Houston, TX asked in Car Accidents, Consumer Law, Libel & Slander and Wrongful Death for Texas

Q: Where and how could I find the copy of a thirty year old out of court settlement resulting from a wrongful death case?

Almost thirty years ago, my husband died in a car accident in which I was badly hurt too. A wrongful death case was brought against the party responsible and eventually settled out of court. Now, the brothers of my deceased husband have filed a criminal case in another country against myself, claiming that the wrongful death settlement was the inheritance left behind by the deceased brother and that I had cheated them out of their share of inheritance by not giving them money out of this settlement.

I was able to find the case number on line and track down one of the lawyer who had represented myself in that settlement. the lawyer told me he did not have any records whatsoever because it was almost a thirty years old case. he said he could not add anything more to what what was already available online. he told me to talk any further with him he would charge $ 175.00 per half an hour.

Could some one kindly tell me where and how I could get the copy of the out of court settlements?

2 Lawyer Answers

Peter N. Munsing

  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: if it was an estate then the estate would have been set up in the county where it happened. That would have shown if there were heirs.

In most states, and I believe in Texas, the spouse gets everything unless there are children. Brothers get zero. That's if there is no will. Even if there was a will but then someone gets married, the spouse has a right to her share.

Second, there is a statute of limitations If the case was settled that long ago, the time to contest the estate settlement is long gone.

Finally, if the problem is a loose end then the attorney that wanted to charge you to talk to them could be a defendant if he didn't tie up the loose end.

If you have been sued you need an attorney. I would suggest you pay to have a bankruptcy attorney as a plan B or plan C. But you need to get that going.

Tim Akpinar

  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: It could be a longshot after 30 years, but if the online court records identify the insurance carrier, you could ask them if they still have the case records. And if they maintained information as to who their defense counsel was, you could look into contacting the law firm. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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