Navigating the complexities of a workplace injury can be overwhelming, and many people worry about the cost of hiring a Riverview workers comp lawyer to help. The good news is that most Florida workers’ compensation lawyers charge no upfront fees and only get paid if you win your claim.
This blog aims to demystify how legal fees operate in Florida workers’ compensation cases. Reach out to us today for a free case review if you’ve been injured at work.
Do You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
The short answer is that it’s always wise to speak to a workers comp lawyer, which is one reason why we offer a free consultation. An attorney can help you navigate the complicated claims process and help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
Here are some situations where contacting a Riverview workers comp lawyer is especially crucial.
1. Your employer denies your claim
Employers may try to dispute your claim for various reasons. A lawyer can advocate for your rights and ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
2. You receive an inadequate settlement offer
Insurance companies often try to settle claims for less than the full value. A lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
3. Your injury is serious or complex
If you have a significant or long-term disability, navigating the workers’ compensation system can be challenging. A lawyer can guide you through the process and ensure you receive the maximum benefits available.
4. You have pre-existing conditions
If you have a pre-existing condition that was aggravated by your work injury, your claim may be more complex. A lawyer can help you gather evidence and present your case effectively.
Lawyer Fees in Florida Workers’ Compensation Cases
Most Riverview workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t incur any upfront fees or retainers – your lawyer’s payment is contingent upon successfully winning your case and obtaining compensation for you.
The fee is typically a percentage of the recovered compensation, usually ranging between 20% and 40%.
Calculating Riverview Workers Comp Lawyer Fees
Attorney fees in Florida workers’ compensation cases are calculated based on a specific formula outlined in Section 440.34 of the Florida Statutes. The formula considers the following factors.
The Sliding Scale Fee Structure
In Florida, workers’ compensation attorneys operate under a sliding scale fee structure dictated by Florida Statute 440.34. This means the percentage of your potential recovery dedicated to attorney fees decreases as the total amount of benefits secured increases.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- 20% of the first $5,000 of benefits secured
- 15% of the next $5,000 of benefits secured
- 10% of the remaining amount of benefits secured during the first 10 years after the claim is filed
- 5% of benefits secured after 10 years
Exceptions to the Rule
While the sliding scale is the standard, there are some exceptions.
- Medical-only claims: In cases solely involving medical benefits, a judge may approve an alternative fee of up to $1,500, based on a maximum hourly rate of $150, if they find the standard fee doesn’t fairly compensate the attorney.
- Third-party settlements: If your injuries resulted from a third party’s negligence, your attorney may negotiate a separate fee arrangement for handling that portion of your case.
Transparency and Communication
Choosing the right workers’ compensation attorney is crucial. Reputable attorneys will clearly explain their fee structure upfront and provide a written fee agreement outlining the expected costs. Open communication throughout the case is essential, ensuring you understand the fees associated with each step of the process.
The Value of Expertise
While understanding lawyer fees is crucial, remember that an attorney’s value extends beyond a mere monetary figure. A skilled Riverview workers comp lawyer can:
- Navigate the complex legal system: They possess the expertise to effectively present your case and maximize your benefits.
- Negotiate with insurance companies: They can advocate for fair compensation and fight for your rights against aggressive adjusters.
- Minimize stress and anxiety: They can handle the legal legwork, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Remember, while fees are important, the value of an experienced attorney in protecting your rights and securing your rightful compensation is immeasurable. Contact Work Injury Rights at 954-833-5226 for a free consultation and to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.