Serious Injuries After Getting Hit by a Car...
My mother was hit by a car while working at her job as a state flagger. The women who was driving the car was almost 90 years old and admitted fault to the police. Our lawyer wants us to settle for $136,000 minus his fees. It will leave us with a little under 50K.
Because of this, my mother has had dizzyness since the day she was hit. She's been unable to move her head up, down, left, or right. She's had many minor strokes, an attack of Belles Balie (spelling), lost a toe, and has needed pressure taken off her ears.
It seems like 50K is too low a settlement for all these extensive injuries. What can we do?
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ANSWER for "Serious Injuries After Getting Hit by a Car...":
Michael (Tobyhanna, PA):
You can speak directly with your attorney about your dissatisfaction with the settlement amount. You should realize your attorney’s legal fees are directly based upon the gross settlement amount. Although your attorney would probably have worked just as hard if she was billing you hourly, you can be sure she worked very hard negotiating a settlement on your mother’s behalf.
Your attorney’s contingent fee of either 33.3% or 40% is additional incentive for her to settle the case for the highest amount possible. The higher the settlement, the higher her fee.
Your attorney has all the communications and supporting documents from which she negotiated the settlement. You have every right to review those documents. You can ask your attorney to take the time to go through your mother’s file and explain to you and your mother the reasons she relied upon when coming to a final settlement amount.
Other than that you always have the right to dismiss your attorney and attempt to retain new counsel. That may be difficult though because your initial attorney will retain a lien for her fees which transfers with the case. As a result a new attorney will have little incentive to accept the case.
Best of Luck,