The cost of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney varies according to the details of your case. Not every workers’ comp claim requires a lawyer. You might not need one if:
- Your employer’s insurance company doesn’t dispute your claim.
- Your injuries are minor.
- You expect to return to work soon.
On the other hand, an attorney might be necessary if:
- Your injuries are severe and/or require surgery.
- You have a permanent disability.
- You’re sent back to work before you’re fully recovered.
- Your claim is disputed.
- You aren’t comfortable with the settlement offered.
How Attorney Fees Are Determined
Most workers’ compensation attorneys offer a free consultation to learn the details of your case and decide whether to represent you. If the firm takes your case, it will probably do so on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no attorney fees upfront. Instead, once you win or settle your case, your attorney takes a percentage of your settlement as a fee, which is usually 15-25% of your award. The actual amount is determined by Florida’s tier system:
- 20% of the first $5,000 in benefits
- 15% of the next $5,000
- 10% of remaining benefits provided over the next 10 years
- 5% of benefits provided after 10 years
If you win, your award might well be larger than the one you would have gotten without a lawyer, so you could come out ahead even after paying your attorney fees. If you do not get any compensation or benefits, you do not pay any attorney fees.
Sometimes, however, there are other costs involved in pursuing your claim:
- A second medical opinion
- Testimony by expert witnesses
- Investigation by a private investigator
- Filing fees or other court costs
- Postage and mileage
Some attorneys might require you to pay these costs out of pocket. Others might pay these costs for you and take them from your settlement along with attorney fees. If you don’t win your case, you might still owe money for these other costs even though you don’t owe actual attorney fees. You also might lose part of your settlement if you have:
- Unpaid taxes
- Outstanding student loans
- Unpaid child support or court fines
It’s advisable to clarify all financial issues with your attorney during your initial consultation.
Do You Need Legal Representation in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Find what your costs will be by consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Contact us online, start a chat, or call our Coral Springs Office at 954-755-7803 to schedule a free consultation.