Rather than paying a traditional retainer in advance, workers’ compensation lawyers in Georgia receive payment through a contingency fee. Your lawyer will earn his or her legal fees by taking a reasonable percentage of your award contingent upon winning your case.
As such, you can protect your legal rights by hiring workers’ compensation lawyers in Georgia without having to pay an expensive retainer upfront. Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws also mandate how much your attorney may charge for his or her services after he or she makes a successful recovery for you.
The Percentage Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Get Paid in Georgia
Your workers’ compensation lawyer cannot charge more than 25 percent of the weekly benefits or settlement you receive under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 34-9-108. In general, attorneys do not charge less than this rate due to the amount of time and legal resources required to settle them.
Law firms may pay for expert opinion, evidence preservation, and other services if their attorneys believe it will benefit your case. If he or she does not think that a dispute will help you get more money, then he or she will let you know this opinion beforehand.
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The Insurance Company May Pay for Some of Your Attorneys’ Fees
In general, workers’ compensation does not pay for attorneys’ fees. However, the judge assigned to your case may require the insurer to pay for some of your expenses if your benefits were not paid within a statutory time frame.
It is also possible to recover attorneys’ fees if there is evidence that proves the insurance company denied your claim without reasonable legal grounds. These cases are more complex, which means that you should seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney if you believe that this happened to you during the workers’ comp claims process.
How Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Charge for Legal Costs
Aside from attorneys’ fees, there are several expenses related to the legal pursuit of equitable compensation from a work-related injury and lost wages. Typically, you do not pay for any of these costs in advance. Remember, you only pay the law firm for these items when you have a successful outcome.
Some fees include medical records requests, deposition transcriptions, expert witnesses, travel, and more. Your lawyer will deduct these expenses from your award.
If you do not win your workers’ comp matter, then you are not responsible for the resources that the law firm used. Before signing a letter of representation, make sure that you carefully review the terms and conditions set forth section describing attorneys’ fees.
Other Rules That Apply
If your attorneys’ fees exceed $100, then a workers’ compensation judge must approve them in addition to all legal costs associated with negotiating or disputing your claim. Per Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation, your lawyer must complete form WC-108a when seeking approval to get paid for his or her services and expenses.
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Your Net Sum After Paying Legal Fees
It is imperative that you frankly discuss the costs of attorneys’ fees and legal costs before signing an agreement with any law firm. There are always deductions from your settlement when you hire Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers to represent your claim. How much you can expect to recover depends on the facts and circumstances of your case.
However, you may want to consider the advantages of hiring an attorney before trying to represent yourself. Insurance companies want to minimize their losses by using their interpretation of your case. Instead of working alone, an attorney will protect your rights and argue the merits of your case in an effort to acquire additional medical care or money for you.
What You Pay for When You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Georgia
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in Georgia will help you protect your legal rights throughout the workers’ compensation claims process. Not all cases require legal representation, especially for more straightforward matters. However, it never hurts to run your settlement offer by a law firm prior to accepting it.
If legal representation can help you, he or she will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your work-related injuries, lost work wages, and other benefits. Rather than deal with the insurance company directly, you can communicate through your attorney while you focus on your physical recovery, and hopefully, return to work.
Your attorney will help you:
- Develop and preserve medical and financial evidence
- Fight for future lost earnings and medical costs
- Negotiate or dispute settlement agreements or awards
- Represent you during any workers’ compensation hearings
- File a workers’ comp appeal if you do not get the benefits you deserve
- Help you navigate third-party claims to seek additional benefits
- Advise you of your legal opportunities, rights, and risks
- Handle administrative aspects for compliance assurance
Your attorney may also utilize considerable resources if they benefit your claim. Typically, you do not have to pay for these in advance since your attorney works on a contingency fee arrangement. Simply put, you will have the reassurance in knowing that you are taking the most practical approach to ensure that you get adequate compensation for your losses.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers About Your Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim
You can turn to Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for legal help when it comes to your Georgia workers’ compensation claim. Our legal team is available to discuss your legal options, review our contingency fee program, and further explain how workers’ compensation lawyers get paid in Georgia. There is no obligation or charge to call us for a free consultation at (678) 562-5595.