How long can an attorney retain settlement money after a case has been settled and the money deposited in escrow account?
My lawyer retains part of the money. Medical office, where I went for treatment, claims to have a lien on my case but I never signed a lien with them. Moreover, the medical office asked me to continue treatment after my benefits where closed. They emphasized that we will not owe them anything when the case is settled, and they will collect the money from the insurance company directly. When the case was settled the medical office came up with the unpaid bills, but with no lien. My lawyer claims to retain the money until the matter is resolved, doesn't answer my calls. Should I file a complaint?
You seem to have a lawyer that is not properly communicating with on this case and appears to be violating his ethical duties to you. Generally, lawyers give medical companies letters of protection, where they pay the unpaid medical bills from the proceeds of the settlement. The medical company is awaiting payment from your lawyer or insurance company directly. The issue here is whether the case is settled and the funds should then be paid to the medical company and then to you. I suggest that you write your lawyer a letter to set up an appointment. If you lawyer fails to respond, make a complaint to the Florida Bar and hire a new lawyer to step in to resolve this matter. Your lawyer should not be holding on to money if the case is settled unless he is waiting to get all the final bills from the medical providers so he can pay them and then pay you.