In 1995 I reinjured my back, leg, nerve and spinal discs, and the State awarded me full disability, gave me handicapped tags, then in 1997 I had a slip & fall personal injury which required me to obtain an Attorney because the owner of the building regfused to pay, including medical bills, it also involved medical mal-practice because the owner of the building I tripped in while visiting a friend that worked in the building, and car pooled with me because he lived with my wife and I.
Prior to the injury I was welcome in the buiklding, was invited to their Christmas Office Party, and almost knew the names of all the employees in the building. I became dependent on narcotic prescribed pain pills, and had been on them for a long time which I hid from everyone, and because I had a refillable prescripttion I was passed on all drug testing. I tried to go back to work, but lasted less than 90 days, I was let go because I was told I was not able to perform to their required standards.
I became severely depressed, was in the ER every week for blood pressure and chest pains, and back pain, so I had to retain a Personaal Injury Attorney, and at the time he was part of the Law Firm of Benson & Bertoldo, after a period of time he talked me into coming with him as his Client because he was opening his own office. He was briefed on all my medical problems, and explained that I will have to sign a power of attorney which gave him the right to negoiate with the person we were suing, plus he said that the settlemnt payment would be made out to him, then he would pay me after his fees were paid. By this time I was seeing a Psychaitrist & Therapist every week, then changed to every 2 weeks, and I still see him to this day.
It took him at least 12 different anti-depressants to find one that gave me any relief, and he also was trying different sleeping pills and anti-anxiety pills, each drug took normally 4 to 6 weeks to see if I got any relief, so it was a long process. Today I am still on the maximum dosage of all my medications, plus blood pressure medicine, chest pain medication, and medication for acid refluz disease. A few of the major side affects was the medication turned my hair from blond to a dark color, and the anti-depressants also attack the teeth from inside the gums/roots due to drying of the mouth caused by the anti-depressants, slowly but surely I started breakuing off teeth and getting gum infections, and have to have to date 7 teeth pulled because they broke off or became infected.
All this was sending me deeper into depression, I had nightmares, about the War going on in Iraq & Afghanistan as I am a Vietnam Veteran it caused flash back night mares as if I was in the middle of combat in Iraq etc. Got so bad I had to sleep in the spare room because I kicked and tossed & turned so much, and I was only getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep nightly.
I contacted the IRS to see about some form of payment arrangements, and they suggested I contact the IRS Tax Advocasy Office because I explaained to the IRS, and sent letters from my shrink as well, I was only living on social security disability and my military retirement,, which the rent was 1200 a month not leaving much at all. The Tax Advocacy Office helped me file all missing 1040's, and help me file for a haardship based on the pending law suit, and I would go into a temporary non-collectable staus, and once I received my settlement I would pay the IRS. I was not aware even as I was working with the Tax Advocacy that my Personal Injury attorney was being investigated by the FBI & US Attorney for money laundering, bribing City, County & State Law Makers for favorable consideration on real estate deals, I was not aware because the US Attorney could not say anything to anyone and it was like a 5 or 6 year investigation, he was indicted along with is father, and they also said he was smooth talking personal injury clients with stories of how it takes longer to settle because mal-practice was involed.
I would call his office and never got to speak with anyone but an assistant, later I learned it may have been his wife, and was told he was in court, or out of state but to hang in there. I was even sent(I think by mistake) a court document claimed to have been filed in district court suing the owner for my injuries and medical bills, wages lost, legal fees etc. It was only by accident that I learned after this scum bag lawyer skipped the country with millions he embezzeled from personal injury clients and other to avoid prosecution, but the US Attorney would not give me any information even after I told them I was a client with copies of court documents, FBI would not talk to me either.
I started getting letters from the IRS once the news of this Lawyer skipping with millions, stating they will levy me and all other threats to collect, really scared me, now NO sleep and my medication was changed to a stronger one, I told all this to my shrink and he noted it all in my medical records.
So it came to a point, my vehicle was beyond repair cost, rent was raised, but my wife of 38 years stuck by me. Friends were loaning us money, given food, and rides to doctors, stores etc. Then a friend of more than 25 years offered to let us use their extra vehicle because the cost of gas was so high and he was only driving it back & forth to work, so he was going to park it in the garage and not drive it, and he bought a skooter, and his wife used their other car for work etc. Because we mainly needed rides to doctor, church shopping etc, and out to the Air Base at times, but we gave them as much as possible for gas.
By now my depression and other symptoms increased, I learned that Dr Desai in Las Vegas who performed several endoscope procedures on me was allowing his nurses reuse needles and syringes, and people were catching AIDS and other Diseases from it, that made National News. So because he worked on me, I paniced, but Metro Police took ALL the medical records out of his office, and my depression and sress was about to explode or give me a stroke, it took 2 months before I learned that because I used Valley Hospitals Out Patient Surgery Unit, I was not affected, but it took that long of incresing ilness before I was told.
IRS letters increased, I sent letters back with request for hardship, along with letters from my doctor and list of medications, I would get replies from no less than 6 different field offices, but none gave me guidance to file hardship, and I have copies of letters from them stating they were needing 45 more days or more to figure out what to do and for me to stand by until they decided.
I never got the answer, so I paniced, and after seeing Roni Deutch on TV I called, I spoke to an Evan Bateman wo Identified himself as the person to evaluate my situation to see if they could help, I had to explain all the medical and other parts of this complaint to him, then he said that I would qualify for a Offer of Comprimise, he saisd I had to pay 500.00 retainer, sign a power of attorney and they will contact IRS and stop the letters because they were authorized to work my problem, he then said I would have to pay 315.00 a moth for 10 months, and once the fees were paid they would file the Offer.
Today I got a package from the Law Firm, and almost had a stroke, they sauid I had to have 2 checks to them by 17 October to file the offer, one for 150.00, and one for 1008.00, I called, and once again never got a lawyer only a clerk, she became argumentive with me and said regardless what I was told during the initial interview, he was wrong, and that I had to send these checks, there were documents she said I and my wife had to sign which showed rent, and all expenses, I noticed right off the figures were either inflated, or too low, she continued to be argumentive and said I would get 2 more requests to send those payments or else.
I honestly feel when I explained during my initial interview and explained my mental/medical condition, they smelled easy prey, noy I have been paying the 315.00 for 4 months, paid the 500.00 retainer, and they are so rude and like night and day compared to how nice he was when he said I would have a good chance to settle.
I don't know what to do now, I feel as though I am living that movie "It's A Wonderful Life", and I am worth more gone than here, I just don't knopw where to turn. I beciome severely emotional in face-to-face meetings, and the TAX Advocate that helped me and knew all my medical issues, was so kind helpful and understanding, but I learned she has retired or left the agency.
Can anyone tell me where to turn for help?
God Bless all of you with these same horror stories about this firm and others
I was mentally vulnerable (David)
Las Vegas, Nevada
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