Workers’ compensation claims allow victims hurt on the job to recover compensation for their injuries. However, navigating the legal process can be complex and daunting, especially when you’re dealing with an injury. This is where a Tampa workers comp lawyer comes in. But how do these lawyers get paid?
Workers Comp Lawyers Use a Contingency Fee
The primary method of payment for workers’ compensation lawyers is through a contingency fee. This means that the lawyer’s payment is contingent on the outcome of your case. If you win your case or reach a settlement, the lawyer will receive a percentage of the benefits you receive.
This arrangement ensures that you don’t have to worry about paying any fees upfront, and it also motivates your lawyer to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Calculation of the Contingency Fee
The contingency fee is usually a percentage of the benefits you receive from your claim. The specific percentage can vary, but it’s often capped between 10% and 20% of the total settlement amount, depending on the complexity of the case. It’s crucial to discuss this percentage with your lawyer at the beginning of your case to ensure you understand how much you’ll receive after their fees are deducted.
Lump Sum Payment or Structured Payout
When a workers’ compensation case is settled, the claimant is compensated either through a lump-sum payment or a structured settlement. The lump-sum payment is a single, comprehensive cash payment made as a result of the settlement.
On the other hand, a structured settlement involves a series of periodic payments made over time to the injured worker as part of the settlement proceeds. Regardless of the type of settlement, the lawyer’s fee would be a percentage of the settlement amount.
It’s important to note that the choice between a lump sum and a structured settlement can significantly impact an injured worker’s financial future. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice largely depends on the specifics of the case as well as the individual’s personal needs and financial circumstances.
Lump Sum Payment
A lump sum payment is essentially a single, comprehensive cash payment made as a result of a settlement. In order to receive this, you may be required to sign an agreement that prevents you from seeking any additional compensation in the future. This approach offers immediate access to funds to cover immediate medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and other urgent bills.
However, it’s important to consider potential downsides to lump sum settlements. One major concern is the possibility of mismanaging or exhausting the settlement funds over time. In some cases, lump sum settlements can impact ongoing benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Medicaid eligibility. Additionally, the tax implications of a lump sum settlement should be thoroughly evaluated.
The fee for your attorney will be subtracted from this amount. For instance, if you receive a lump sum payment, the attorney’s fee will be a percentage of that total.
A structured payout is an arrangement where the settlement proceeds are paid out in periodic payments made to the injured worker over time. Structured settlements provide pre-determined payments for a period of time or, in some cases, life. Structured settlements offer scheduled payments over a specified period of time, or in some instances, for the duration of the recipient’s life.
This method mitigates the risk of depleting the funds prematurely, a concern often associated with lump-sum payments. Additionally, structured settlements come with tax benefits. While workers’ compensation settlements are not subject to tax, if a lump sum is invested, any income generated from that investment would be taxable.
This method ensures a steady flow of income over the long term, providing financial stability and security for the individual who has been injured. However, structured settlements may not offer the same immediate access to a large amount of funds characteristic of lump sum settlements.
If you receive a structured payout, the lawyer’s fee will be a percentage of each payment.
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Hiring a workers comp lawyer can be essential in ensuring you receive fair compensation for your injuries. These professionals work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. This arrangement ensures that anyone, regardless of their financial situation, can access legal representation when they need it most.