Well, let me start out by saying that I can provide you answers to legal questions, but I won't be able to locate the attorney for you or find your money. I point you in the direction of how to do that, but that's about as much as I can do here.
That being said, you face some huge issues that really almost make this type of exercise a fool's errand. The first issue is that because your mother probably did not sign the settlement agreement
and did not follow up with the settlement, then your claim has been waived. The settlement agreement had to be signed in full for it to be binding. So before you could even start looking into whether the money was put in trust for you somewhere, you would need to find a signed copy of the settlement agreement.
That being said, you absolutely HAVE to find the lawyer who represented you. The easiest way to do this (and really it isn't easy) is that you will have to go to Manhattan and search through all the court houses to look for where your lawsuit was filed. You would look it up using your name and your mother's name. Once you located the lawsuit, then you would need to contact the attorney who represented you. He may have some information on the case still in his closed files. Although, honestly, most attorneys do not keep records going back that far. However, if he is still alive he could assist you in tracking down the settlement agreement.
If the settlement agreement was signed, then you could contact the settling defendant to see if they kept the money. However, if they did not keep the money, they are not legally obligated to pay you on the settlement anyway because the statute of limitation has passed. The settlement required for a full distribution upon your 18th birthday. You are now 30. A settlement is a contract
, and when the other side doesn't honor it, you sue for breach of contract
. However, the statute of limitations
on a contract action in New York is well under 12 years. The claim became ripe upon your 18th birthday, thus the claim is barred by the statute of limitations.
So, in the end, unless the defendant is charitable (which is highly unlikely nowadays) then you are out of luck on this.
Please remember to only rate my answer once you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either "Helped a little" or "I expected more," please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.
Zachary D. Norris