When you get injured or sick on the job, the financial blow can feel overwhelming. On top of paying for your medical bills, you’ll still have to find a way to support your family while you’re out of work. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation system exists to protect hard-working employees like you. Not only will your benefits cover any doctor visits, hospitalizations and surgeries you need to recover, but you’ll also receive disability checks to make up for your lost income.
You’ve probably been told that hiring a lawyer to walk you through the workers’ compensation process can help you receive maximum benefits. But with money worries already on your mind, handing over additional cash for legal representation probably feels out of reach. If this sounds like you, we have good news. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you throughout your case doesn’t have to cost a dime up front.
At the Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we handle our clients’ workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. This means if you win your case, you’ll pay your attorney a small percentage of your benefits or settlement. If you lose, there are absolutely no legal fees. Regardless of the outcome, you will never be charged by the hour for our services. This arrangement makes it possible for all injured workers, even those with limited resources, to enlist the help of a workers compensation attorney.
Cost of hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer in San Diego
Every state has its own laws about how much a workers’ compensation attorney can charge. And, to make it fair for the injured worker, the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board must approve all legal fees before an attorney collects any funds. In California, workers’ compensation attorneys can earn 10 percent, 12 percent, or 15 percent of a client’s benefits.
Only certain benefits are considered when calculating a lawyer’s fee. If you received a settlement or permanent disability benefits, your attorney will receive a percentage. Legal fees are not paid out of your medical costs or temporary disability benefits unless your lawyer helped you receive a lump sum payment for overdue temporary disability payments.
How does the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board determine legal fees?
The amount the board will approve depends on the specifics of your workers’ compensation case. The judge will take into account the complexity of your case, how much time your lawyer spent on your case, and the value of the benefits your lawyer was able to secure for you. Simpler cases that are settled prior to a hearing warrant a lower percentage fee than cases that require a hearing or trial. Typically, lawyers only receive the maximum of 15 percent in very complicated cases. You won’t know the amount you’ll pay your workers’ compensation lawyer ahead of time, but we can give you an idea of the percentage we will seek at your initial consultation.
Extra costs related to your case
At the Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, there are zero up-front costs to have one of our workers’ compensation attorneys represent you in your case. When you win, there are no out-of-pocket expenses – your legal fees will be paid directly out of your settlement or benefits. However, there are sometimes extra costs related to your case that aren’t covered by the standard fee agreement. Common expenses that may come as an additional charge include:
Requests for medical records
Independent examinations by physicians
Costs of depositions
Attorney travel expenses
Costs of postage
We will provide you with an estimate of a typical bill for these expenses so you can know what to expect going into the workers’ compensation process.
Are you looking for a workers’ compensation attorney in San Diego?
If you’re considering filing a workers’ compensation claim, or have already filed and your claim was denied, please call us for a consultation. We’ll review your case for free and advise you on the right steps for getting the maximum benefits you’re entitled to.