After a work injury, many employees face considerable financial stress. Growing medical bills and lost wages coupled with the uncertainty of the future can create significant hardship for workers and their families. While the workers’ compensation system exists to help ease these burdens, it is necessary to file for the benefits, and the process is not always straightforward—valid claims may be denied, disputed, or undervalued. And while injured workers may know they need help to successfully pursue their workers’ compensation claims, hiring an attorney to aid in the process can seem overwhelming. In addition, employees often worry they cannot afford an attorney with so many other financial demands. However, you should know that effective and experienced representation can be very affordable.
General Types of Fee Agreements
A fee agreement is a written statement signed by a lawyer and a client that states clearly how the attorney will be paid. It details, among other things, the rate for the attorney’s services, the manner in which the fees will be paid, and the timeframe for payment. There are several general types of fee agreements that are appropriate for different legal situations, but the most common are:
- Hourly fee agreement. Under an hourly fee agreement, your attorney will bill you by the hour for services performed.
- Fixed fee agreement. Under a fixed fee agreement, you pay a specific sum of money to your attorney to cover a clearly defined amount of work.
- Contingency fee agreement. Under a contingency fee agreement, you agree to pay your attorney a specific percentage of your award.
At Monast Law Office, our legal team uses a contingency fee agreement to help injured workers pursue their workers’ compensation claims.
Contingency Fee Arrangement and Your Workers’ Compensation Award
To understand more clearly how the contingency fee agreement works in a workers’ compensation case, you first have to understand that the successful resolution of a workers’ compensation dispute typically includes awards that fall under two main categories:
- Benefits that are paid to cover the costs of medical care such as doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, prescription drugs, and physical therapy.
- Compensation that is paid to the worker to help cover the costs of lost time at work.
The compensation portion of a workers’ compensation award typically includes both back pay and ongoing compensation. Back pay is the money owed to the injured worker from the date of the injury to the date of the workers’ compensation hearing. Ongoing compensation is the wage replacement compensation that will continue into the future.
The contingency fee you pay for our legal services is a percentage of the back pay that our attorney recovered on your behalf. No fees are taken from the benefits portion of the award—that money is paid directly to the medical providers.
At Monast Law Office, we believe in transparency—we want you to be well informed about your claim, how we can help you, and how much it will cost. Before you hire us, we will review the contingency agreement with you and answer all of your questions in plain English so that there are no surprises.
Call Our Workers’ Compensation Office for a Free Consultation
Not every injured worker needs an attorney—claims involving minor injuries and straightforward compensation can often be resolved without help. However, if your employer is disputing your claim, you have suffered a serious injury, or your claim has been denied, an experienced attorney can help protect your rights.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, call Monast Law Office today. The initial consultation is free and can often be done over the phone. Our legal team will discuss your unique situation, help you understand your options, let you know what to expect from the claims process, and explain how we may be able to help.