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Realized something is wrong

Discussion in 'Lawyers, Legal Practice, Ethics & the Bar' started by Hope Less, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. Hope Less

    Hope Less Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am suing a retail store for premise liability where something fell on me and caused major damage to my neck and back as well as caused bleeding on my brain and has been substantiated by MRIs.
    I refuse to allow any doctor to cut me open and work on my spine even though surgery was suggested. I have decided to use different forms of therapy for the rest of my life. I had test shots done in my back and had adverse side effect reactions.
    My attorney is rather young and I knew when hiring this attorney that their firm were negotiators, not litigators.
    I had a mediation hearing not too long ago and I met with my attorney and one of the founders of the firm.
    I must state that the traumatic brain injury I suffered has led to complete short term memory loss, loss or taste and smell, some long term memory loss, ringing in my ears that never stops, depression, anxiety and the use of numerous psych drugs to help. My personality has changed and I am unable to work because of all of the underlying problems combined. I've lost my car, my 20 year relationship, the ability to play tennis or work out which I did daily etc. I met with my attorneys before the hearing and this partner started by asking me sarcastically, how my life was ruined by this accident. He then proceeded to bring up aspects of my life like a criminal record from 14 years ago, my sporadic jobs in the last ten years and began to try and punch holes in my case where the defense has claimed 100 percent liability for the accident. He began to question my brain injury, the overuse of chiropractic and massage and told me how in his circle he doesn't know of one person who was a felon. Instead of offering solutions to help prove my Injuries further he continued to tell me things about my case that he said we're problems. I became angry because I've never met this guy and he started to talk about my file and the contents in it. He knew more than my atty and I was questioning why he knew of only the negative things in my file. I asked him if there were any good points and he named the obvious bleeding on my brain but said, "you're fine now though" and started questioning me about my injuries to my brain. I'm not fine. I will never be the same and my neurologist told me you suffered s major brain injury. It was a flag because he was trying to tell me my case was weak and knew too damn much. I don't know how the mediator was selected but before it started, this partner told me we were lucky because this mediator favored the little guy not insurance companies. Then as we were walking out of the hearing at one point, the partner asked the mediator if he could speak to him privately. I looked at him and he stated for another case he wanted advice. Very cozy.
    The mediator never came back w no movement on their part. My medical bills are 90k plus and they offered 10k with complete liability. They stated the object that fell on me weighed 16 lbs and my attorney's seemed to accept that and didn't argue the point. I took video of the manager picking this item up after it fell on me and struggled to lift it on the shelf. I know what hit me and it was heavy enough to cause hemmorages in my brain. I videotaped the manager when he was picking it up and I asked how heavy the thing was that fell on me. He didn't hesitate and said 47.5 lbs. I told the partner that was false but he didn't argue that point.
    My attorney's were telling me they accepted that weight. Everything in my case was a problem after 2 and 3/4 years. It seemed as if he was trying to get me to settle the case by losing money. Kept pushing it. Then he stated to me, "You know how I would defend this case against you?" I would claim responsibility, say I was sorry and then push the money down by being a good guy and frustrating you on the stand. That's exactly what the defense is doing. I have never been more sure in my life of a person directly being negative and against me as he was. Nothing to help my case or mediation. Only negative and making me feel my case was worthless.
    The defense then went up to 115k and placed it as a judgement if we go to trial etc we have to win at least that amount or expenses galore.
    Next I found that the filing of case was done in federal court instead of state court when the defense is a local business. I have to get 8 jury members to agree in federal in lieu of 6 out of 8 in state.
    I feel that the partner who has suddenly shown up in my case is working with the insurance company to weaken my case with false facts like the weight and other things he knew that he shouldn't have. All being negative. Any ignorant person would have signed that offer but I'm not. I know my injuries are real and my life has been ruined. He tried to convince me that my injuries to my brain were not going to be proven and that I wouldn't get compensated for them. I know my case has everything from all the MRIs to the doctors, therapy and x-rays. I thought about it and I've concluded that the partner was working against me the entire time I was at mediation. Continued to tell me how experienced he was blah blah blah. I have never felt so betrayed in my life as I have lost everything and am lucky I have a roof over my head. I walked out of the mediation questioning whether I would get anything. He seemed to have done his job. No solutions to strengthen the case. Just problems and problems and costs if we go to trial and who he wants to represent me. Just seems like a good old fashion double team on me. Collusion, ethic violations etc. Can't prove them but I just know. This case potentially is worth alot of money. It wouldn't be out of the question that he has worked with other insurance companies and destroyed the cases by giving bad advice etc. What do I do. I know there is something bad going on here.
    We re going to a jury but everything has been done to make me lose money or help the defense. My attorney is supposed to make me feel confident but he did the opposite. Trying to scare me into signing their offer. He made statements about "what would people say about you on the stand?" Kept filling me with hopelessness.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    tldr

    If you don't trust the legal counsel you hired then seek new counsel.
     
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  3. Hope Less

    Hope Less Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I want this attorney to be caught so he doesn't ruin someone else's life
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that there is anything to "catch" the attorney at. As said above, if you don't trust (or disagree with) your attorney, seek out a new attorney.
     
    hrforme and justblue like this.
  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Be caught at what? Nothing you described clearly indicates the lawyer violated any rule of professional conduct for lawyers or committed any malpractice. Not all lawyers are good people persons. But they may still be good lawyers. One of the things a good lawyer does is look at the case from the point of view of the defense to probe for all the potential weaknesses in the case. You don't want to be blindsided by something you didn't consider.

    Every case that goes to trial is a risk for both sides. You never know what a jury will do. Your risks include that it may find that there was liability but award you very little money for it, for example. Or it might not award you anything. And since you indicate your state is one with a qualified settlement rule that says if the defense makes a qualified settlement offer of $X and the jury comes in with an award of less than that offer the defense may get some or all of it expenses of litigation (at least those after the offer is made) awarded to it, which adds an additional layer of risk to you. With that kind of rule, you could even end up owing the defendant at the end of all this if you reject the qualified offer.

    The defense takes the risk that the jury may come back with a big award, larger than what you offered before trial.

    Most civil cases (95%+ nationally) are settled before trial as the two sides seek to mitigate those risks and reach a deal they both are satisfied with. One of the things lawyers have to do is ensure their clients don't have unrealistic expectations of the outcome when they head into trial. Giving you confidence and making you feel good is great, but only up to a point.

    I wasn't there to hear your lawyer's conversation with you and don't know anything more about the case than you've said here, so I have no idea how on the mark the lawyer's comments were. And bear in mind two good lawyers can look at the same case and reach different conclusions about it. So while discouraging, it is possible your attorney had some good critiques of your case.

    While he did not make you happy in that mediation, the real question is how hard will he fight for you at trial? Most personal injury trial lawyers will do their very best to win the largest award possible because (1) the larger the award, the more money they make and (2) because they don't like to lose; they wan to get big awards to show other future potential clients. Have you reason to think your lawyer won't do his best at the trial?

    In any event, since you are unhappy with what he told you, you have the option to seek a second opinion from another lawyer if you want. And if you then conclude that your own lawyer is not doing what you want, you can fire him and hire another lawyer. Just be aware that doing that is likely to increase the fees you pay as you'll owe both lawyers something should you win.
     
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