I am sorry to hear about your loss.
And your reference to Wilmot v. Wilmot is 100% correct.
The Wilmot case holds, among other things, that the lawyer you contacted owed you and the rest of the claimants (technically called "statutory beneficiaries") a fiduciary duty. The case also holds that the person(s) settling the case -- that is, the claimants that approved and accepted the wrongful death settlement money -- owe you and the rest of the claimants an identical duty of care to ensure that your claim is protected and/or that you participate in decision-making and settlement approval.
You are also entitled to your own attorney. That is, you do not need to use the same attorney as your siblings and, quite often, you shouldn't because of potential or actual conflicts of interest (e.g., where you are competing for a portion of limited settlement proceeds).
You need to speak with a lawyer, and soon. You may have lots of different rights and remedies, and time is of the essence.
Again, I am sorry for what you've been through and sympathize that things may have been made worse by learning of a settlement which you were not properly informed of.
Retain a legal malpractice lawyer to go after his insurance policy.
The answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and is for informational purposes only.
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You are discovering that legal malpractice lawyers are not hanging around like bananas in bunches. In fact, not a lot of lawyers handle these cases. However, if you are persistent, you will find a lawyer willing to take on anybody in the right case. Keep making phone calls. I suggest you try lawyers who handle personal injury and medical malpractice cases if you can't find anybody who concentrates in legal malpractice.
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Now that you have advised the lawyer of the existing other siblings, has the lawyer advised you of the status of the case? Whether a case can still be brought for you and the others that recovered nothing so far? Have time limits expired? Does the settlement leave any provision for future or other claims and claimants? Are there indemnity clauses? There, as you can see, are a lot of questions, and you will need to ask them and many more to ultimately determine your rights.
I agree you should see an independent attorney who specializes in wrongful death and negligence cases immediately. That attorney can explore the issues and advise you as to your options and whether you will need to claim against the siblings that were involved in the claim and/or the lawyer that handled it.
Best of luck to you and your family.
You need to contact one or more lawyers in Arizona. In Arkansas, wrongful death beneficiaries must be notified prior to distribution of the settlement proceeds.
This communication is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.
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