If you’re having troubles with your doctor, employer or their insurance company about your occupational injury, you may want to bring in a qualified Washington L&I attorney to help get what you rightfully deserve. However, you may be wondering how much a good lawyer costs – which is reasonable because it won’t make sense to break your bank for that.
The short answer is lawyers charge differently based on a range of factors, including:
- How much they bill for their time
- How long your case takes
- Whether you can collect the amount and benefits
- The amount of legal costs involved with negotiating a settlement or representing your case before Washington workers’ compensation administrative board.
Workers’ compensation lawyers will either charge an hourly rate or a contingency fee. But you should note that these two systems are entirely different. Lawyers who ask for a contingency fee get their pay from your settlement. Meaning, they only get paid when you win, while those who charge an hourly rate want to pay by the hour regardless of the outcome of your case.
Either way, it is critical for you to understand the billing details and how much you will pay for the legal services. Please note that you can only negotiate the billing arrangement before hiring a lawyer, not after.
Most workers’ compensation attorneys in Washington work on a contingency fee basis because it offers many benefits, including
- You won’t need to pay the money beforehand
- You don’t pay anything if the lawyer is unable to secure an award or settlement for you
- Your attorney is financially motivated to get the highest award or settlement possible
The only problem with hiring a lawyer on a contingency basis is that of your lawsuit is settled quickly; you may feel as though your attorney didn’t deserve the entire paycheck.
A contingency fee means the lawyer gets a percentage of the amount of workers’ compensation benefits you get if you emerge victoriously. (The exact percentage that these lawyers charge may vary from one law firm to the next. So, if the lawyer doesn’t successfully win the case for you, they do not get any compensation. But they may still need you to cater for the costs incurred during the representation, like copy costs, filing fees among other charges.
Hourly rate is not a very common payment method in personal injury cases as it is in divorce and business law, reason being, many injured individuals need money as they await their benefits. Besides their injuries and disability may hinder them from proving for their loved ones and the medical expenses could be accumulating.
If you hire a lawyer for an hourly rate, you are likely going to pay a retainer, which serves as the deposit. You also may have to pay monthly legal fees along with other legal expenses like photocopying costs and filing fees.
Finding a lawyer who’s willing to represent you on contingency is a great idea. Hourly rates only mean that your case isn’t as strong, and the lawyers do not want to risk wasting their time and resources on it.