How Much are Attorney Fees in Workers Compensation Cases?
How Much Do Workers Compensation Attorneys Charge?
If you are disabled, and unable to work, we understand that every penny counts. That is why our experienced Workers Compensation attorneys want you to understand – up front – exactly what attorney fees apply in any Workers Compensation case.
To begin with, the good news is that our Workers Compensation attorneys work on a “contingency” basis. This means that our attorneys will only get paid when you win your case. In other words, our attorney fees come out of your settlement, not out of your pocket!
The amount that an attorney can receive for representing you in a Workers Compensation case varies by state, and is usually governed by state laws or regulations. The cost of living may be higher in California – but California actually has among the LOWEST attorney fees in the country in Worker Comp Cases.
In California a judge can approve a fee of 10%, 12%, or 15% – depending upon the complexity of your Workers Compensation case. But in no case will you be paying more than 15% in attorney fees in a California Workers Compensation case.
This is very good news – because in other states – such as Texas – the attorney fees in a workers compensation case can be can be as high as 25% of your award!
Penalty Fees in Workers Compensation Cases
In certain cases, under limited circumstances, an attorney may be able to get you additional money (compensation) beyond your workers comp benefits as a “penalty” to the employer. Penalty compensation may be awarded against an employer – beyond your regular workers compensation benefits – only under a few circumstances. Additional penalty fees may be awarded in cases where the employer engaged in:
- discrimination under the Labor Code,
- serious or willful behavior, or
- an unreasonable refusal or delay of workers’ compensation benefits.
Penalty awards are considered separate compensation from your workers compensation award – and attorneys will usually earn fees of 33% on this portion of your award.
Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Workers Comp Cases
During the course of representing a disabled client, the attorney usually has to pay for many “up front” expenses such as medical or work records, copying, postage, filing fees, expert witness assessments, and even certain medical or psychiatric exams not covered by insurance. These types of expenses which a workers compensation attorney ends up paying for are called “out of pocket” expenses.
In any legal case, responsible to pay for these “out of pocket” costs rests with the employee or “plaintiff” – either up front or after the settlement is obtained. In most cases these “out of pocket” costs are no more than a few hundred dollars per case.
Many workers compensation attorneys will ask for money in advance or “up front” to pay for these “out of pocket” costs. While this is permitted under the law, our attorneys disagree with this practice. At Cantrell Green, our workers compensation attorneys will cover these costs for you until you receive your award. And, once your case is over, we will send you an itemized bill so you can see exactly what was spent “out of pocket” before we are reimbursed for the costs we have covered for you.
Our Workers Compensation Attorneys are Only Paid When You Win!
When determining if it is “worth it” to pay tan attorney to represent you in your workers’ compensation claim, remember that applicants represented by an experienced attorney are likely to get considerably more compensation – and receive it faster – than applicants without an attorney.
Experienced attorneys “know the system”, know what documentation to present, and understand how to navigate the paperwork, the hearings and the other procedures. Hiring an experienced workers compensation attorney is an investment that ensures you receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits for which you qualify.