After a work-related injury, the cost of emergency medical treatment, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, medications, and other treatment can be very expensive. As an injured worker sees these costs add up, the importance of a NJ workers’ compensation case simultaneously increases in importance. However, many employees wonder if the expense of recovering these costs through a NJ workers’ compensation case is going to be just another expense of a work injury.
After years representing injured employees in NJ workers compensation cases, our workers’ compensation firm is accustomed to answering a variety of cost and expense-related questions. If you are hurt in New Jersey, and weighing whether or not to file a NJ workers compensation case, read on. The most common questions we receive are asked and answered below.
What are the Common Costs of a NJ Workers Compensation Case?
The typical costs of a NJ workers compensation case depend on a few different variables. For example, if the case is highly contentious between injured employee and insurance company, then the costs are going to be different from a case that is quickly resolved as a misunderstanding or lack of information to the insurance provider.
While the costs between filing for an informal hearing or formal claim with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation can vary, neither application requires filing fees. Instead, the majority of expenses are incurred to collect evidence and complete due diligence. Such costs include the expense of sending subpoenas, requesting medical records, deposition fees and expenses, and related costs. In any legal proceeding, due diligence is expensive, and often, a NJ workers’ compensation case is the same.
Minor costs and expenses during due diligence and a hearing include the expense for making copies, sending physical documents, and travel. Then, there is also the expense of hiring a workers compensation lawyer.
How Much Does a NJ Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Every workers’ compensation attorney in New Jersey is paid on a contingency basis. Contingency is a specific form of billing and payment that is utilized for personal injury cases, civil lawsuits for other damages, and, as stated, NJ workers compensation cases. With contingency fees an injured employee only owes attorney fees if a settlement or judicial decision grants the employee workers compensation benefits.
Contingency fees aren’t billed on an hourly rate, as is customary with many other legal services. Instead, the attorney takes a specific portion of the compensation awarded from the claim. Thus, there is the saying that these NJ lawyers only get paid, if you get paid.
The attorney and client can agree on this percentage, but the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law caps the contingency fee at 20% of the settlement or award.
Are All Legal Costs Included in Attorneys Fees?
No. It is essential that a client realize not all legal expenses are incorporated into attorney fees. Attorney fees are just the expense of the lawyer’s time spent on the case. Other expenses, such as the cost of due diligence, taking depositions, obtaining medical reports, and hiring an expert witness are separate legal expenses.
Luckily, many of these other legal expenses are also capped under New Jersey law, For instance, there is a limit the amount a physician or medical professional can charge to appear in court and provide evidence or an assessment. These caps are important for keeping the expense of bringing a NJ workers compensation case reasonable.
Who Pays the Costs Related to a Claim or Case?
Except attorney fees, which are paid on the contingency basis described above, the costs of a NJ workers compensation case typically fall to the injured employee. These out-of-pocket costs can be a concern for many injured workers, who are already feeling constrained by time away from work and uncertainty of future employment, but most NJ workers compensation attorneys will not ask clients to pay these expenses upfront.
In most instances, these expenses accumulate throughout the NJ workers compensation case will be taken from the settlement or award for benefits and compensation.
Find a Cost Conscious Workers’ Comp Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Albert J. Talone, our legal team is always aware of the costs constraints and concerns of our clients. We begin the conversation on costs, expenses, and attorney fees in a free, initial consultation, and ensure all cost questions are addressed early and often. This provides our workers compensation clients peace of mind that their case is handled effectively and efficiently.
To learn more about our cost conscious approach to NJ workers compensation call our NJ office at (856)-234-4023.
The information in this blog post (“Post”) is provided for general informational purposes only. This information may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this Post should be construed as legal advice from The Law Office of Albert J. Talone or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.