My post today was something very important for women, but then I received some screen shots, that truly pissed me off. So, a change in plans, because I have had enough of public whining and complaining about lawsuits settlements on Facebook support groups.
I have written blogs, explaining EXACTLY what any woman needs to do to get a decent settlement. I will give those links at the end of this blog, but first once again, these are TORT lawsuits, NOT class actions. A class action is usually a drug lawsuit and every person receives equal shares of a settlement. A TORT lawsuit is where each of us is assessed separately, by the number of surgeries and various kinds of injuries. I wrote a blog about proving your case, which I will also give at the end of this blog.
Why am I so pissed off you may ask? Because I know women who have died and I live with EXTENSIVE injuries, which have left me disabled and I try to keep going, regardless of the damage. So, do MANY other women! Not only that, but I know many, many women who keep working to cover their insurance payments, even though they were or are, living in agony with nerve damage. Therefore, this is why we are all in tort lawsuits and not class action lawsuits, because we are NOT equal.
These lawsuits have been going for many years before anyone receives any money, so if you can prove your disability and are younger than filing for Medicare payments, you CAN file for disability. Yes, it takes about 3 years to get full disability and then you will be eligible for Medicare health insurance. But, like I said, YOU must prove your complications, or you won’t be entitled.
This is what one woman posted on a support group.
OK all Boston Scientific ladies… I was out of town seeing a Dr and got home to find SETTLEMENT PAPERS….. 1st disbursement…. I am so upset (is a understatement) I got a letter back in Jan. I believe that said in short…. That the Magistrate for the suit had decided that those who had surgery already for removal or numerous surgeries would be at the top of the pay out and those who had not, would be at the bottom of the pay out! I called the lawyers office and had a complete melt down! I have been waiting for the settlement to have surgery because I have insurance. I lost it because I couldn’t pay $550 a month for just me. But this letter only tells you what the lowest amount could be to be paid out and then take out Attorney fees I could actually only end up with $30.000. Total Period. Help Please. I am so upset, I want this out of me and don’t know what to do. I have not signed these papers.
First, if you are posting on a support group, either closed or open, you are posting so that lawyers and manufacturers can read it. They know what you are writing, so get that into your head. Once you have written about your offer it could be NULL and VOID! In other words, YOU have screwed up because your case may be dropped and you no longer have ANY negotiating rights.
Now here is my dispute with what she wrote. $30.000 after expenses is a decent offer if you have not proven your case! This is because if you have not had the implant removed, then it is assumed by the manufacturer of your implant, that you don’t need to and you don’t have a problem. Whether we like it or not, there are NO exceptions to that rule. But she may have been able to get more money, IF she negotiated with her lawyer the fact that she already had a date for removal surgery and could PROVE it. Words you say or write, mean nothing, because lawyers can only work with proof. So, don’t call up and have a meltdown because they will dismiss you totally.
She also stated herself, that back in January, she was informed by letter, that only those who had had surgeries, would be entitled to more money. That was six months ago, and in other words she had a fair warning that this would happen and if nothing else, she could have shopped for a loan against her case back then. However, taking loans against your case can also have repercussions. In other words, there is NO FREE RIDE, just because you have a lawsuit. Someone is going to collect money from your bad fortune, because it is a dog eat dog world.
Next, she states she does not have $550 a month for insurance. Fair enough, but by the time expenses were taken out of her settlement, she would have ended up with enough money for a few years of insurance to get the mesh removed and travel expenses to go to a doctor who could remove it all in one go.
She has more than likely been reading all Jane Akres posts about the big wins of filing these lawsuits, which amounts to millions for everyone. In other words, she thought she would be receiving a huge hunk of money, just on HER WORD that she has a problem with her implant, and she needs to get it removed. We have all found out that these lawsuits just don’t work that way and neither does the law. YOU must provide proof of your health issues!
Now she states she wants out of this and I am not sure what she meant. Sadly, she may have already opted out, just by posting publicly about her offer.
There were comments left on her post and that is why I decided to post this blog. To begin with the first woman was giving her SOME truth, but when she stated that these surgeries cost $60.000, she is generalizing. MOST surgeries at UCLA are done in day surgery and you have surgery one day and must leave the hospital by 7.30 am, the next morning or your bill will be much higher, unless you have a serious health problem and are hospitalized. This is standard practice these days, which comes down to INSURANCE companies, not the doctor or hospital. So, a surgery done in day surgery should not cost anywhere near $60.000, UNLESS the doctor does not know what they are doing, or there are major complications during surgery. This happens all over this country, when doctors try to remove implants, which is why I went to UCLA for removal.
There was another comment on her post by a woman who stated that the lawyers are collecting all the money and they also state about lawyers keeping the interest on the settlements. So, all I did was ask Google and this was the answer. Someone in Tennessee asked about this.
No. Your lawyer is doing exactly what he is required to do. Lawyers must maintain a separate bank account known as a trust account. It is for client funds – and only for client funds. Your lawyer is not making interest on the money. The interest that is earned is taken by the bank and given to the Tennessee Bar Foundation which in turn donates the money to advance justice. Thus, your lawyer has no financial reason to hold your money one second longer than he must to meet the ethical obligations involved in administering a trust account.
So, what can you do IF you can PROVE your lawyer is doing this. You may be able to sue them.
Your attorney’s job as a professional in the legal field is to calm the waters, clarify legal jargon and make things easier for you, not the other way around. So if you have been misrepresented, lied to, or if your case is being handled by an incompetent lawyer, you probably have a case against him or her – although winning the case might not be a walk in the park.
I will give you the link to read it all at the end of this blog.
Here’s the thing about tort lawsuits, which these women have ignored. If you already had one or more surgeries, Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies, will take a portion back out of your settlement. So, will you come out with a lot more money? Probably not a lot and certainly not millions. Like I said, there is no free ride for any of us and few women will wind up with millions, even if their case goes to trial. Why? Read this.
No matter what kind of case you’re involved in, a civil lawsuit can be very expensive. In addition to attorney’s fees, you are required to pay for filing fees, copying fees, expert witness fees, court reporter fees, transcripts, and many other costs along the way to trial. When you finally win your case, you might expect to be able to recover all of these costs as part of the judgment you obtain against the opposing party. Let’s look at when this is likely, and when you may be out of luck.
|Costs are Different From Attorney’s Fees
Attorney’s fees are by far the largest component of a litigant’s practical expenses in pursuing a lawsuit, but these fees are usually considered separately from “costs” when it comes to what the prevailing party may recover from the other side. Often a dedicated state law allows recovery of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in certain kinds of lawsuits, or the court considers a motion where the prevailing party requests reimbursement of their attorney’s fees, based on the circumstances of the instant case.
So, Google and learn more and try to work with your settlement, by proving your case, to the lawyers.
Regardless of how we feel at the loss of our lifestyle, finances or careers, we all have the same issues to work out and stating anything on support groups can be risky. When you receive your offer letter, have a good cry or meltdown and wait a day before contacting your lawyer. Then the next day, start thinking about what you want to tell your lawyer and put it carefully in writing. Even if you have had surgeries and you feel the offer is too low, you must look at the evidence you have already given your lawyer, over the years while you have been waiting for your offer. If you have had more surgeries, any therapy and have not sent it to them, make sure you do when you send in your update letter.
IF you have waited far too long to have removal, there may not be anything you can do about increasing your settlement, at the last moment. However, you can always try.
Now learn more, from blogs I have written to try to help or warn you about lawsuits.
This blog is about the few trials that went to court and how only a handful of women were given large settlements. http://www.meshangels.com/my-bladder-sling-defective/
Proving your case, means you have a lot of work to do. http://www.meshangels.com/build-your-case/
Want to take a loan against your case. Think twice before you do. http://www.meshangels.com/warning-taking-loans/
So, you want to sue your lawyer? There is a lot for you to learn. https://www.i-lawsuit.com/how-to-sue-your-attorney/