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Paying a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you had a significant work-related injury or illness that needs you to stop working, your recovery period is lengthy, or you are permanently impaired, a workers’ compensation lawyer’s services will be worth every penny involved. But what costs are we looking at, and how exactly are they paid?

Contingency Fees

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 short, there will be no payment to be made until you have received your benefits. And if your case is unsuccessful, you will not pay your lawyer anything. This is why workers’ compensation attorneys are very thorough when assessing a case and deciding to take it. They need to ensure that it is winnable.

Attorney Fees

How much attorneys may charge for representation depends on state laws or regulations. For example, in New York, it is the judge who sets this fee. 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 important you discuss these things with your potential attorney before moving forward.

On the other hand, in Texas, your lawyer is paid by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer out from the income benefits you get. The Division of Workers’ compensation first approves the fees which are based on the lawyer’s time and expenses. Once approval has been given, the insurer will receive an order from the Division to take that money – up to 25% – from the compensation you receive.

Advancing Payment

If a lawyer accepts your case on contingency, they will also advance all major costs and expenses that are part of litigation. This is important because it can be expensive to prepare this type of case for trial. Your doctor’s deposition alone will cost from $1,000 to $2500 hourly. 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 and will therefore be paid.

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 come to an agreement that you need legal representation, the lawyer will explain to you their fees and how they expect payment to come through.

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