Q: What can I do if I feel that my personal injury case settlement is too low, and I haven't received my money yet?
I was in a car wreck March, 2018. The other driver was at fault. I suffered a compound fracture on my right ankle and crushed bone in the top of my right foot and had to have surgery that day. I still suffer daily with pain in my foot. My attorney pretty much gave me no other choice other than to agree to $50,000 settlement. I then had to file bankruptcy and the check was put in a IOLTA account. Bankruptcy is complete now. The check is still in the IOLTA account. Then my attorney says he needs to make sure my loan with Oasis Financial was taken care of. Two weeks later, he says it wasn't. So, now he is trying to make a offer to Oasis and in the process of negotiating with them. Right now he says he is holding 26,000 in the account. Whatever Oasis decides they want will come out of that 26,000. I feel like I have just been screwed over and over this whole time. I'm not able to work, or able to walk or stand like I used to. My credit is ruined. I feel done wrong completely. What can I do
A: I'm sorry to hear about your accident. If you agreed to the settlement and signed the paperwork, you are stuck with the $50,000.00. Did you include the medical bills as part of your Bankruptcy? Did you include the Oasis lien? If so, your medical expenses and Oasis loan should have been discharged through bankruptcy. Also, pursuant to federal bankruptcy law you are entitled to a minimum payment(I believe $16,000.00) of your settlement. Although not enough to compensate you for your significant damages, it will provide you some compensation for your injuries.
A: I am sorry you are going through this. Have you already signed the documents agreeing to settlement? If so the amount is set. Do you know what the policy limits were on your case? That is the max amount your lawyer could request prior to trial. The bankruptcy part is tricky because depending on what chapter you filed and when (I am assuming 7) your settlement should have been listed in your schedules and all of your creditors (medical providers included) should have been listed as well. Any liens would have been cured through a motion to avoid judgment lien and your attorney would be entitled to his fee and the remainder of your proceeds would be distributed to the estate minus the amount exempted on your schedules.
Did your BK attorney and PI attorney work together in this matter? I would have someone independently view your BK case and your PI case to make sure that everything was done correctly on both ends.
Best of luck!
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