If your work injury or illness requires you to take time away from your job, you need a long time to get better, or your impairment is permanent, having a workers’ compensation attorney is money well-spent. But what particular costs are these, and how are they paid?
In most cases, compensation lawyers are paid on contingency, meaning the lawyer will take a percentage of the compensation you receive if you win. In other words, you only pay the attorney once you have received your benefits. And should your case be unsuccessful, your lawyer will not be paid. This is the reason workers’ compensation attorneys are always careful when taking a client in. They have to be totally convinced it could be won.
How much attorneys may charge for representation depends on state laws or regulations. For instance, in New York, the judge decides how much this fee will be. If you win your case, this amount will be taken from the compensation you get. Otherwise, you will not pay the lawyer for their professional services, but you may have to cover certain charges that are part of the representation (doc stamps, filing fees, etc.). It is a must that you discuss these things with your prospective attorney before proceeding.
On the other hand, in Texas, your lawyer is paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer out from the income benefits you get. Attorney fees, which will be computed based on the lawyer’s time and costs, must first be approved by the Division of Workers’ compensation . After approval, the Division will instruct the insurer to remove the fee – up to 25% – from your compensation .
A lawyer who accepts your case on contingency will also typically cover substantial costs involved in litigation. This is crucial, considering how expensive it is to prep a case like this for trial. Your doctor’s deposition alone will not go below a thousand dollars per hour. Your lawyer might also have to hire a vocational expert to do a “transferable skills analysis” and labor market survey. This expert is going to testify in your case will be paid for their time.
Free First Consultation
Workers’ compensation lawyers often charge nothing for an initial consultation, which normally runs for half an hour. This is the time when you explain your case and the attorney decides whether or not you do need their services. If you agree that there is a need for legal representation, the lawyer will discuss fees and how they will be paid.