Question about Spinal Cord Injury Victim's Settlement Agreement...

by Michelle
(Detroit, Michigan)

My daughter has had a claim going with a major national auto insurance company since 1997. She is a spinal cord injury victim due to an auto accident in Michigan. The insurance company refused to pay for a handicap van for my daughter. We got a lawyer and our lawyer and the insurance company worked out a settlement agreement for the van.

My daughter is afraid to sign the release form for the settlement agreement for the van. The release states that she should forever discharge the insurance company under the "no fault law" provision of the insurance policy of all claims or any cause of action or claim that she may be entitled to under the Michigan no fault law from the date of the settlement.

The question is: If my daughter is protected under the Michigan PIP benefits law and the insurance company under the law is required to pay for the van, why should she sign a release that waves her rights according to the No Fault law?

My daughter and I are deeply troubled with the tone and the language in the release form. We expressed our thoughts to our lawyer however we are very disappointed with his comments at this time. Should she sign the release form settlement for the handicap van? Can we get a second opinion from another attorney? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Question about Spinal Cord Injury Victim's Settlement Agreement...":

Michelle (Detroit, Michigan):

Although we make every effort to generally comment on the questions posed by our readers we are unable to become involved in the attorney-client relationship. Doing so would be entirely inappropriate.

We can confirm you have an absolute right to consult with one or more other attorneys. Regrettably you may run into similar problems. Attorneys are also hesitant to become involved in attorney-client relationships. Doing so is also inappropriate for them.

If you have lost confidence in your attorney you have the right to dismiss him. Once you do, other attorneys will be less hesitant to become involved in your daughter’s case.

If you dismiss your original attorney and retain another it is highly probable the original attorney will retain a financial interest in your daughter’s case.

The new attorney will have to review the case before accepting it. If the new attorney finds there are little or no additional funds available for her fees, you may be in a difficult position once again.

In these types of matters we always urge our readers to have a “sit down” with their present attorney. Review the case with him in its entirety. Ask him all the questions you are concerned about. Hopefully the issues can be resolved.

Best of luck,

Law Guy

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
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