Workers’ compensation is a crucial safety net for employees who suffer injuries while performing their job duties. If you need help with your claim, you’re probably wondering about how much hiring a Tampa workers comp lawyer will cost.
This article delves into workers’ compensation lawyer rates in Florida.
Workers Compensation Lawyer Rates
In Florida, worker’s compensation lawyers typically operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the settlement or benefits you receive.
The fees for workers’ compensation attorneys are regulated by Florida law. Specifically, Florida Statutes Section 440.34 outlines the maximum allowable fees for attorneys in workers’ compensation cases.
The Statute stipulates that an attorney representing an injured employee is entitled to be compensated for their services. However, it also sets forth a maximum fee structure that attorneys can charge:
- 20% of the first $5,000 of benefits secured for the employee
- 15% of the next $5,000 of benefits
- 10% of any remaining benefits secured during the first 10 years following the injury
- 5% of any benefits secured after this 10-year period
These fees are calculated based on a sliding scale formula, which varies depending on the total amount of benefits secured.
However, these are merely maximum limits. The actual attorney fees can be less than these amounts. Furthermore, a judge of compensation claims may approve a fee that deviates from these guidelines if it can be justified by unusual circumstances.
Approval of Attorney Fees
The Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims (OJCC) is tasked with managing disputes and grievances related to workers’ compensation claims. The OJCC derives authority from Chapter 440 of the Florida Statutes, specifically Section 440.45.
One of the key responsibilities of the OJCC is to approve attorney’s fees for claimants in worker’s compensation cases. This oversight ensures that attorney fees are fair and justifiable, based on both the amount of work performed by the attorney and the benefits secured for their client.
The OJCC employs the lodestar method to calculate reasonable attorneys’ fees. This involves multiplying the number of hours reasonably spent on a case by a reasonable hourly rate. The court separately assesses the reasonableness of both the hourly rate and the number of hours spent.
It’s also worth noting that any fee awarded by the court should not exceed the fee agreed upon by the attorney and their client. This ensures that attorney fees are fair and justifiable, based on both the amount of work performed by the attorney and the benefits secured for their client.
Factors in Tampa Workers Comp Lawyer Rates
Several factors can influence the rates charged by workers’ compensation lawyers in Tampa. These include:
- Complexity of the Case: More complex cases require more time and resources, which can lead to higher fees.
- Experience and Reputation: Lawyers with more experience or a strong reputation in the field may charge higher rates. However, hiring an inexperienced attorney isn’t worth the potential savings.
- Potential Amount of the Claim: Most workers comp lawyers use a contingency fee. This means the lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the amount awarded in the claim.
It’s always recommended to discuss fees upfront with any potential lawyer and ensure that you fully understand what you will be charged before proceeding with your case.
Contact the workers compensation lawyers at Work Injury Rights at 954-833-5226. We offer a free consultation and have years of experience in resolving workers compensation claims in Tampa as well as all over Florida.