How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Pennsylvania?
March 23, 2022 | Workers’ Compensation
When an injury lawyer takes on a workers’ compensation case, the lawyer will most likely charge a contingent fee. A contingent fee is calculated at the end of the case based on the outcome.
In Pennsylvania, a workers’ compensation lawyer can charge a contingent fee of up to 20% of the compensation awarded.
But in some cases, you might pay nothing for legal services. Pennsylvania law allows a workers’ compensation judge (WCJ) to order your employer’s workers’ comp insurer to pay your legal fees.
Here is some information about how much you might pay to hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Pennsylvania.
Legal Fees for Workers’ Compensation Cases
Workers’ comp lawyers, like all injury lawyers, charge for their services. In Pennsylvania, a lawyer who represents you before a WCJ must charge a contingent fee. Moreover, the WCJ must approve the fee agreement before hearing the case.
A contingent fee depends on the outcome of the case. If the lawyer loses the case, the lawyer receives no fee. If the lawyer wins or settles the case, the lawyer receives a percentage of the compensation you receive.
Under Pennsylvania law, the contingent fee in a workers’ comp case cannot exceed 20%. Thus, if you agree to pay a 20% contingent fee and the lawyer wins $100,000 in compensation, the lawyer will receive $20,000 and you will receive $80,000.
Characteristics of a Contingent Fee
A contingent fee has several benefits for the client, such as:
- The lawyer has a financial incentive to maximize your compensation
- The lawyer can start working on your case without any upfront fees
- You receive the bulk of the compensation instead of paying it to your lawyer
At 20%, the contingent fee for workers’ compensation cases is substantially lower than the contingent fee charged in other injury cases. For example, you might pay an injury lawyer anywhere between 33% and 40% to handle a car accident claim.
Additional Costs for Handling a Workers’ Compensation Case
Before you sign a fee agreement, ask your lawyer how they handle costs. Costs include hard expenses paid by the lawyer on your behalf.
Your case might require the payment of filing fees, court reporter fees, and expert witness fees. The lawyer will usually pay these costs. But at the end of the case, many lawyers will expect reimbursement for these expenses.
Review your fee agreement carefully to determine:
- Whether the lawyer expects you to pay costs if you lose
- Whether costs get deducted before or after legal fees are accounted for
Make sure you understand and control costs. If you fail to contain the costs of your lawsuit, you could pay the lawyer thousands of dollars in expenses in addition to your fees for representation.
Paying No Legal Fees
In some situations, you might pay no legal fees for your workers’ compensation case. A provision in the workers’ compensation law states that the WCJ can order the insurer to pay your compensation and a reasonable fee to the lawyer.
Since lawyers cannot double-dip fees, you will not need to pay any fees out of your compensation when the WCJ orders the insurer to pay the fee.
Under Pennsylvania law, a WCJ may exclude legal fees from the award when the insurer had a reasonable basis for denying your claim.
Contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Harrisburg
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111