Irene Gabo on the Morning Show at Davidzon Radio – June 07, 2021
I haven’t gotten my settlement check from the lawyer, he doesn’t pick up the phone on me. Can I make a complaint against him and where do I write to or call?
Yes, you complain to the bar association, perhaps visit or email the office to find out the reason for the delay. I don’t know when your case was settled, but typically the insurance company for the defendant has 21 days to send your attorney a settlement check after receiving a release for the amount the case settled for. Don’t forget that once the attorney receives it, it goes into his escrow account until the funds clear and from then he distributes the check to the client and that takes 3-4 days, plus mailing of the check. So you are looking at essentially a month from when the release was signed. Plus the City, transit and other city agencies have 90 days to mail the check instead of 21. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, add additional days to get clearances from those agencies, as most of the defense insurance companies now require clearance from both Medicaid and Medicare before releasing the check. What a lot of car insurance companies started to do now is mail a letter to the client directly notifiying them when the check is mailed to the attorney’s office. So if you got this letter, add few days for mailing and escrow deposits and see the attorney in his office before making a complaint.
I have been unable to go back to work after the accident, but how can I survive without working? My lawyer tells me we’ll get a lot of money, but I need money to live on now to support my family
If you were in a car accident the insurance company paying for your medical bills will pay up to $2000 a month for your lost wages if your employer and your doctor confirm your disability. Very often if you have extra coverage on your insurance, you may up getting up to $4000 a month from no fault insurance and that is why I always say on this radio, but more insurance, not less. In addition, you may have disability insurance from your job as every employer is required to have it under NYS labor laws. If you are unable to work for over 6 months after the accident, you can apply for long term disability benefits through your job’s disability insurance. Finally, there are companies that lend money to people before their case settles and get paid only if your case wins. However, be careful with those, they charge and insane amount of interest, and you may end up owing triple of what you initially borrowed in a short amount of time.
I have some medical bills that I got to Medicare and the doctors, the attorney told me to hold on to them for later when case is settled, but in the meantime one of the doctors sent the bill to collection. What do I do?
I don’t believe in waiting to address the bills til the case settles, because if they end up in collection it may ruin your credit, or worse you can get a judgement against you for those bills in court. Usually, if we can a bill from a medical office for a client and there is no insurance upfront to pay it, we write a letter to them telling them that there is a case and the bill will be resolved at the end of the case, and not to put the bill in collections. We then follow up in a week or so to make sure that the medical office made a note of how and when the bill will be resolved. In addition, with Medicare, I always get inquire with them for updated letters of what they paid, because I need to know that amount before I start negotiating the client’s case, and if you are treating throughout your lawsuit, the amount you owe to Medicare, will grow, so no I don’t believe in letting the bills just sit there and go into collection.
My car was hit by a truck and the mirror was broken. The passenger sued us both and got money, can I also have a case against the truck if the passenger sued me as well?
In most instances you have 3 years to start a lawsuit against the truck company and its driver. The passenger, since he bears no responsibility for the accident can always sue both cars and collect from both cars if each is somewhat at fault, unless of course your car was standing still and truck just hit the mirror as it was passing. If you are injured, and your received treatment, or if you want to just get paid for your car and you don’t have collision insurance where you can get your car fixed through your own insurance, you have 3 years, regardless of passenger suing both of you. I would recommend your attorney contacting the passenger’s attorney to find out in the end how the percentages of fault were attributed, it will give you a better idea of where your case stands because the arguments would be largely the same.
I fell in a large supermarket on Brighton, I don’t want to say a name, because the floor had some pink liquid on it. They came and wiped it right away, so does that mean I can’t have a case anymore? I remember you talked about preserving evidence in your last show?
The issue here is not that they cleaned it right away, of course they did once they saw you fall, the issue is how long that pink liquid was there before your fall, because the supermarket will only be responsible if the pink liquid was there for a prolonged period of time for someone from the store to notice it and clean it. I had a case once where the watermelon fell on the floor in a supermarket and broke. The store employees eventually cleaned it but left some residue on the floor. My client half an hour later slipped and fell on that same spot because some liquid from the broken watermelon was still there. The video camera surveillance is very important in these case, especially if you had no time to take a photo of the defect. The surveillance will show us how long that spill was there and perhaps how it got there to begin with and when.
I went to the beach last Monday and stepped on a glass, cutting my foot and needed stitches. Can I sue the City of New York? ?
That’s a hard one because I remember that weekend, it was raining all weekend and I doubt there was anyone drinking at the beach on Saturday or Sunday. Most likely this was left by beachgoers that same Monday and your attorney will need to prove just like in a supermarket case that the glass was left there in the open, for a long time and the city employee should have seen it and removed it. Problem is sand moves and may have covered the glass, plus if the beach was busy it makes it almost impossible for city cleaning crew to notice the broken glass and remove it.
However, I would still make a notice of claim to the City of New York within 90 days. If you received medical attention, those records would eventually have to be exchanged with the City of New York and the agency is known to pay about $1500-$2500 on what are called “nuisance” cases, where they don’t think the claimant has a case, but they want to avoid the cost of a lawsuit, so you may get reimbursed after all.