Paying your Worker's Comp Lawyer
Workplace accidents and mishaps often occur. If you were injured while on the job, you can potentially be eligible to receive workers’ compensation to help cover the expenses related to your medical bills and lost wages due to missing work.
Most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide you with these benefits in exchange for your forfeit of the right to sue them in civil court.
However, you should still hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you file your claim for your injury and the benefits you seek.
But how are you supposed to pay for the services of the lawyer you hire?
Workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you win your case, your lawyer will earn a percentage of your awarded compensation.
If you lose your case, on the other hand, your lawyer does not earn any payment for their services.
A contingency fee system works in your favor, as your lawyer has nothing to gain from taking on your case unless they fight for your victory by using all of their available knowledge and resources.
Also, no upfront payment is required on your end, which is beneficial to your financial situation.
One issue with the contingency fee system is that a lawyer may be reluctant to take on your case if it seems to be in the favor of the employer, so if you don’t have a strong case it may be difficult to find legal representation.
All states currently set a cap for how much of a percentage a lawyer can charge you if they win. This means that a large percentage of the compensation you rely on for your financial stability will not be at risk of being awarded to your lawyer.
Your lawyer’s fee usually also has to be approved by the judge who presided over your case, which also will keep you safe from being taken advantage of.
Caps on contingency fees vary from state to state. Most states usually take certain factors into account when determining fee caps, such as how complicated the case is and how much money is at stake.
For example, California allows a contingency fee ranging from 10 to 15% depending on the circumstances. In some states, such as Minnesota, it is more complicated: The fee is capped at 25% of the first $4,000 won, with 20% of the next $60,000 won, with a total cap of $13,000.
Other states, such as New York, allow your case’s judge or a panel of judges to decide the maximum fee for your lawyer.
Note that your lawyer may also request additional fees from your employer or the insurer if any bad conduct or misleading behavior caused unnecessary delays but this will not affect your amount of compensation.
Hiring a lawyer who specializes in workers’ compensation cases will ensure that you successfully navigate the process of filing a claim and receiving the compensation you need and deserve for your injuries.