What is the cost of a workers compensation lawyer? Well, my office tries first to educate injured workers so they can help themselves.
My office talks to a lot of folks every day, even people that are not “officially” clients. We do this because we are ADVOCATES FOR INJURED WORKERS, not just a lawyer’s office. So, we offer free information and guidance for ALL INJURED WORKERS! How do we do this? A lot of injured workers who call the office want to know what the cost of a workers compensation lawyer is and how the lawyers at Injured Workers Law Firm get paid. The answer is simple. If we are able to help folks and guide them as much as possible without charging them, we are helping people in our community and building the trust that is so important to the attorney/client relationship. So, when or if there comes a time that the injured worker does need to hire an attorney, they will likely come to us because we have already helped them with this process and we know their situation! It’s a win-win!
If there is an issue that would require the assistance of a lawyer, attorney fees for workers compensation can be a bit confusing. Let’s break it down a bit:
1) Expenses – Any time our office represents a client, there are some expenses our office incurs in order to properly represent them and build their case. These charges are typically going be paying for medical records that we request, copies, and postage. My office will ALWAYS do as much as we can electronically in order to limit the expense for our clients, as I know this is a big concern for many injured workers. This is something all clients are responsible for at the end of their case. This is not an attorney fee, however, it is just the cost of doing business.
2) Going to court – When there is an issue that needs to be litigated before the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission (VWC), the Commission will set the fee for the lawyer’s court appearance. Many times it is 20% of back wage benefits. This can typically range anywhere from $800.00-$1,200.00 (don’t freak out – I know this is a lot of money!). Because I understand the financial strain this system can put on injured workers, Injured Workers Law Firm will ask the court for it to be paid out of any back due benefits or to pay the attorney fee at a rate of $25 a week out of weekly benefits so the injured worker does not have to pay this large sum up front.
3) Award – If my office helps an injured worker to get an Award to protect their benefits, the Commission MAY set an attorney fee for this. I NEVER request a fee for this but the Commission may enter a fee for this which could be between $200 -$500. Again, I would ask that it be paid out of an injured worker’s weekly check at a rate of $25 a week or so to lessen the financial hardships that I know our clients are facing.
4) Settlement – If my office helps an injured worker to settle their claim, our fee is 20% of the settlement, plus reimbursement of any expenses incurred in the preparation of the case for settlement (see item 1).
5) Impairment Rating – If my office assists an injured worker to obtain an Award for an impairment rating, the Commission will award an attorney fee of 15% of the Award.
Potentially, we could get paid all of these ways or not at all. We would not get paid at all if we were attempting to settle your workers’ compensation claim and the insurance company refused to settle for a fair price. There are many different situations and I know this can be confusing, so if you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact my staff and they can help you to better understand these fees and which ones may or may not apply to you.
The Injured Workers Law Firm is focused on serving clients with workers’ compensation claims throughout Virginia.For answers to your questions about benefits download our book, The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia or call our office today (804) 755-7755. The Injured Workers’ Law Firm, serving Fredericksburg, Virginia Beach, Manassas, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Hampton Roads and all of Virginia.