How much will it cost to hire a workers compensation lawyer?
UPDATED: August 7, 2012
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Most workers’ compensation lawyers have a fee structure that allows for free initial consultations. They don’t get paid – indeed, they don’t even ask for payment – unless your case prevails and you win your workers compensation benefits. In the meantime, your hired attorney will be working hard in the background to obtain not just the workers comp benefits you deserve, but also potentially punitive damages against the employer’s insurer if it has done something wrong. If your attorney wins punitive damages, this means that not only will all attorney’s fees be taken care of by that award, but the employer’s insurance carrier (and any other parties involved in wrongdoing) will be made to pay extra by the court in order to serve as an example to other insurance companies.
Obtaining Workers Comp Benefits
Even when punitive damages are not possible, most workers’ compensation attorneys will still provide a free initial consultation, and will not charge a fee until your employer’s insurer has done something affirmative to suspend, change or terminate your benefits. If you qualify for workers' compensation, all approved medical bills will be paid in addition to any temporary or permanent disability compensation that you are entitled to.
Furthermore, if an attorney handles your case, they will do so on a contingency basis (usually this is required by statute). This means they will not charge you anything unless they make a recovery for you. If your case does prevail, the fees are relatively small, usually 10% - 25% of the award, but in any case it is limited by your state’s law. As an additional safeguard, an attorney may not collect a fee without first submitting it to a workers’ compensation judge for approval.
Don’t let the cost of hiring a workers comp lawyer stop you from obtaining the benefits you are entitled to. At the least, put your case out for a free case evaluation by a licensed workers compensation attorney in your jurisdiction.