Can lawyer hold back my settlement?
May 27, 2014
I had an auto accident 3 years ago, and my lawyer received settlement check from insurance company 8 month ago.
However, my lawyer is holding back my settlement money. He said my insurance company denied to pay surgery center fee. (My surgeon got pay off for my surgery. This is weird that my insurance company paid off surgeon but surgery center.)
I thought any medical bill is paid by no-fault in New York. I called to surgery center, and the they said arbitration date has not set up yet.
In this case, even if medical bill has not paid off, Shouldn't my lawyer give me settlement money?
Also, when he got the settlement check first, he made up my signature, and signed himself. He said he showed documentation to banker. Should I report this to Bar Association?
Based on the limited facts you've given, you might want to give him a chance to fully explain the situation first. If there is a lien on the amount recovered, you're entitled to know how much that is. Presumably, this is the surgery cost, which no-fault have denied and the surgery center is disputing in arbitration. There may be other liens from City or State agencies. It all depends on your circumstances. If the case settled, were you told for how much? Was it for more or less than all the liens? If so, why did it settle for that amount. What insurance coverage was available? You should demand answers from your lawyer, and if you don't get answers, then take other steps, as my colleagues have suggested.
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