How Long Can a Lawyer Hold Your Settlement Cheque?

When your case runs for months, you may wait for a long to get the settlement check. Some suits take months or years to wrap up. Finally, the wait is over as the case is near a settlement. You would have a doubt “How long can a lawyer  hold your settlement cheque?”

You need to follow some steps before you get your settlement check in your hand. Your lawyer will get the settlement check after the proceedings are complete. He will take his fees from the settlement check and deposit the amount in an escrow account. You get excited after the long wait and have pending bills and debts to settle.

How Long Can a Lawyer Hold Your Settlement Cheque?


Personal injury settlement starts when the defendant accepts that he caused injury to you or your property. The process involves a settlement cheque timeline that can bewilder you. When the judge passes the settlement order, the parties involved should submit all the papers required to proceed with the settlement process. 

In such a case, you may have to wait 30 to 60 days to receive the funds. The defendant may also have the right to file an appeal that further delays the settlement check timeline for another 2 to 3 years. 

Reasons for the delay in receiving the settlement cheque:


Check if your lawyer is holding your settlement cheque. Find out the reasons why he does so. The probable reasons for the delay may be:

An issue in the release form

When the lawyer passes the settlement order, you should sign a release form from the defendant’s insurance company to get the money. It is to ensure that you would stop any further proceedings about the same claim in the future. However, the present claim would be active until the settlement. There should be no disagreement regarding the settlement terms. 

Processing time


Each county has rules regarding how long the insurance company can take to settle the claim. You have to wait for weeks before you get your settlement check, as the insurance company will try to delay the issue of the settlement check. You should expect a delay in settlement.

The time of clearing the cheque

A settlement check will be sent by the defendant’s insurance company to your attorney. Once the defendant’s insurance company agrees to pay, it will deposit the amount to the escrow account. It takes a week before you present the check to the bank. 

Paying your bills


Once you receive the settlement check, your attorney reduces the fees for representing the case. First, you need to settle the unsettled liens and unpaid bills before you can use the settlement check for personal use. 

Determining payment amounts

Your lawyer should take some time to determine the final settlement amount before negotiating with the lawyers. He has to consider outstanding medical bills, lawsuit costs, and private investigator’s fees.  

How long can the lawyer hold money in escrow?


You may have many pending bills, but the settlement process may take time. Prepare the release form well ahead of time to speed up the settlement process. You can work with the attorney to prepare settlement bills for the creditors before you receive the settlement amount. The lawyer will feel comfortable getting the funds faster if you make arrangements faster. 

Frequently Asked Questions


  • What are the internal delays in getting the settlement check? 

Some defendant companies as hospitals will have many internal procedures to complete before they approve a claim.

  • How to get the claim fast? 

You can ask for an advance amount from the attorney based on your personal relationship with the attorney. Litigation funding is another option.

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 The answer to the question “How long can a lawyer hold your settlement check” can be must clear to you with the above description. In short, you need to wait for the settlement check until the completion of the settlement process. Once the defendant’s insurance company agrees to the injury, he will start the payment process of the settlement check. 

You will be excited to get the settlement check, but the company will try to delay the payment. The insurance company will pay the amount to your attorney, who will deposit the amount in an escrow account. After that, you can present the check in the bank account and use it to pay the bills.

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