If you’ve been hurt on the job, you might be considering hiring a lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help you develop a strategy by gathering medical evidence, negotiating a favorable settlement or representing you at a workers’ comp hearing.
But here’s the most important factor to understand: workers’ comp lawyers charge only if certain contingent events occur. In the meantime, you pay nothing.
The cost to defend your rights is different than attorney fees. The costs involved in fighting your case is what I pay other individuals to help me prepare your case. For example: hiring a doctor to testify on your behalf. Even your own treating doctor will charge me to take time out of their day for them to testify in court. But, it’s important to understand that if I don’t win your case, I pay these costs. And, if I win, the insurance company pays these costs. You never pay them.
In workers’ compensation, I’m paid a contingent fee. That means I only get paid if certain events occur. There are three events that trigger my right to a fee:
Denied benefits: If your benefits are denied by an insurance company, I will file a petition to fight for those benefits. If I succeed, the judge will award me 20 percent of whatever benefits I get for you. That includes retroactive benefits owed back to the date of your disability as well as an entitled ongoing benefits.
Monitoring your claim: You are already receiving benefits, but you engage an attorney because you are concerned the insurance company is not giving you everything they are supposed to. I will monitor your claim to make sure your benefits are not in jeopardy. If, for some reason, the insurance company tries to cut you off, I will defend you. If I’m successful in retaining your benefits, I will then receive 20 percent of your weekly wage check.
Lump Sum Settlement: If the insurance company offers you a lump sum settlement in exchange for you giving up your rights in the future, I will negotiate the terms. If I’m successful, then I retain 20 percent of that settlement.
What’s important to remember is I only get paid if one of these three contingencies occur. If they don’t, I don’t get paid.
How Do I Afford the Cost?
Ultimately, fees and costs should not be what concerns you. Your workers’ compensation is your lifeline. You need these benefits and you need to be represented. Your insurance company uses a lawyer and so should you.
When To Hire A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
It is essential to hire an attorney if any of these pertain to you:
- You claim is being disputed by your employer.
- Your claim is not strongly supported by medical evidence.
- Your claim is of high value.
- You’ve suffered permanent or life-altering impairments.
- Your claim is denied.
- You receive forms that you don’t fully understand
You will have a much better chance of winning your case if you hire a certified workers’ compensation attorney. Call me to start standing up for your rights as an employee in the state of Pennsylvania.