Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

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Latest post 03-13-2008 4:20 AM by Lutz. 20 replies.
  • 03-02-2008 5:29 AM

    • Lutz
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    Question [=?] Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    I had a Workers Compensation Att'y represent me twice with my W/C claims, can he be help Liable for Legal Malpractice once the case has been settled
  • 03-02-2008 11:51 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    Well, just about anyone can sue anyone else, including a former attorney, for just about any reason, including legal malpractice.

    However, the fact that you accepted the settlement likely will work against you in any such case. Nevertheless, the settlement likely was between you and your former employer and/or its WC carrier. It likely was not between you and your former attorney. In other words, the settlement terms are unlikely to prohibit you from doing this. Of course, without being able to read the settlement documents themselves, we can't know that conclusively.

    Obviously, we do not know how strong of a case you may have. I would suggest that you review your options with another attorney.
  • 03-03-2008 12:49 AM In reply to

    Of course

    Why would you think workers comp lawyers would be immune from malpractice claims?
  • 03-03-2008 12:41 PM In reply to

    • Lutz
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    Question [=?] re: Reply to Hearst

    Why would you automatically go for that defense that " You signed the settlement Agreement so your Basically done "

    It was suggested by another local att'y here that same thing that you are saying, but I didnt go any further with him. Is it just because you accept your settlement that you give up your rights to sue?

    What if you were advised by the att'y that this was the best thing for you would it protect your rights from signing the settlement papers, as well as if it stipulated in the settlement paperwork that I am giving up my right to sue him at any later date.( Even if you were advised that this was the best thing for you)

    You say the settlement was between my former employer and the Ins. carrier, and NOT my former ATT'Y. Let me ask you that if it was by his bad advise to his client his mal-practice then can you hold him liable or do you still have to go after the former employer & carrier.
    I find all this very intriging, and educational. I want to hold him liable because he did not inform me of my legal rights properly, after all he is the expert, he is the one that went to law school, how would a laymen know this stuff.
    Thank you
  • 03-03-2008 12:43 PM In reply to

    • Lutz
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Of course

    Somewhere I thought I heard that W/C att'ys have protection from a lawsuit being brought against them by there client who they represented in a W/C suit
  • 03-03-2008 12:59 PM In reply to

    • Lutz
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    More [=+=] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    I have heard that reply about acce[ting the settlement that it will go against you.
    Everyone fails to reconize that the injuried worker that is out of work due to a bonafied & certified injury is usally under a lot of stress. He is not only having to deal with financial problems and medical problems, but know has to be an expert on the law as well.
    I do not know about anyone else, but when I hire an "Expert" in that field I want to be able to depend on his recommendation to me. ( Isn't that why they hire expert witnesses in a court of law. )
    It might be a "Forest Gump" defense about the ignorance of the law, but i do not want to start doing research to see if the att'y is right. I mean after all if I lose faith with him i might as well get a different att'y. (True or False)
    If your Attorney was cited by the Judge (Like mine was) because of my direct complaint to that Judge that she did not follow the Judge's orders on what the Att'y can charge for her settlement fee, then would not that be NEGLIGENCE on its own as well as a host of other infractions. I was on a 3 way call with my Att'y and the Judge when this took place.
    With those stipulations (Listen to me I sound like an Att'y) couldn't I bring a Mal-Practice lawsuit against her?
    Thank you all for your help!
  • 03-03-2008 1:23 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    In order to pursue an action for malpractice, you have to show that you would have received more in damages but for the attorney's actions. When you settle, that makes it nearly impossible to prove. Being yelled at by the judge regarding fees doesn't even come close to establishing that. Only an attorney that handles malpractice actions in your state can advise you and if one has already told you that there is no case, it's not unlikely that you really don't.
  • 03-03-2008 1:40 PM In reply to

    • Lutz
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    More [=+=] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    I was laying out the reasons for Mal-practice that I found on the Fl. State Bar Assoc. It listed 3 reasons why you can bring a case against your att'y and one of those reasons were "Negligence" and it stated, I quote " Not following court orders " That's all I was pointing out
  • 03-03-2008 3:30 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    I wasn't talking to the negligence, I was talking to the damages. In order to maintain the action successfully, you have to establish that you would have gotten more than what you settled for. Absent proof of that, you don't have a case to file.
  • 03-03-2008 5:36 PM In reply to

    • Lutz
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    Ok...I went off on a tangent...lol...didnt I. thank you for your insight this Att'y certianly was not looking out for my best interest. I know we could of got more then what we got
  • 03-04-2008 3:19 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
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    News [|*|] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    I know we could of got more then what we got

    Yeah, but can you prove it in court?
  • 03-04-2008 5:37 AM In reply to

    • Lutz
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    Question [=?] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    What has to go into proving you could of settled for more then what you received?

    Isn't it a matter of looking at my medical records and injury's, as well as my past history and age?

    Also the ability to be able to go back to the same type of employment.

    I have a history of several related back injury's, I have been told I can no longer do this type of work anymore that I need to change professions.
    I am a 50 year old male who has only a high schoold education. And I have no transferable skills.

    Can I bring in a expert witness to testify on the above or it is not that easy.
  • 03-04-2008 3:47 PM In reply to

    News [|*|] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    Most of what you have mentioned are factors that would enter into the WC settlement or award if the case went before the workers compensation commission or appeals board. (The terminology here varies from state to state.) They don't necessarily go into proving "legal malpractice".

    The difficulty that I see here is that most general courts do not get involved in reviewing WC awards or settlements. They may review the process to determine whether the WC agency proceeded correctly. But, if the court thinks that the agency did, the court would be unlikely to undo the decision. (There is a lot of individual variation among states, of course.) The question is how do you prove that the state agency or Industrial Commission would have give you more money if you had presented your case to it in lieu of accepting that settlement.

    When you settle a case, you generally give up the option of having the WC administrative process decide any disputes. So, you have your personal opinion that you should have received more money. You likely don't have an opinion or decision from that Industrial Commission (or whatever it is called in your state) that your WC injury should have entitled you to a higher award.

    I am not stating that there are not ways to do this one. But, you definitely will have an uphill battle. Moreover, don't confuse going to into court on a legal malpractice claim with rehashing your WC injury before the court. The kind of testimony that you likely will need is going to be directed to the issue of what "legal malpractice" occurred. The court probably is not going to be interested in hearing about your aches and pains unless the testimony is relevent to the malpractice issue.
  • 03-04-2008 7:34 PM In reply to

    • DOCAR
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    Ok [+0+] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence

    because, that is how you prove malpractice. It is called a trial within a trial.
  • 03-06-2008 10:00 AM In reply to

    • Lutz
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Can W/C Attorneys be sued for Negligence/Reply to Hearst Pos

    I totally understand your opinion, makes sense to me (But what do I know I am only a laymen who has been wrong many times before), a little confusing but makes sense.

    What I am not understanding though is if let's say I can prove (Which I can) that my Atty knew the circumstances surrounding why my company is wanting me out, and wanting to settling my claim quickly and cheaply and did not advise me properly as to the above. Cannot then I get lets say an expert witness to testify that this case would have been worth more (because of the circumstances) if he advised his client not to settle and to continue to pursue your legal rights under the State Statutes of W/C Law. Cannot he be held liable for that as Malpractice? He has to be!! If he has done this to me he will do this to someone else and who knows how many clients he has screwed already.
    I can prove my side, I HAVE IT IN WRITING.
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