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Permanently disabled by 3rd party contractor

Janie2011

Junior Member
#1
What is the name of your state WA (only U.S. law)?

My injuries we as such that Labor and Industries said I am totally and permanently disabled; unable to work or retrain, therefore placed me on pension. Injuries include, but not limited to a fractured vertebra. This is a 3rd part contractor claim.

My injuries occurred more than 4 years ago and I've had a personal injury claim filed for nearly that long. My attorney drug his feet, didn't follow through on anything he said he'd do and as recently as Dec he said he'd go forward with getting a trial date scheduled. Out of the blue, over the Easter weekend, he sent a letter to me stating HE lacks confidence and told me IF I hire a new attorney he will provide all my case files to the new attorney. I should add that I had called a couple of firms about a month ago due to lack of confidence and trust in MY attorney and I believe he was told of this and that is whey he's now suggesting I find someone else.

I've spoken with 4-5 firms and no one is willing to take on a 4 year old case. Much of the work is done, including depositions that all went well(very well) for my case. My attorney changed his tune recently ( no idea why); he's indicated he has exchanged several emails with the defense ( insurance company), yet he's not divulged the content of the conversations.

We had mediation last Fall where my attorney seemed unprepared- he didn't bring important documents, luckily I did and when the defense saw the docs they said it was NEW information to them and they asked for two weeks to review the information. That is the point where I noticed some changes in the attorney....lack of motivation, where he was once feeling positive, he became negative.

I'm feeling completely let down, stressed out, abandoned and feeling as though I am not going receive the compensation I deserve.

What can I do and how can I convince another attorney to help me?
 


quincy

Senior Member
#2
What is the name of your state WA (only U.S. law)?

My injuries we as such that Labor and Industries said I am totally and permanently disabled; unable to work or retrain, therefore placed me on pension. Injuries include, but not limited to a fractured vertebra. This is a 3rd part contractor claim.

My injuries occurred more than 4 years ago and I've had a personal injury claim filed for nearly that long. My attorney drug his feet, didn't follow through on anything he said he'd do and as recently as Dec he said he'd go forward with getting a trial date scheduled. Out of the blue, over the Easter weekend, he sent a letter to me stating HE lacks confidence and told me IF I hire a new attorney he will provide all my case files to the new attorney. I should add that I had called a couple of firms about a month ago due to lack of confidence and trust in MY attorney and I believe he was told of this and that is whey he's now suggesting I find someone else.

I've spoken with 4-5 firms and no one is willing to take on a 4 year old case. Much of the work is done, including depositions that all went well(very well) for my case. My attorney changed his tune recently ( no idea why); he's indicated he has exchanged several emails with the defense ( insurance company), yet he's not divulged the content of the conversations.

We had mediation last Fall where my attorney seemed unprepared- he didn't bring important documents, luckily I did and when the defense saw the docs they said it was NEW information to them and they asked for two weeks to review the information. That is the point where I noticed some changes in the attorney....lack of motivation, where he was once feeling positive, he became negative.

I'm feeling completely let down, stressed out, abandoned and feeling as though I am not going receive the compensation I deserve.

What can I do and how can I convince another attorney to help me?
Is it possible that your attorney is suffering from an illness?

Is your attorney in a firm?

It is possible that, without good cause to withdraw as your counsel, the judge will not allow for him to abandon your case.

I recommend you sit down with your attorney and discuss the changes you are noticing in his representation of you. Until you understand what is going on with your attorney, it is hard to offer advice,

Good luck.
 

Janie2011

Junior Member
#3
Is it possible that your attorney is suffering from an illness?

Is your attorney in a firm?

It is possible that, without good cause to withdraw as your counsel, the judge will not allow for him to abandon your case.

I recommend you sit down with your attorney and discuss the changes you are noticing in his representation of you. Until you understand what is going on with your attorney, it is hard to offer advice,

Good luck.
Not that I'm aware of. There was a very small offer ,from the defense, more than a year ago and it seems he wants me to accept that, however the offer is about 3 times less than the lien L&I has on the settlement. We've told hi all along we are very willing to be reasonable, negotiate and compromise ( he hasn't been willing to negotiate at all), however we have to consider his 35% fee and the L&I claim.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#4
Not that I'm aware of. There was a very small offer ,from the defense, more than a year ago and it seems he wants me to accept that, however the offer is about 3 times less than the lien L&I has on the settlement. We've told hi all along we are very willing to be reasonable, negotiate and compromise ( he hasn't been willing to negotiate at all), however we have to consider his 35% fee and the L&I claim.
You could review the facts of your case and the settlement offer with a neutral attorney to get an opinion on how reasonable the first offer presented a year ago was.

Again, I recommend you sit down with your attorney to discuss the status of your case and negotiations. You might find it is not your attorney who is unwilling to negotiate. The other party could be firm in their offer.

Good luck.
 

Janie2011

Junior Member
#5
You could review the facts of your case and the settlement offer with a neutral attorney to get an opinion on how reasonable the first offer presented a year ago was.

Again, I recommend you sit down with your attorney to discuss the status of your case and negotiations. You might find it is not your attorney who is unwilling to negotiate. The other party could be firm in their offer.

Good luck.
We will certainly give that a try. Thank you for taking time to respond, I truly appreciate it.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
#6
You could review the facts of your case and the settlement offer with a neutral attorney to get an opinion on how reasonable the first offer presented a year ago was.

Again, I recommend you sit down with your attorney to discuss the status of your case and negotiations. You might find it is not your attorney who is unwilling to negotiate. The other party could be firm in their offer.

Good luck.
It sounds more like to me that his attorney has negotiated and the only other option is to take it to trial...and his attorney doesn't want to go to trial. It may be that his attorney is one of those attorneys who never goes to trial and is only happy with a settlement, or his attorney doesn't feel competent to litigate or his attorney has superiors that won't let him litigate because the cost of litigation for them is much higher than their 35% will be.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#7
We will certainly give that a try. Thank you for taking time to respond, I truly appreciate it.
You're welcome, Janie. I appreciate the thanks.

LdiJ is correct that if no settlement can be reached, the next step would be to have a court decide the matter. Your attorney might be reluctant to try the case, for an assortment of reasons, many of which have been mentioned by LdiJ. You could also wind up with less than what has already been offered, so a trial can be a risk.

I would discuss everything with your attorney first, perhaps review with a neutral attorney second, and go from there.

Good luck.
 
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Janie2011

Junior Member
#8
It sounds more like to me that his attorney has negotiated and the only other option is to take it to trial...and his attorney doesn't want to go to trial. It may be that his attorney is one of those attorneys who never goes to trial and is only happy with a settlement, or his attorney doesn't feel competent to litigate or his attorney has superiors that won't let him litigate because the cost of litigation for them is much higher than their 35% will be.
Yes, he's very much changed his tune about going to trial. He recently told us he's "fed up " with the local juries. He mostly does criminal defense. IF he's done ANY real negotiations he hasn't let us in on that. It does appear he avoids trial with personal injury claims.

I had a different attorney for the L&I part f this and he told me any other attorney would have had this settled a long time ago. He also told me he was surprised that the personal injury attorney had not contacted him at all.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#9
Yes, he's very much changed his tune about going to trial. He recently told us he's "fed up " with the local juries. He mostly does criminal defense. IF he's done ANY real negotiations he hasn't let us in on that. It does appear he avoids trial with personal injury claims.

I had a different attorney for the L&I part f this and he told me any other attorney would have had this settled a long time ago. He also told me he was surprised that the personal injury attorney had not contacted him at all.
You may have hired an attorney who took on a case that exceeded his experience and expertise, then. Although this shouldn't happen, it sometimes does.

You should find out what exactly is going on by speaking in person with your attorney (make an appointment to sit down with him), and then perhaps he or the other attorney you had earlier can recommend yet another attorney to finish up by attempting once again to settle and/or by taking your case to trial.

Good luck.
 
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