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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3814
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I was young and got into an accident at school and my mom sued

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I was young and got into an accident at school and my mom sued and we won. But there was some paper filing issues and I was wondering how can I find out how to receive the monet that I won?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

I need some more information from you before I can provide you with an answer.

1. Where was the lawsuit located (what court)?

2. When you say you won, did you win a verdict or was there a settlement?

3. Do you have any of the documentation from the settlement or verdict?

4. How long ago was the settlement or verdict?

5. Do you know if the money was paid out already to your mother?

6. Do you know if any money was left in trust for you somewhere for your use?

7. How old are you know?

Once you answer these questions, I can give you a more thorough response. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The lawsuit was in New York, NY in I guess late 80's early 90's. I was told that there had been a settlement. I don't have any paper work or the lawyers name. You see my mom passed away and we haven't talked about before she died. I thought that the case was closed. I had no idea that I had won anything. I was told this by my step mother who was witness to all of the proceedings at court but even she doesn't have any idea who the lawyer was or where the court was. My mom didn't receive the money because the paper work got lost in the move from Manhattan to Brooklyn. And to be quite honest my mom was a drinker and things just got away from her I guess.That paper she was supposed to sign was for me to receive money every month until I turned 18 then I would receive all of the money.I have no idea if the money was put up anywhere. I strongly doubt it though. I am 30 years old now. i live in High Point NC. I was trying for a while now to get some help on this issues but not knowing the lawyers name or what exact time it happened has put up a huge wall for me. I just want some answers and get what s mine. I really appreciate your help.
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
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.

Best Regards,
Zachary D. Norris
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So by me calling all the courts houses and just giving them my name and my moms name.. Will they be able to tell me if it was closed or what the lawyer name was? And then after finding the lawyer he or if he still alive will be able to tell me if the money was put away in a trust fund or whatever?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So by me calling all the courts houses and just giving them my name and my moms name.. Will they be able to tell me if it was closed or what the lawyer name was? And then after finding the lawyer he or if he still alive will be able to tell me if the money was put away in a trust fund or whatever?
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.
In regard to the court houses, most likely not. They will not do the search for you if you don't know the full name of the lawsuit. A lot of times, they require you to come down and do the search yourself. Also, because your case is old, it may not actually be imaged in the electronic databases (http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/iscroll/), so you will have to physically search the court's records.

Finding the attorney does not necessarily guarntee that he will remember the case and be able to provide you with any information regarding it. However, it might be possible that he received the money and put it into his trust account and simply couldn't locate you.
Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3814
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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