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My husband was in a automobile accident @ 2 years ago. He abandoned my children and @ 1 year ago .

Hyde Park, NY |

I received a letter from his accident lawyer stating that i am also a plaintiff in his case and they need my permission to release the money ($22,000). Can I ask for half the settlement? What is my rights as his wife even though he moved out a year ago. New York State Law.

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Attorney answers 6


Unless you can both agree on how to split the money, the attorney is going to have a conflict of interest and you may need to get your own lawyer. I doubt your claim is worth anywhere near 50%.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


As a named plaintiff, you have certain. Some of these rights may have been violated. You should immediately consult with an attorney before proceeding any further.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams


Did you give consent to the settlement?


Retain one of the above lawyers in your state to negotiate the best deal possible.


This does not seem like the type of injury case or settlement where 50% of the value belongs to the uninjured spouse. Ask for whatever you want. %0% would be a starting off point for negotiating purposes. Your rights only concern the time period you lived together a husband and wife, unless the accident somehow caused the marital split.


Attorney Adams is absolutely correct. As a named plaintiff in this lawsuit, this attorney who apparently represented you had an obligation to protect your interests, keep you informed about the progress of the suit and advise you of any settlement offers.

Once your relationship with your husband broke down as it unfortunately did, this attorney should have been informed of the fact and at that point advised you to obtain separate counsel so that there would be no conflict of interest. You should have been given the opportunity to make an informed decision as to how you wanted your cause of action to proceed.

At this point, I would suggest that you contact a matrimonial lawyer in Dutchess County (use the Avvo find a lawyer function or contact the Dutchess County Bar Association for a referral) as you need to protect your rights regarding the dissolution of your marriage.

Additionally, you should contact a personal injury lawyer ASAP so that you can be properly advised of how to respond to this attorney who has apparently settled a case without your knowledge or consent.

Good Luck

Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. The answer given is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for contacting an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction and obtaining legal advice from such an attorney.


Your share is not worth 50 percent, but the lawyer needs your consent to resolve the case. Either you or another lawyer can negotiate ith the lawyer or your husband.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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