Many injured workers think twice before hiring a Miami workers comp lawyer. They figure out that they can negotiate their benefits on their own, and whatever they obtain, they get to keep. The perspective of paying nearly half of the amount in legal fees is one of the key deterrents to getting legal representation.
In this article, we will explain how lawyers get paid in workers compensation cases, and how much they charge. Let us start with the most important thing you must know.
Reputable Lawyers Work on a Contingency Fee Basis
One of the first worries a potential claimant has is being asked to pay attorney fees upfront. This is something most injured workers cannot afford. They are already struggling with medical care bills and the everyday costs of living since their paychecks stopped coming in.
This is the main reason why the contingency fee system exists. The client does not have to pay any upfront fees. Instead, the lawyer will retain a percentage of the amount they manage to negotiate as a settlement. Thus, the attorney is motivated to obtain the best possible results for the client.
How Much Will the Attorney Retain from the Settlement Amount?
Let us address the concern expressed at the beginning of this article. How much of your settlement goes to the lawyer? Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation online. This causes people to believe that most of their benefits will go to the lawyer.
In reality, the state of Florida has clear rules when it comes to legal fees in workers compensation cases. Thus, a Miami workers comp lawyer can retain:
- 20% of the first $5,000 of benefits
- 15% of the next $5,000 of benefits
- 10% of any remaining benefits payable within the next 10 years after the injury
- 5% of any benefits payable beyond the first 10 years.
Here’s a simple example to understand this payment schedule. A workers’ settlement is valued at $25,000. This means that the attorney is entitled to retain:
- $1,000 representing 20% of the first $5,000
- $750 representing 15% of the next $5,000
- $1,500 representing 10% of the remaining $15,000.
In total, the attorney will collect $3,250 and the worker will be left with $21,750.
Why Not Represent Yourself in a Workers Comp Claim?
Now, you may wonder – why bother getting a lawyer? You can easily prove your case to your employer and get the benefits you deserve. Here are the problems with this approach:
- You will not be dealing with your employer but with an insurance company
- Insurers are notorious for trying to devalue or deny claims to maximize their profits
- You will find yourself unable to counter accusations of being injured elsewhere, during a lunch break, or in other situations that do not qualify your accident for workers comp benefits.
Moreover, even if you manage to get your claim approved, you will most likely get shortchanged. Studies show that workers without lawyers get settlements 30% lower than workers who hire an attorney.
Let us return to the theoretical case of the claim worth $25,000. Without a lawyer, the worker would likely be able to secure $17,500 (30% less than the reference amount). By comparison, the worker with legal representation will get to keep $21,750 after paying the lawyer’s fee. The difference is significant: $4,250.
You Won’t Have to Pay Anything If the Lawyer Doesn’t Win Your Claim
Finally, consider this: the core of the contingency fee system is no fees unless the Miami workers’ compensation lawyer wins your case. If your claim is denied, despite the attorney’s best efforts, then you’ve not lost anything – you don’t have to pay legal fees out of pocket.
If you don’t have a solid case, the attorney will tell you so, without giving you false hopes.
Let an Experienced Miami Workers Comp Lawyer Evaluate Your Claim
If you were injured at work and believe that you have a valid claim, bring all the available evidence to the first appointment with a skilled Miami workers comp attorney at our law firm. As a new client, you will get a free case review, so you have absolutely nothing to lose.
Call us as soon as possible after your accident at (786) 686-2857!