When on-the-job injuries or illnesses force employees to miss work, many seek benefits from the workers’ compensation system. This system provides medical care and wage replacement for injured workers when they are unable to perform their normal work duties. Not only can this time be stressful as the worker deals with a painful physical and emotional recovery, the financial strain can impact the entire family. It is natural to try to save money wherever possible, and many employees wonder if they can resolve their case without the help of a qualified attorney. While this can be true for small, straightforward cases, many workers’ compensation cases grow quickly complex, and the advice of an experienced attorney who has helped others navigate the system can be invaluable. Additionally, it is often much more easily managed than one might think.
Many attorneys and clients will agree to what is known as a contingency fee agreement. In a contingency fee agreement, the client does not pay the attorney for his services unless the case is won. The attorney and the client agree on a percentage at the start of their relationship, and when the case is over, the legal fees will be drawn directly from the settlement. The injured worker does not have to pay the lawyer out of pocket, nor does he have to pay if the case is not resolved in his favor. For many injured workers, this system is a good option, especially for those who cannot afford an attorney’s hourly rate.
The contingency fee agreement addresses only the fee charged by the lawyer for his knowledge and time. It does not cover some of the other costs associated with a workers’ compensation case, which may include:
Not all of these fees may be incurred in every case. Additionally, the attorney and the client should agree on how these fees will be handled before starting the case. Sometimes, these fees are paid by the client as they accrue, while other times it is agreed that those fees will also be taken from the settlement amount. If no settlement is obtained, the client may need to pay those fees out of pocket.
It is best to discuss the fee agreement with your lawyer upfront, so there are no surprises as your case progresses. Effective representation can be affordable, however, and the lawyers at the Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C., are here to work with you as best we can.
If you or someone you love is facing a workers’ compensation case, don’t risk your health or financial future by going it alone. Take a moment to fill out one of our online contact forms, and you’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our team who can help you learn more.