are speaking with their client. Doing so often causes friction, as the primary attorney may believe the secondary attorney is attempting to "steal" the client.

Your attorney is asking for three (3) times medicals because your attorney is intimately familiar with the facts of your case. The days of insurance companies paying 4-5x (and higher) the amount of medical bills are long gone.

Those very high multiples are now reserved for especially serious injuries such as 3rd degree burns, head trauma, spinal injuries resulting in paralysis, loss of body parts, serious disfigurement, and other very serious injuries requiring substantial medical treatment and recovery time.

You would be best-served by sitting down with your attorney and asking why he or she is demanding only three times your medicals. You have every right to question your attorney. After visiting with your present attorney, if you still aren't comfortable with his or her explanation, you should then seek additional consultations.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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