Do I sign the release form before I get the breakdown of costs?

by K
(Brooklyn, NY)

In 2011 I slipped on ice and broke my leg. The case was recently settled for the amount of $40,000. In the letter I received, the attorney stated that my insurance was not enough to cover my medical bills, so there are liens. I was on social security disability at the time so I was covered by Medicare.

My question is: Do I sign the release form for my $40,000 settlement before I get the breakdown and medical liens? I'm not sure how much of the money will be going to the liens and other costs. Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Do I sign the release form before I get the breakdown of costs?":

K (Brooklyn, NY):

It is our policy not to interfere with the attorney-client relationship. To do so would be inappropriate. You should visit with your attorney and seek her advice.

Generally speaking, victims in personal injury claims should never sign a release until they are fully aware of what they will be "releasing." There is no doubt that personal injury victims should always see in writing, before signing a release, everything related to their injury claim.

This includes, medical liens, attorneys fees and costs, insurance waivers, and other documents directly related to their claim.

We are confident your attorney will provide a written list of all costs of your claim, including the deductions, and net amount of the settlement you will ultimately receive. If for any reason you lose confidence in your attorney, you have the right to seek the advice and counsel of another attorney.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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