Workers' compensation lawyer fees

State Guidelines on Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fees

For workers struggling with their claims, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help relieve significant stress. But the fear of fees and other expenses often blur the importance of having legal representation. That’s why we’ve created a brief breakdown of how the process is handled at the state level. This may give you peace of mind when it comes to common financial concerns.

Why Do States Regulate Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fees?

Simply put: State regulations exist to protect you. Similar to the guidelines laid out within the workmans’ compensation program, workers’ compensation lawyer fees are handled on a state-by-state basis. This means the state is responsible for regulating the appropriate fees that a workers’ compensation lawyer may charge. In most states there is a cap on the amount of money a lawyer is legally able to ask for. Depending on what state you are in, this amount usually ranges from 10-25% of your final award.

Keep in mind that attorneys must also submit the fees they are planning to charge to the state workers’ compensation board for approval. This protects you from potentially being overcharged, as the board will decide if the lawyer’s requested fee is reasonable or not. Usually, the board has to have approved the lawyer’s request before a fee can be collected.

Can You Negotiate Smaller Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fees?

Only you can decide whether or not to try and negotiate on workers’ compensation lawyer fees. Any injured worker has every right to ask their lawyer to take less than the state’s maximum allowable fee. In most cases you will negotiate the contingency rate, because most legal representatives have standard set fees already in place that won’t change. If you decide to talk your lawyer down from some fees, you must have that conversation before you sign any fee agreements.

Many people turn to a workers’ compensation lawyer when the process starts to feel overwhelming. All these lawyers work on contingency. That means your attorney can only charge a percentage of your final award. This can be a huge motivator to maximize your benefit award. But if you don’t win benefits, then you owe your lawyer $0 for legal assistance.

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Megan Kelly is a former blogger and copywriter for LeadingResponse.