If you are a worker who has been injured on the job, you may have considered hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to help you receive the compensation or benefits that you deserve. It is important to understand how these lawyers get paid and what to look for when selecting an attorney.
Let’s take a closer look at the different ways that workers’ compensation attorneys are compensated. This way you can make an informed decision. Keep in mind, every law firm is different. Make sure you understand an attorney’s payment requirements before you begin working with them.
Typically, attorneys who handle workers’ compensation claims work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not charge an hourly rate or require any kind of upfront payment. Instead, they agree to represent the client in exchange for a percentage of any settlement or award that results from the case. In some cases, attorneys are reimbursed for expenses related to pursuing the claim, such as filing fees or court costs.
Generally, if an attorney is successful in obtaining a settlement for an injured worker, they will be entitled to receive a portion of the settlement award. This percentage may vary by state and can range from 10 to 50 percent.
The insurance company or other responsible party may also require the injured worker to their attorney fees in addition to the amount due for workers comp injured workers need to understand the details and implications of their settlement agreement before signing it.
Additionally, they should consult with an experienced to help ensure sure that they receive a fair and reasonable settlement award.
What Happens If You Lose Your Case?
Most attorneys don’t get paid unless your case results in success. However, depending on state regulations and other circumstances, there may be exceptions to this rule.
For example, if your attorney negotiates a settlement before taking your case before a judge but the settlement wasn’t approved by the court due to reasons beyond their control, then they may be entitled to some amount of compensation for their efforts.
In addition, there are certain situations in which an attorney might choose to accept reduced or partial payment.
The best thing you can do is make sure that both parties are clear about what happens if you win or lose your case. Also discuss any potential payment options beforehand. Make sure you both agree with any arrangement before going forward. This can help ensure that regardless of whether you win or lose your case, both you and your lawyer are satisfied with the resolution.
The most common way that workers’ compensation attorneys are compensated is through contingency fees. This means that the lawyer agrees to provide legal services in exchange for a specific percentage of any damages awarded to their client.
Depending on the state, contingency fees typically range from 10 to 50 percent. It’s important to note that if your case does not end with a verdict or settlement in your favor, you’ll likely owe nothing. This is why they only work cases where they know they have a good chance of winning.
In some cases, attorneys may charge hourly fees instead of taking contingency fees. This occurs most often when cases involve complex legal matters or lengthy court proceedings.
Hourly fees are based on the amount of time and effort the lawyer puts into your case, and they can vary greatly depending on the lawyer’s experience level and reputation. The average hourly rate for a workers’ comp attorney typically starts around $150 per hour. Rates increase depending on your situation.
Finally, some lawyers also charge their services flat fees instead of hourly or contingent fees.
Flat fee arrangements usually involve a one-time payment for services rendered. These fees range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your situation and the complexity of your case. Make sure you ask about all possible costs upfront so there are no surprises later on down the line.
When deciding whether or not to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, it is important to understand how payment works. This way you can make an informed decision about which type of arrangement makes sense for you and your situation.
Most attorneys charge either contingent fees or an hourly/flat rates for their services. However, each lawyer will have different policies. Be sure to ask questions beforehand if there is something specific that you would like clarified regarding their payment terms.
To learn more about working with a workers’ compensation attorney when you have concerns about finances and payment, contact Shugarman & Mehring at 410.783.4200 or toll-free at 888.342.7200.