How Much Will I Have to Pay a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be struggling to heal from your injuries and, at the same time, try to comply with the demands of the workers’ comp insurance company. To make sure you get the maximum compensation benefits you are eligible for, it is worth the time to contact a lawyer who specializes in handling workers’ compensation claims. Lawyers who handle workers’ comp will usually give you a free consultation to give you an opportunity to ask questions and give you information about how the process works. At the very least, you should take the time to meet with a lawyer for a free meeting to make sure your case is on the right track. Check out our article on Virginia Workers’ Compensation Questions and Answers here.
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission Approves All Fees
As far as what workers’ comp lawyers charge to handle a case, they often work on a contingency fee basis, which means they don’t get paid until they have won or settled your case. Also, workers’ comp lawyers often receive a fixed percentage of the benefits the injured worker is awarded. In Virginia, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission awards all fees paid to any attorney that you might hire. Lawyers usually charge 25% of any benefits they might win for you. However, that fee has to be approved by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. This is done so that the interests of the injured worker protected.
If your injuries are minor and you didn’t receive medical treatment or your doctor thinks you’ll recover quickly, you may not need a lawyer for your comp case. But, if your injury is more serious or you might take longer to heal, you may encounter problems with the workers’ compensation insurance company. Typical problems with the insurance carrier that we see in our law firm are:
- The insurance company hasn’t given the injured person all of the information he or she needs. For instance, the insurance carrier will rarely tell injured parties that they need to file a Claim for Benefits Form or that they can get reimbursed for their mileage or that they may need to look for jobs if they’ve been released to light-duty work.
- The insurance company doesn’t approve necessary medical services. One of the things we often see is that our new clients will say that their doctor has ordered physical therapy, an MRI, or surgery, and the insurance company won’t approve it or call them back about it. The insurance company has one goal . . . to make money. They will delay as long as they possibly can to try to save a buck. When our clients don’t have health insurance, they are put in a tough position when the workers’ comp carrier refuses to approve their necessary medical treatment.
- The insurance company tries to control the injured person’s medical treatment. The insurance company will frequently hire a nurse case manager to “help” the injured person. Usually, the nurse case manager is really there to work against the claimant. We have known case managers who will talk to doctors without the patient present and try to persuade the doctor to return the employee to work. When a nurse case manager is assigned to your case, you often begin to experience problems with the case that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
- The insurance company is cutting off wage payments. Many times we see insurance companies that will cut off workers’ comp benefit payments for reasons such as the claimant doesn’t have an award and was voluntarily paid benefits by the employer, the claimant failed to look for jobs when released to light-duty, or the doctor released the claimant to return to work without any light-duty restrictions.
If you’ve been injured on the job, it is helpful to talk to a lawyer who is experienced in workers’ compensation claims. At the Ritchie Law Firm, you can talk to us for FREE . . . NO STRINGS ATTACHED! We can give you advice on your claim before you make a decision that could damage your case.
Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious injuries as a result of a job injury. Ritchie Law Firm serves injured workers in all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester. Check out case studies from some of the cases we’ve handled by clicking here. Or contact us by completing the form below: