What to do if I signed a final settlement statement showing a net proceeds to client amount but now thelawyer wants to change it?

UPDATED: Apr 10, 2013

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What to do if I signed a final settlement statement showing a net proceeds to client amount but now thelawyer wants to change it?

After submitting this and endorsing the check from the insurance company, the lawyer’s office emailed me requesting I sign a revised final settlement statement with a balance almost $500 less than the original stating that they had made an error when subtracting the final costs. Can they legally do this or do they have to pay me what the original statement says?

Asked on April 10, 2013 under Personal Injury, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Typically, they can only do this if the error was "transparent" to you, so that  you could have determined what the correct bottom line total was. To use a simple example: the settlment was $10,000; the final costs were stated as a line item to be $1,500; due a math error (they subtracted $500, not $1,500), the net proceeds were shown as $9,500, not $8,500. You had all the information properly disclosed to see what the amount should have been--they can fix the math error.

On the other hand, say that they just realized that they had an additional cost not previously disclosed to you. In that case, they may not add a new cost after the settlement was finalized.

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