Workers’ Compensation Attorney Settlement in Sterling Heights, MI
Attorneys representing the injured worker cannot charge the client on an hourly basis and invoice monthly. Attorneys defending a Workers’ Compensation policy claim are awarded fees on a contingency, meaning no win-no fee cases. These contingency fees are regulated by the State of Michigan to which the attorneys and judges must abide and are calculated on a percentage of the lost wage award. This is the settlement with your attorney for fees earned and costs.
Legal Fees Awarded by the State of Michigan
If there is voluntary payment by the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier, and this payment is accepted by the injured worker, and the case settles without dispute, then the attorney is awarded 10% of the lost wage award. The case settles when the employee recovers from the injury and returns to work. Attorneys’ fees are paid from the settlements without any out-of-pocket expenses by the injured worker.
Often, an attorney can obtain more than what is first offered by the insurance carrier. This is the beginning of a dispute when the fee percentages increase under the following scenarios:
1. In a dispute where the insurance company accepts responsibility without a hearing or a mediation, the attorney is entitled to 15% of the first $25,000, and 10% of the balance of the settlement.
2. In a dispute that settles after a hearing but before the judge enters a ruling, the attorney is entitled to 20% of the lost wage award.
3. In a dispute where the judge rules in favor of the injured worker, the attorney is entitled to 30% of the lost wage award.
Attorneys’ fees must be approved by the judge at the end of all cases.
Fees are not Costs
Attorneys practicing Workers’ Compensation law accept cases on a contingency basis as to fees only and pay out-of-pocket costs throughout the case. These costs extend to medical examinations, court reporters, and doctors’ testimonies, all in addition to the regulated fee structure. Reasonable costs are 100% reimbursed to the attorney. Before the fees are calculated, all reasonable costs expended by the attorney are subtracted from the settlement, and the appropriate percentage is applied to the balance.
Attorneys’ Fees Appeal
If an injured worker does not agree with the award of attorneys’ fees, then the client can request a review by the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency and may further appeal to the appellate commission.
If you have been injured at your workplace, please call the Workers’ Compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of Charters, Tyler, Zack & Shearer, P.C. for a free consultation to discuss your claim and the potential fee structure. Let this team of experienced attorneys work for you to understand your rights and protect them.