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QLD Personal Injury Settlement - Old Solicitor Chasing Fees?

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by Karele, 6 August 2014.

  1. Karele

    Karele Active Member

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    My daughter had serious injury in 1993. No win no fee solicitor appointed as she was 14.5 years "working" at pcyc during Xmas hols. She suffered dreadful injury to her leg, finished year 12, but got into drugs. In 1998 she appointed another solicitor in her own right and instructed him to keep me out of the loop as she was now 18.

    Our relationship had broken down and I was unable to legally communicate with the new solicitor. New solicitor negotiated out of court settlement with pcyc insurance co. I believe $250000. New solicitor did not pay previous legal to longstanding solicitor who learned about payout and told me about it and threatened to bankrupt me unless I paid the outstanding fees even though I had received nothing from the payout. I had to sell my house to pay him approx $50000.

    As I had signed next best friend as my daughter was under age at time of the accident. I met new solicitor who told me he had to act according to his clients instructions (my daughter) who did receive payout but gave no instructions for paying her legals but he did not give her all the money in one hit but in smaller figures as he knew
    she was an addict.

    By law he could not tell me the payout figure. Can i make a claim against either the solicitor or the insurance company in my own right? Is there a statute of limitations on time? I was unable to do anything due to the mess she created. I am only just now getting over it.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Karele,

    Which State or Territory are you from?

    Just to clarify what you wrote above:

    You hired a solicitor (solicitor X) prior to your daughter turning 18 years old (when your daughter was 14.5 years old), for a personal injury matter. This was on a "no win, no fee" basis. When your daughter turned 18 years old, she then fired the previous solicitor and hired her own solicitor (solicitor Y).

    Did solicitor Y work on the same case, involving the same issues/charges/claims, as what solicitor X was working on?

    Did the matter take more than 3.5 years to settle?

    How did the "no win, no fee" agreement with solicitor X define "a win"? These payment arrangements, known as conditional fee agreements, need to specify clearly what a "win" is and how the conditional fees will be calculated in the case of a win. There are strict regulations governing conditional fee agreements set by the Law Society. Depending on which State or Territory you are from, you may have grounds to challenge the conditional fee agreement or lodge a complaint in relation to solicitor fees.
     
  3. Karele

    Karele Active Member

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    Hello
    Thank you for your reply.
    I live in qld.
    I no longer have the docs for X but the agreement he was to negotiate a settlement and take his fees out of settlement.
    I do not know what arrangement was made with solicitor Y. I did meet him he told me because of the privacy act he could not disclose anything. He did tell me that a settlement was reached with the pcyc insurance co. "On the court steps".
    I found out yesterday, without a word of a lie, that she rcvd $490000. I found this out from court supplied by her ex partner, the father of my grand daughter, with whom I have been working over the past 18 months or so
    To have my grand daughter removed from the care of my daughter to her father. We are almost there with my grand daughter living with her dad and she only has to see her mother 4 hours every 2nd sat morning. This a temp order with the court back to court end of August. Everyone is much happier including my grand daughter. It has cost my son in law almost $40000 to get this far which is why I am trying to do something to help my grand daughter for education etc.
    I hope you can help me
     
  4. Karele

    Karele Active Member

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    Hello again Sarah
    The matter took 5 to 6 yrs to settle
    I don't know what instructions were given to solicitor Y. He told me she had barred me from any negotiations
    Karele
     
  5. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Karele,
    To clarify, is your ultimate question, can you make a claim against Solicitor X or the PCYC's insurer for the (I assume) mental distress caused following your daughter's injury at a PCYC in 1993?
     
  6. Karele

    Karele Active Member

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    Hello John
    Yes I suppose it is.
    I want my money back and compensation for the heartache it caused and continues to cause both to myself and to my family.
    Karele
     
  7. Karele

    Karele Active Member

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    Maybe I should write a book entitled $6 refund.
    When she was over the first part of the accident after about a dozen ops in a few weeks she just wanted to get on with it. We went back to her pcyc, which always had a very large part of her life,her on crutches and a broken arm.
    The annual fee of $6 and the enrollment docs were resented to me, which had previously had been a scrap of paper - who is you mother, who is your father, ambulance cover?- but was now a double sided A4 sheet containing disclaimers etc etc which had I signed would have negated any accident claims against them. My solicitor advised I could not sign it and continue with the injury claim. So, I told the pcyc who gave me back my $6 and she was unable to have anything to do with them again. Pls understand that I had been told by the orthopedic surgeon that she would be disfigured and disabled.
    Karele
     
  8. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Karele,

    In relation to what solicitor X is allowed to charge you under a "no win no fee" (conditional costs) agreement:

    - This is governed by the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld) under Division 5 (costs agreements) and Division 6 (billing);
    - This fact sheet explains what a solicitor is able to charge under a conditional costs agreement (the 50/50 cap rule) and what happens when lawyers are changed halfway through the case: Legal Services Commission Information Sheet. I would suggest giving the Legal Services Commission a call and enquiring about this further if you are still unsure: contact;
    - Further, you may enquire into possibly lodging a complaint against solicitor X with the Legal Services Commission if you believe solicitor X's conduct or calculations are illegal: complaints.
     
  9. Karele

    Karele Active Member

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    Now that I am have cleared my thoughts and can reminisce back. I appointed solicitor Y initially as the matter had gone on for years and I needed closure and he was fully aware ofthe preceding costs for X.He then told my daughter that as she was over 18 and legally an adult she could take over the management of her case herself. Even though she was an addict. Y has then negotiated the payout all to her leaving me with the bills from x, with whom I never had nor do have now, a problem. My daughter rcvd the entire amount I received nothing to cover my expenses, time and heartache which was quite considerable.
    Am I able to have a claim against Y or the insurance co working for pcyc. I know it was a long time ago but the impact has been enormously detrimental to my whole family.
    K
     
  10. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Karele,
    1. From a practical perspective, have you considered referring all requests for payment from Solicitor X (old solicitor) to Solicitor Y (new solicitor) and your daughter? If yes, how has Solicitor X responded?
    2. You should consider consulting a personal injury lawyer to advise in relation to whether you have a claim. That said, you may be out of time because of the statute of limitations and/or because your daughter's settlement with the PCYC insurer was for full and final settlement of the claim.
     

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