New York Personal Injury Lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm Weighs in on Appellate Court's Limits on Lawyer's Fee after $1 Million Initial Settlement

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A New York appellate court ruled (Case number: 307081/10, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department) that a lawyer, whose client replaced him after a $1 million personal injury initial settlement, cannot collect his full contingency fee. According to a Jan. 10 Reuters news report, the court decided that the settlement for the victim who was injured in a bus accident was not finalized because her acceptance of the offer had not been formally communicated to the defendant.

These are decisions that have a significant impact on people's lives. These are not decisions that should be made in haste. If the plaintiff needs more time to mull over a decision, he or she should get that time.

A lawyer who was replaced by his client cannot collect his contingency fee after negotiating a $1 million personal injury settlement (Case number: 307081/10, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First Department), a New York appeals court has ruled. A Jan. 10 Reuters news report states that the plaintiff, Adwoa Gyabaah was struck by a bus owned by Rivlab in August 2010. She retained a personal injury lawyer on a one-third contingency fee basis, according to the report. Rivlab's insurance carrier offered to pay the policy limit of $1 million to settle the injury claim, the article states. Gyabaah signed a release and other documents in October, but had not accepted the deal as she felt she needed more time to decide, the report states.

She then retained the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm and the prior attorney moved for an order enforcing the settlement and his fee, Reuters reports. A Bronx Supreme Court Judge ruled that although Gyabaah had not agreed to the settlement, the prior attorney was entitled to his one-third contingency fee. The appellate court disagreed with the trial court's decision and determined that the settlement was not finalized, according to the ruling. However, the panel ruled that the other attorney will be allowed to place a lien on Gyabaah's recovery and will receive a pro rata fee based on the amount of work he contributed to the case, the article states.

New York personal injury lawyer, Kenneth A. Wilhelm, whose firm now represents Gyabaah, said he was pleased with the appellate court's decision. "The Appellate Division made the right call here. There was no settlement in this case because the defendant was not sent the release and other closing papers etc., and the settlement was not formally accepted by Ms. Gyabaah."

Wilhelm said personal injury victims should not rush to enter into a settlement. "These are decisions that have a significant impact on people's lives. These are not decisions that should be made in haste. If the plaintiff needs more time to mull over a decision, he or she should get that time. Often, these are decisions people must live with for the rest of their lives. It should not be taken lightly."

About the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm is a personal injury litigation firm with an unwavering dedication to its clients. With more than 41 years of experience, our firm strives to obtain the best compensation for those who have been injured or those who have lost a loved one due to an accident or by someone else's negligence. We handle cases dealing with personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers' compensation, dental malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, rape, paralysis, comas, seizures, false arrest, lead poisoning, trips and slips and falls, elevator accidents, construction accidents, Erb's palsy, cerebral palsy, brain damage, blindness, hearing loss, dog bite cases, fire and smoke inhalation accidents, bicycle accidents, falls from windows or scaffolds, and many other types of accidents and injuries.

Please call 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496) 24 hours a day 7 days a week or visit us at http://www.Work4YouLaw.com.

The Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm
445 Park Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 545-7373

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