Baltimore, MD asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Maryland

Q: hello, i had an accident case 20 years ago, we got judgement in federal court, large sum. can it be pursuit still?

federal judge dismissed insurance company, saying that: we need to get judgement first against dealership, because they were not informed, but they were in the court. after we got the judgement, then since i didn't speak English, my own lawyer i believe made deal with all state insurance company, then left me out.

this is as i have getting some advises, a civil right case. insurance company knew about the law suit and the judgement, why didn't they contact me?

judgement was over $246,000

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Why did you wait 20 years to ask this question? I doubt there will be any bank or insurance company records, paper or electronic, left to trace what happened to the proceeds. Is the lawyer still practicing? Is he alive even? While you were entitled to a complete accounting of how the settlement money was applied, you do not state whether you received such an accounting. The lawyer maybe still has your file. He has an ethical duty to notify you before destroying it. But it will be hard to ascertain what happened so many years after the fact. Civilly your claim for money damages will likely be barred by the statute of limitations, but if he embezzled the funds he could still be charged criminally and a judge can order that he pay you restitution in the amount he stole. However, you’d have to convince a prosecutor to file criminal charges, and of course there is the problem of evidence to prove your claim. I ask again, why did you wait 20 years?

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.