what can I do if an attorney has not paid the doctor (myself) for personal injury treatment of clients he referred to me. When asked about the status of cases he reported them as dropped. I contacted the patients and they have all told me they settled and were paid out with the same attorney. When pressed he admitted they were settled but still continues to avoid payment. He tells the patient on the disbursment page how all their medical bills have added up and so the client has to settle for a small amount, but then never pays the medical bills. Some cases have LOP's and some dont.....thanks
3 Answers from Attorneys
For the cases that you have a letter of protection on that were settled and unpaid, you have a cause of action against the attorney directly for breach of contract so long as the LOP was properly executed. (i.e. if it requires a client signature to be valid and has a blank, you might have a problem). It is a contract action, so your attorney can also assert a claim to collect his attorney fees. You might have an equitable argument as to the ones he referred to you if you can argue that he represented they would be paid out of the settlement and you relied upon that. Otherwise, your claim is against the client. In both cases, you have a claim for nonpayment of a bill against the client also.
Promises to pay the debts of another are unenforceable unless in writing. So, you can pursue your claim against the client for whom you did not get an LOP. You may want to ask the client to assign you his rights to the settlement proceeds equal to the amount of your lien. If the attorney did not disburse those monies to the client, then you might be able to recover from the attorney.
Regardless, you will need an attorney to help you recover your fees. I represent people throughout Texas. Let me know if I can help you.
Have you tried a complaint with the State Bar? Texasbar.com