A workers’ compensation claim can reimburse you for the money you lost in medical bills and missed wages. In Georgia, workers’ comp is a no-fault system that does not require you to prove liability for your accident. However, you may still encounter challenges that interfere with your ability to recover. Before attempting to resolve your claim alone, find out how much a workers’ compensation attorney costs in Georgia.
What Is a Contingency Fee Basis?
Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys accept clients on a contingency fee basis. This type of fee arrangement means that instead of paying your lawyer an hourly rate, you will pay your lawyer with a pre-agreed upon percentage of your settlement or judgment award. It won’t cost you anything upfront to retain the attorney.
With a contingency fee arrangement, if your lawyer does not succeed in obtaining you financial compensation for your workers’ compensation claim, you will not owe your attorney anything in legal fees. It is also possible for a judge to order the insurance company to pay for your portion of attorney’s fees – especially if the insurer wrongfully denied your claim and forced you to go to court.
What Is the Maximum Amount an Attorney Can Charge You in Georgia?
With a contingency fee agreement, you never have to worry about affording a workers’ compensation lawyer out of pocket. If your lawyer does win your case, you will pay directly out of the money obtained on your behalf – not out of your wallet. If the lawyer does not win your case, you won’t pay.
Although the amount depends, contingency fee rates are often around 33.33 percent (one-third) of the entire amount won for the average personal injury case. However, this amount can vary based on the attorney and the amount of work it takes to resolve the case. The fee is also different for a workers’ compensation case, as there is a special state law that limits how much an attorney can charge.
Aside from working on a contingency fee basis, lawyers in Georgia are also subject to a maximum amount they can charge for their services under state law. Georgia Code Section 34-9-108 states that a lawyer cannot charge more than 25 percent of the benefits a claimant receives in a workers’ compensation settlement, not including medical benefits. Furthermore, the fee an attorney charges to accept a workers’ compensation case is subject to approval by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation if the fee is greater than $100.
Can You Negotiate a Contingency Fee?
It is often possible to negotiate the percentage of your contingency fee payment with a workers’ compensation attorney in Georgia. You always have the right to ask a lawyer if his or her rates are negotiable. If you have a valid reason to receive a reduced rate, the lawyer may agree to charge less for his or her services.
For example, if you already completed a lot of the legwork or paperwork connected to your workers’ comp claim, an attorney may agree to represent you for a reduced rate. Lower rates are less common, however, with workers’ comp claims, as these cases often involve a lot of work and the lawyer is already providing representation at a reduced rate under state law.
Is Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Worth the Cost?
Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can make an enormous difference to your case. It can help you fully understand your rights and protect them during negotiations with your employer’s insurance provider. With a lawyer by your side, you will have the power to negotiate for a settlement or judgment award that adequately covers your past and future losses.
The results you achieve with an attorney’s assistance can be well worth the price of hiring the attorney, especially with reasonable fees such as a contingency agreement. To learn more about how much a workers’ compensation attorney in Georgia might cost, as well as other expenses that may be involved in pursuing a claim, contact Hilley & Frieder, P.C.