Worried about what it will cost to hire a workers compensation attorney?
Did you know you don’t even have to worry about coming up with a retainer or an hourly rate? Workers compensation attorneys work on contingency, which means they don’t even get paid until your case is brought to conclusion.
Here’s everything you need to know about what your lawyer gets paid, and how much.
Who pays the legal fees?
The employer is responsible for paying up to 60% of your attorney’s legal fees if you are forced to take your case into court. The judge also makes the determination as to the percentage of the claim that should be given to the attorney.
Typically the percentage is 20% of the entire workers compensation case award. So if your case is worth $100,000, then your lawyer gets paid $20,000, but only $8000 comes out of your settlement because the employer is expected to pay the rest. You walk away with $92,000.
If you are forced to use the courts to recover benefits that suddenly get off then the employer may further be responsible for the payment of a 20% fee on all back benefits.
Other Legal Costs
The lawyer pays for any costs associated with your settlement. This can include:
- Expert witness fees
- Filing fees
- Investigation costs
- Minor costs for copies, obtaining records, etc.
These are not included in attorneys fees, but are deducted from your settlement all the same.
These fees aren’t as large as you might fear. For example, New Jersey limits witness fees to $400 per witness. A copy fee might only be $5 to $10. Investigation fees might be considerably higher.
In general, witnesses more than pay for themselves, as do the costs of hiring an investigator. You get more money with their help than without them.
How You Get Paid
A settlement may be paid either in a lump sum or in a series of monthly or annual installments. Many of our clients opt for the monthly installment option as this allows income to flow into their household every month.
Either way, once everyone who has a right to get a payment out of your settlement has been paid, you receive the money. It’s not taxable by the IRS. The Worker’s Compensation insurance carrier has 60 days to process the payment, after which time you may be entitled to receive simple interest on delayed payments. Usually it takes six to eight weeks.
In general, people who work with a workers compensation attorney see three times as much money as they would on their own. The system is just too complex for the average person to navigate.
Struggling with your workers compensation? Don’t hesitate to call us. Getting a consultation is risk-free, and you’ll find any money that flows to us from your settlement will be money well-spent.