Asked in Family Law and Car Accidents for Missouri

Q: Mother in law changed my husband's part of his father's wrongful death settlement from 1/3rd to 5%.

My father in law was killed by a school bus. My mother in law is suing them on behalf of the family (my husband's grandmother, my husband, and herself) and has told my husband since the beginning that his part of the settlement will be 1/3rd. Recently, she found out that the settlement will be much less than the lawyers were first telling her and now she is saying that by law my husband can only get 5% of the settlement. Obviously, my husband would rather have his father, but we viewed that money as his last gift to us. A chance to finally buy a house, and for my husband to go to school and achieve his dreams. My mother in law wants us to move next door to her, and after we made it clear that the house we buy won't be a trailer on her land, that's when all this started. At this point, it's not really about the money, it's about just getting some truth. Any help would be appreciated.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Lydia Seifner
Lydia Seifner
  • Springfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: This is more of an estate planning and tort issue. But my understanding is that unless your husband was named as a party in the suit, he is not a beneficiary of the settlement.

1 user found this answer helpful

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: I must disagree with Ms. Seifner. Your husband is part of the case. He should contact the attorney involved and without going through the issue about the trailer etc, just state that he's being told it's only 5% is that true etc.

A few items. No case setltes until everyone knows and there is a notice of the "proposed distribuition"--where the money goes--and who gets what.

I assume the attorney has checked to see if there is underinsured motorist coverage on any cars he had or resident relatives had at the time of the wreck. Generally a school bus should have a large enough policy that there would be money to go around. So calmly, politely, your husband wants to ask questions.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.