Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

dyingand getting your settlment money

if i die before my lawyer gives me my settlement that has been settled who gets the money and willmy layer be able to hold it longer

Asked on 12/30/06, 12:08 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Phillip Cooke Law offices of Phillip A. cooke

Re: dyingand getting your settlment money

When a case settles that involves an insurance company you will be required to sign a release and when the settlement check comes to your attorney's office most insurance companies require your signature. You will usually get your proceeds from settlement within a week to ten days unless there are claims for liens that have to be resolved. Unless you sign settlement papers your case may not be actually settled. Some medical insurance companies have a claim to be paid back when a bodily injury settlement is made.

If you have signed settlement papers and your attorney hangs onto your money without adequate explanation, you may need help. An attorney has a duty to handle his trust account honestly and accurately. If he or she does not such conduct is a violation of law and your rights. The attorney has a duty to explain exactly what he or she is doing with your settlement and to get your approval before they do it.

There are cases where people die while a case is pending. If that happens the rights that survive your death can still be enforced in favor of your heirs and they become entitled to the funds that otherwise would be yours.

Read more
Answered on 1/04/07, 11:34 am
Robert F. Cohen Law Office of Robert F. Cohen

Re: dyingand getting your settlment money

I hope you're not planning on dying any time soon. If the case is over and has been dismissed, then the lawyer will disburse the funds to the estate of the decedent. It would be wise to have a will so that any property you own will go to those whom you want to benefit upon your passing. Otherwise, a probate might have to be open which could take considerable time. Your lawyer would then hold the money in her client trust account until payment is appropriately demanded.

If the case has not yet been formally settled or has not been dismissed, your estate might not be able to collect for your pain and suffering, but only medical bills and property damage.

Read more
Answered on 1/03/07, 5:37 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Personal Injury Law and Tort Law questions and answers in California