Q: Workers Comp Contract
I have a question. If I agree to a lump sum settlement and told my lawyer to sign it instead of me signing it at a mediation but end up emailing my lawyer telling him I changed my mind two hours letter about the settlement. Do I have to settle for whatever amount was given to me or Is the contract voided because I didn’t sign it?
A: This sounds odd. An attorney has no authority to simply sign a settlement for a client by virtue of being an attorney. With that being said, the settlement agreement if there is one, should be unenforceable.
A: Florida Workers' comp is a little different in that it's typical to allow your attorney to sign on your behalf on the mediation agreement. If you truly do not want to proceed with the settlement and you've asked your lawyer to try and back out of the settlement, what may happen is that the attorney for the work comp insurance company will file a Motion to Enforce the settlement. An evidentiary hearing will then be set. Basically, the judge will want to know if there was an agreement to settle and whether you gave your attorney the authority to sign on your behalf. In my experience, if you knew you were settling and agreed to it, there's a greater chance that the judge will enforce the settlement, meaning the settlement goes through. You may have other options if you still do not want to accept the settlement, but I won't get into that here. I'd highly recommend that you seek counsel from an attorney licensed to practice law in Florida and who regularly handles workers' compensation cases.
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