Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

I am 35 yrs old and i was told by my dad that i have an auto accident settlement i need to claim. When i went to the attorney that was handling that case, he deny's still having the case or maybe burned the files. Is that true? I was 12 or 14 at that time of the accident. Is the attorney allowed to sign the settlement and give my funds to my aunt? Is there a way i can sue the attorney for not having my settlement put into a trust fund until i claim it weather i'm 18 or 35? Is there a way i can look up the case at that time and see how much my case was settled for?

Asked on 5/10/10, 11:29 pm

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1 Answer from Attorneys

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

If you were in an auto accident as a minor, and there was a settlement, the plaintiff's attorney would have had the requirement to have the court approve the settlement. The settlement would have had to also been approved by your guardian ad litem. If the settlement did not exceed $5,000, it could have been paid to the custodial parent and held in trust until you reached 18. The judge in the case also has the discretion to have the amount, or an amount over $5,000 deposited into a blocked account. This law went into effect in 1992, but it is not clear when your accident was, and when the settlement was. Court records, with the exceptions of judgments, are often destroyed. You may be able to search for your case in the courthouse where the case was filed.

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Answered on 5/22/10, 7:02 pm

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