Can my parents take my lawsuit money?!?
I was 17 years old, a minor, when I had got hit by a speeding car while walking in a cross walk in June.
So, my parents started a lawsuit for me and hired a lawyer to sue the driver. I just turned 18 last month. The case was finally settled for 50k given to us and at our next meeting with our lawyer he’s going to release the funds and finalize the case. Are they able to take all of it? It’s so selfish of them to do so. I’m the one that got hit by a car and could’ve died. I have the incident etched in my memory forever, left behind with tons of ugly scars, not them!
My mom kept saying that I owe her $2500 for my college money she spent this semester on me, that I CAN UNDERSTAND. But I don’t want her to have the entire amount, which they will take. I hate living with my parents, (they’re strict and abusive, which is entire different story to tell) and I wanted to use the money to get my own place and save the rest for college tuition, what can I do about them not getting a hold of the money? Are they entitled to it?
- KellyLv 71 month ago
Calling BS on this one.
That's less than 6 months ago and a case typically wouldn't settle that quickly. Plus the lawyer gets a portion of it too, they get around 33% of the award or settlement so for $50,000.. the lawyer would get around $16,650 of it. So that leaves about $33,350 in it, that may seem like a lot at 18 but it's really not.
For a minor the court papers typically address how the money is to be distributed. If your parents endured expenses due to it they may be entitled to a portion of it plus it depends on how they sued. If they sued on your behalf it would be your award, if they sued on their own it would be theirs.
You want to get your own place... do you have a job? How are you planning to pay for the place outside of the settlement money? It's only going to go so far. Even if you lived somewhere you could buy a condo for that cheap... you'll still have taxes, maintenance and upkeep. Rent usually isn't cheap and most landlords/apt complexes would require you to have a certain income to qualify to live there.
Sounds like maybe your parents want you to save it but you want to blow it...
- FoofaLv 71 month ago
Cash settlements to minors are usually accompanied with written documentation about how and when the money should be released. If the settlement here says you should get this money upon turning 18 then you can contest what your parents are doing. But many of these will keep the money in a trust to be accessible only when the recipient turns 21, 25 or some other milestone. You'd first have to know the terms of this settlement and the trust the money is probably being held in.
- Star_of_DarknessLv 71 month ago
You are a child still so yes they can take it. I doubt they are abusive at all and you just want to keep all the money which you can't do since by law you are a child.
- EvaLv 41 month ago
Talk it over with your lawyer. Depending on how the settlement is structured, the award may be for your future medical needs and/or for pain and suffering or it may be to reimburse your parents for the medical bills already paid. In the first instance the money should be yours, in the second your parents. It may be a combination of both. Be aware that the attorney usually gets 1/3 of the award.
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- TjLv 71 month ago
That money is yours, not your parents. If you must, take them to court.
- JerryLv 61 month ago
Ideally, it would be all yours to use for tuition, but since you're a minor, you really don't have much of a legal leg to stand on. Talk to the attorney and/or the judge when you're in the courtroom...
- EisbärLv 71 month ago
Do you have a lawyer? If so, who does the lawyer represent? You or your parents? And if you don't have your own lawyer, and worried they'll try and take it all, then get your own lawyer (although they'll likely then take their own percentage fee unless you can work some other fee arrangement out). But since you're now 18, presumably you can hire your own lawyer, and have your own interests represented separately now. Considering most states have at least a year for Statute of Limitations, if you were 17, when the injury occurred, then you probably could have filed your own lawsuit within a year, when you turned 18, so seems a little fishy they rushed in filing before you could have on your own, if there was no time clock problems for filing the suit and seems like no reason why they should have filed for you guardian ad litem, if that's what they did, other than to try and get their hands on your settlement award. So with that all in mind, may be wise to see a lawyer, at least for a consult maybe. Some offer free consults, and then they can discuss the issues, and their fee, if they would be willing to represent you separately, if your current lawyer is actually in-fact your parents' lawyer. Good luck.