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How Much Does a Cleveland OSHA Attorney Charge?

If you’ve been hurt on the job, you need to get back on your feet as soon as possible. A Cleveland OSHA and workers’ compensation attorney can help you with your physical and financial recovery.

It’s not unusual for Cleveland workers’ compensation attorneys to also handle personal injury cases. Both types of claims may come from the same workplace injury although the solutions are different.

Cleveland workers’ compensation insurance provides injured workers with benefits. These benefits pay for lost wages, medical care and disability. If, however, your injury was the result of a Cleveland OSHA violation, it’s possible that you can file a personal injury suit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. You may be able to recover additional money for your injury.

You may wonder what it costs to have an attorney take your case. This article explains how a lawyer gets paid to pursue both types of cases.

Contingency Fees

Most Cleveland workers’ compensation attorneys charge a contingency fee. If you are successful in your claim, the lawyer takes a percentage of the benefits as a fee.

In Cleveland workers’ compensation insurance cases, the fee is normally between 10 and 40 percent of the total award. The contingency fee needs to be approved by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

The same fee arrangement is commonly used for personal injury cases. If your employer is found to have violated OSHA rules, and that violation caused your injury, you can recover money. If you win your case, your Cleveland OSHA attorney takes a percentage of the award as a fee.

Under a contingency fee arrangement, if your case or claim is not successful you do not pay the attorney’s fees. You may be responsible for the costs and expenses of your case, such as travel, court fees and photocopies.

Contingency fee arrangements keep your out-of-pocket costs low. You can use your personal funds for living and medical expenses, not legal fees, while your claims are in progress. Remember, however, that if you are successful, the attorney’s fees will reduce the amount you receive. Your total workers’ compensation benefits and the award from a successful personal injury case will be lower.

Hourly Rate

Although it is rare, some Cleveland OSHA attorneys may charge an hourly rate to handle a personal injury case. The hourly arrangement may be used for personal injury cases where the chance of recovery is low.

Under this arrangement, you are charged for each part of an hour that an attorney spends working on our case. Hours are broken down into 6 or 15-minute increments, or parts of an hour. The lawyer’s time is rounded up to the nearest increment. For example, if a lawyer charges $100 per hour and spends six minutes completing a form, you will be charged $10 using a 6-minute increment, and $25 using a 15-minute increment. An attorney who uses a smaller increment usually costs less by the time your case is complete.

Unlike a contingency, your lawyer is paid only for the work he does. This reduces the chance of paying a lawyer a large sum for a small amount of work, but it also means that you can pay a very large fee if your case takes a long time to finish.

Learning About Cleveland Workers' Compensation Attorneys Fees

When you hire a Cleveland workers’ compensation insurance attorney, you will fill out and sign a fee agreement. If you have an additional personal injury case, you may fill out a separate agreement, or the same terms may apply to both cases. This agreement spells out the details of how the attorney is paid. If you have a contingency arrangement, the percentage of the fee will be listed.

For workers’ compensation claims, this agreement becomes part of the Affidavit for Attorney Fees. The affidavit is a form that is submitted to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation at the end of your case.

Before you sign the agreement, it’s important to understand the details of your fee arrangement. For contingency fees, ask the attorney about:

  • The contingency percentage
  • Estimated costs and expenses
  • If a deposit, or retainer, is required
  • The payment method—learn how the fee is taken from your benefits or award

You should also ask the lawyer to provide a few examples of a contingency fee, and to explain how the fee is calculated.

If part of your claim is handled on an hourly basis, ask about:

  • The hourly rate
  • The increment
  • Estimated costs and expenses
  • The estimated total cost of your case
  • Payment methods and terms

When you understand how your attorney is paid, you can choose an attorney that is affordable and will work well for you.