How Are Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Paid?
If your work-related injury or illness is significant, you need a long time to recover, you cannot go back to work, or you are impaired permanently, hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer will be well worth the costs entailed. But what are these costs exactly, and how do they normally get paid?
Usually, compensation lawyers are paid on contingency basis, which means you will give them a certain portion of any received compensation or benefits if your case is successful. Thus, until you get your compensation , the attorney will not be paid. And if you lose the case, your lawyer will receive nothing. This is the reason workers’ compensation attorneys are always careful when taking a client in. It has to be winnable above anything else.
How much attorneys may charge for representation depends on state laws or regulations. In New York, for instance, this fee is determined by the judge. If your case is successful, this amount will be deducted from the money you receive. Otherwise, you don’t pay the attorney anything, although may still have to cover miscellaneous charges, like copy costs, doc stamps, etc. It is important you discuss these things with your potential attorney before moving forward.
In Texas, on the other hand, it is your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company that will be paying your lawyer out of your income benefits. 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 important, considering the high cost of taking a case like this to trial. Alone, your physician’s deposition will cost at least $1000 per hour, and that can double or even triple, depending on the doctor. Sometimes, your lawyer may even need to hire a vocational expert to conduct a labor market research and perform “transferable skills analysis.” This expert is going to testify in your case will be paid for their time.
Free Initial Consultation
Workers’ compensation lawyers typically charge zero for an initial 30-minute consultation. This is when you tell them about your situation and they will decide if you do need their services or not. If you agree that you need legal representation, the lawyer will give you a rundown of their fees and the payment process.