What are a family’s rights to share in a malpractice award?

She was awarded a malpractice settlement on behalf of my brother’s estate for $550,000. She has offered my sister and I $500 each contingent upon our signing a waiver. My brother was survived by my sister in-law and 2 adult children. What would my sister’s and mines percentage be if we are entitled to any of the funds awarded?

Asked on August 13, 2013 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and what happened to your brother.  I have to make a few assumptions here that the award was made for his loss as well as for his loss of support to his family. Did he support you and your sister as well?  If yes then you should have been part of the lawsuit.  If not then it does not sound like you would be entitled to anything from the suit.  But I have to say that her asking you to sign a waiver makes me suspicious and I think that you should speak with a lawyer before signing anything.  Good luck.


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