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How Long Can A Lawyer Hold onto My Settlement Check?

So, you’ve reached a settlement in your case. The promise of financial compensation can feel well-deserved after the stress and uncertainty. But there’s one crucial step before the money lands in your hand: your lawyer holding the check. This naturally leads to the question, “How long can a lawyer hold your settlement check?”. 

To bring you peace of mind, we detail the disbursement process and explain why your settlement check may be delayed.

The Disbursement Journey: From Settlement to Your Wallet

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “How long does it take to get a settlement check after you settle?” The timeframe can vary depending on the specifics of your case, but follows this general timeline:

Finalizing the Agreement 

After you and the other party agree on settlement conditions, including the amount, your lawyer will draft a formal agreement outlining the terms. This process can take a few weeks, especially for complex cases.

Payment from the Other Party

The other party, or their insurance company, will then issue a check for the agreed-upon settlement amount to your lawyer.

Check Clearanceally

The bank may hold the check for 5-7 business days to verify the authenticity of the funds and prevent potential fraud.

Resolving Liens and Fees 

Your lawyer is responsible for settling all outstanding debts related to your case before you receive the remaining funds. This might include:

  • Medical bills, including medical liens;
  • Expert witness fees;
  • Court costs; and
  • Attorney fees.

Disbursement to You 

Once all obligations are fulfilled, your lawyer will distribute the remaining settlement funds to you. You can receive the funds through a check, wire transfer, or direct deposit, whichever you prefer.

Reasonable Timeframe for Disbursement

While there’s no set legal deadline, lawyers are expected to disburse your settlement funds within a “reasonable” time, typically 30-60 days after the settlement agreement is signed. However, specific state rules or your retainer agreement might change this timeframe.

Why Is My Settlement Check Taking So Long?

While the above time frame provides a general guideline, some situations can cause delays:

  • Multiple parties are involved. If multiple parties contributed to your case, like co-counselors or experts, the disbursement process might take longer to ensure everyone receives their appropriate share.
  • Unexpected issues. Unforeseen complications can arise, like errors in the settlement agreement or challenges with the check itself.
  • Tax implications. Your lawyer might need to clarify the tax implications of the settlement, which could add time.

If you haven’t received your settlement check within a reasonable timeframe, don’t hesitate to contact your lawyer about the status of your funds. Your lawyer should be able to provide you with a detailed breakdown of the disbursement process and an estimated timeline for receiving your funds.

Need Funds While Waiting for Your Settlement?

Don’t let financial stress weigh you down. Injury Wallet is here to bridge the gap. With our network of post-settlement funding lenders, you can breathe easy and focus on what matters most—your recovery. We offer some of the lowest rates in the industry, and our streamlined process ensures you get the funds quickly. 

Complete our simple online application today, and you will have the funds in just 48 hours. 

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