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Can I trust my Attorney?

by Ann

I was rear-ended in Feb. '05 and hired a personal injury attorney on contingency. Every few months I would call to get an update because he would never call me. I only got to speak to his paralegals (he has been through 5) would reassure me they were working on it. I finally expressed my frustration with him Sept. '08. Now, Aug. '09, He has settled my case for a fraction of what he had told me he could when I hired him, 4 1/2 years ago. ($50k=$5k)

He just sent me the check to endorse and his distribution schedule to sign. I endorsed the check and sent it back, but the distribution schedule disturbs me. The dates on the statement show he did not work on my case for an entire year after my accident. And that '06 work was nothing but obtaining medical records. Again, another year passes (2007) no work whatsoever. The first date of real work is April '08 in which he filed the complaint. Your site says the statue of limitations is 3 years for Colorado. He definitely missed that deadline. Not only that, this work schedule proves he lied to me about failed attempts to serve the person.

The distribution schedule has only one clause- (in my own words): I acknowledge I am responsible for any additional monies owed to health care, subrogation claims, or liens from insurance. I had no clue what subrogation meant until I found your website! He hasn't explained anything to me!

The paralegal said all I have to do is sign their firm's distribution schedule and they will send me a check. They don't even need my original signature-just a scanned copy. Is it odd they have already deposited the endorsed check without me signing distribution schedule? Should I have some sort of formal document to sign for this settlement? A document with me and the other person agreeing to that clause, not my attorney and I?

I feel like my attorney dropped the ball with my case. I've been in the dark for the past 4 1/2 years. I don't want to be naive by signing this distribution schedule.


Hello Anne,

I am very sorry for the delay. I was in the hospital….

Well, usually we tell everyone that their attorney is the best person to explain the process and to help them understand exactly how injury claims work. The attorney client relationship is very strong and your attorney is the person on the best position to understand and explain to you what is occurring to you.

The statute of limitation could have been satisfied if your accident was in Feb of 05 and your lawyer file the lawsuit on/or prior Feb of 08 (we believe Colorado’s statute of limitation is 3 years, but it may be different – you may have to check).

You really need to talk to a different attorney to see if you had a legal malpractice claim and whether or not your attorney is taking advantage of you.

Good Luck,

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