Las Vegas, NV asked in Personal Injury, Landlord - Tenant and Legal Malpractice for California

Q: Is it proper for an California Attorney to settle a civil liability case by including property damages in the settlement

I suffered personal injury and property damage as a result of my Landlord's failure to provide an apartment free from mold and other contaminants. I had a separate renter's insurance policy and my doctor told me that I must trash all of my personal belongings (clothes, furniture, etc). My Attorney filed a lawsuit and requested all damages be included in the settlement of my case and otherwise ignored my renters insurance policy. He said I would have to offset any property damage recovery under my renters insurance policy with the funds recovered in the civil liability case with the Landlord. By including the property damages in the settlement of the case with the Landlord... my Attorney receives an Attorney Fee (in this case 50% on the gross proceeds from the settlement). So it is proper / customary for a California Attorney to include property damages in the settlement of a civil liability case? Or should he have filed a separate claim? If not... what can I do about it?

3 Lawyer Answers
Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
Answered
  • Legal Malpractice Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed in California

A: It will depend on what the fee agreement says. As a general matter, there is nothing improper about doing so.

Tim Akpinar and Philip Shakhnis agree with this answer

Philip Shakhnis
PREMIUM
Philip Shakhnis
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Yes, in general an attorney in a mold case will seek to recover for all losses and injuries you sustained. Also, a court would likely prohibit filing two separate lawsuits (one for personal injuries and a second for property damage) as that would be a waste of the court's resources. Hope that helps.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: EVERYTHING IS CONTROLLED BY YOUR RETAINER.........

IN ACCIDENT CASES, WE DO NOT TAKE A PERCENTAGE OF THE PROPERTY DAMAGE TO THE CAR.......THOUGH OUR RETAINER SAYS ANY MONIES REC'D.

REMEMBER, THIS IS A MOLD CASE, NOT A NORMAL PI AUTO CASE.

THE INS CO MAY HAVE INSISTED ON ONE LUMP SETTLEMENT.........IE) TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, AND FORCE YOU TO GO TO TRIAL ON THE WHOLE MATTER.

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