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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Employment > Workers Compensation Attorney

Workers Compensation Attorney Cost


How Much Does a Workers Compensation Attorney Cost?

 
 average costMedium: On Contingency Basis, Legal Fees May Be 20% 

The specifics of state and federal workers compensation laws vary, but in general they're a no-fault system where an injured employee's negligence or the negligence or the employer or co-workers is not an issue. Instead of a standard civil lawsuit against the employer, the injured worker files a claim for specific benefits (medical care, disability pay) under the state's workers comp laws (or federal laws for federal workers). An attorney can guide you through the claim process if you've been denied medical care, if the injury is serious and your claim has been rejected, if you feel you're being offered less than the full amount due you, if it seems your employer is retaliating against you for filing a workers compensation claim, or other complications of your workers compensation case.

Typical costs:

  • Generally, state and federal laws dictate how much an attorney can be paid in legal fees, plus costs; the details vary considerably but in several states it's 20 percent of any settlement or award. Workers compensation generally does not reimburse an employee for pain or suffering, but usually will cover medical bills, lost wages, transportation to treatment, future medical needs, physical disability, psychological damage or related expenses. Usually there is no advance retainer fee charged in a workers compensation case, many workers compensation attorneys provide a free initial consultation and no legal fees are paid until the case is settled.
  • Separate from the legal fees, costs include such items as payments for court reporters, copying, computerized research, trial exhibits and expert witness fees, and start around $50-$100, according to Lawyers.com[1] , but can rise to $5,000-$10,000 or more. Some lawyers will pay these costs for the client and then be reimbursed out of the settlement/judgment.
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What should be included:
  • Under most workers compensation laws, an injured employee is entitled to benefits but cannot sue the employer; however, some states allow a personal injury against a third party, such as the manufacturer of faulty equipment that caused the injury.
  • FindLaw.com gives an overview[2] of the types of benefits an injured employee may be entitled to under workers compensation.
  • Lawyers.com answers frequently asked questions about workers compensation benefits[3] , claims[4] and medical issues[5] ; and WorkWorld.org provides a list of common workers compensation acronyms.
Shopping for a workers compensation attorney:
  • It's important to be organized, and to provide an attorney with as much factual information as possible. Lawyers.com explains how to prepare [6] for a first meeting with a workers compensation lawyer.
  • Referrals to workers compensation attorneys are available through Lawyers.com[7] and FindLaw.com[8] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement. Be sure you understand how the legal fees will be calculated and what other costs you will be expected to pay.
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External Resources:
  1.  workers-compensation.lawyers.com/Selecting-A-Workers-Comp-Lawyer.html
  2.  injury.findlaw.com/workers-compensation/workers-comp-benefits-and-returning-to-wor...
  3.  workers-compensation.lawyers.com/Workers-Comp-Benefits-FAQ.html
  4.  workers-compensation.lawyers.com/Workers-Comp-Claims-FAQ.html
  5.  workers-compensation.lawyers.com/Workers-Comp-Medical-Issues-FAQ.html
  6.  workers-compensation.lawyers.com/Preparing-To-Meet-With-A-Workers-Comp-Lawyer.html
  7.  www.lawyers.com/workers-compensation/find-law-firms-by-location/
  8.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Workers%27-Compensation-Law
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