I suppose he can hold it until it is determined the amount of reduction the health care providers will accept. I assume you received your share of the settlement funds. It's a little odd that the medical liens were not negotiated down before settlement but that is another issue. Why don't you ask your attorney when you can expect the liens to be satisfied?
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I generally try to hold onto money under these circumstances as long as possible. However, sometimes medical and medicare and other programs such as that take a long time to resolve issues with. Talk to him and ask him when everything will all be resolved and paid.
Be patient with your attorney. He is working in your best interest. He cannot and will not take your money. Your settlement money is being held in a Lawyer's Trust account. I would give him 3 months to negotiate with your medical providers, then ask for the money. Expect to sign papers with him when you accept receipt of these funds. After 3 months, if you can get your funds, call the State Bar of CA HQ in Sacromento.