Brooklyn, NY asked in Identity Theft, Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice for New York

Q: Please help!! How can i get my structed settlement money turn over to me?

I am 35 year old and i just found out my mother have been secretly using my settlement money since I was 7 year old. This settlement money was rewarded to me when I was a minor due to medical malpractice. My mother told me that I need to stay quiet about it and you still under guardianship. So I called courthouse they told me I am not under guardianship and called insurance company that payout the money they say my mother still a guardian. I am confused what should I do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If you had a medical malpractice case as a minor which settled, the proceeds would likely have been deposited in a bank account which would have been jointly held in trust by your guardian (your mother) and an officer of the bank. Significantly, any such monies should have been off-limits to your mother absent a further order of the Court (which would have approved the original settlement). The monies would probably have become available to you once you turned 18 and presented proof of age and identity.

Speak with the clerk of the court and get a copy of what's known as an Infant Compromise Order (ICO). Given the age of your case, it's probably in archives and will take some time to retrieve. The Order will set forth the settlement amount, what was supposed to happen to the proceeds and the conditions under which funds could be withdrawn. If your mother improperly withdrew funds, you might have a case against her or perhaps even the bank if it violated the terms of the ICO.

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