How Much Does a Philadelphia Workers' Compensation Lawyer Cost?
If you’ve been hurt at work, you need a lawyer to handle your Philadelphia workers' compensation claim. Medical bills and lost work have put you in a tough spot, and hiring an attorney is the best way to make sure you’re treated fairly.
While you may understand that an attorney can help you with your benefits claim, you may not know if you can afford one. This article will help you understand how Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys are paid for their time.
Attorneys’ Fees in Philadelphia Worker Compensation Claims
Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys are usually paid on contingency. This means that if you settle your case, or a judge rules in your favor, your lawyer is paid a percentage of what you receive. If your case is not successful, you do not pay any fees.
The law allows for contingency fees of up to 20 percent in Pennsylvania workers' compensation cases. A judge must approve all attorney fees in Philadelphia workers' comp cases. A fee less than 20 percent is sometimes approved.
Contingency fees may be paid in one of two ways:
- The fee is taken from your benefits
- The fee is added to the award you receive. In these cases, the insurance company pays the attorney’s percentage, and no amount is deducted from your benefits.
Under Pennsylvania law, if an insurance company denies your benefits and you later win your case, the insurance company can be required to pay your attorney’s fees. You will need to prove the company didn’t have a good reason to deny your benefits.
Other Fee Arrangements
Although it’s rare, the law does allow for a Philadelphia workers' compensation attorney to be paid in other ways. Contingency fees apply to cases where you receive money if you win. In cases where you are successful but no money changes hands, a contingency fee doesn’t work.
For example, if your benefits were suspended and you win them back, a contingency fee can’t be used. The law provides for cases like these. It allows the judge to decide on a reasonable fee for your attorney. A “reasonable” fee may differ depending on where your case is heard and where your attorney is located. For example, the rate of an attorney in West Chester may be higher than that of an attorney from Darby. You are responsible for paying these fees yourself.
Understanding Philadelphia Worker Comp Fees
Before you hire an attorney, it’s very important that you talk about fees. Ask specific questions that will help you understand how the attorney gets paid and what it could mean to you. Good questions include:
- What type of fee arrangement do you use?
- How will it affect my benefits if we win?
- If we are not successful, do I owe you anything?
- Are there additional costs and expenses I will need to pay?
- Can you explain how fees are calculated?
Make sure you understand how your Philadelphia workers' compensation case will be billed before you choose an attorney.