Fort Myers, FL Workers' Compensation Attorney Fees

Hire your workers' compensation attorney based on the quality of representation that you think you will receive and NOT based upon the fees the attorney charges.  All workers' compensation attorneys charge the same amount.  The law determines what workers' compensation attorneys can charge and the judge in your case will make sure that you are charged a proper fee that complies with the law.

How fees really work in workers' compensation cases

Basically, an attorney in a Florida workers' compensation case is entitled to a fee any time benefits are obtained through his or her efforts. 

The maximum fee that can be charged is:

20% of the first $5,000 of benefits obtained;
15% of the next $5,000 of benefits obtained; and
10% of all benefits obtained over $10,000.

It is important to understand that these percentages are not added together.  Some people make that mistake and think that the fee on benefits obtained over $10,000 is 45%.   The fee on each additional dollar obtained goes DOWN as the $5,000 and $10,000 thresholds are crossed.  The fee on each dollar obtained over $10,000 is only ten cents. 

A shorthand way of calculating the fee if the benefits obtained are over $10,000 is simply to multiply the amount of benefits by 10% and add $750.  For example, the fee on a $20,000 settlement is $2,750 and the fee on a $50,000 settlement is $5,750 and so forth.

The calculation of the fee is easy, the real question usually ends up having to do with who PAYS the fee.   When there are benefit disputes in your case regarding medical care or wages, we try to make sure that, if possible, your employer or their insurance carrier has to pay any fees associated with the benefits we obtain for you.  In our book, that is a "win-win" situation.

Fees from employers or insurance companies

When we sue an employer or an insurance company for medical care or wages, they have thirty days to provide you the benefit voluntarily.  After that point, they become responsible for payment of the fee associated with any benefits provided as a result of the suit.  There are certain limited situations where employers and insurance companies can be forced to pay fees based upon our hours rather than the percentages outlined above.

Fees from injured employees

There are two situations where our clients owe a fee. 

(a)  If a case settles, the percentages outlined above apply.  We are always careful during any negotiation to tell you roughly what you will receive before you make any decisions so there will be no surprises later.  

(b)  The other situation where a fee is due from a client is relatively rare but it does bear mentioning.  If benefits are obtained through our efforts but prior to 30 days after suit is filed, our clients are responsible for a fee which cannot exceed the 20/15/10 statutory percentage.  This is rare because usually when employers or insurance companies deny benefits, they maintain that denial long enough to become responsible for the fee.  It is unusual for them to deny a benefit and then immediately turn around and provide it upon being sued.    It is important to note in this situation that the 20/15/10 is a maximum fee and the judge does have the discretion to lower it if he or she feels that the statutory percentages are too high based on the work done and that you should pay less.  At our office, even if we are due fees in this manner, we never try to collect them until some source of funds is readily available, such as at the time of settlement.  We know how hard it is to make ends meet after an injury and we pledge that you will NEVER receive a single bill requesting that you pay us attorney fees out of your pocket for any reason whatsoever.

The bottom line

As discussed above, the fee works exactly the same no matter which workers' compensation attorney you hire.  Hire the attorney that you are comfortable with and that you think will get the job done. 

Meet your attorney face-to-face before hiring him or her.  We get calls constantly from people complaining that they called a firm, had an "investigator" come out to their house and pressure them into signing a contract and then six weeks later they had still not met nor even spoken with their attorney on the telephone.  Other people hire attorneys from the East Coast and then they do not bother to even show up in person for hearings, depositions or negotiations.  It's ridiculous.  Don't stand for that level of representation or it is YOU who will pay the price.  You only have one case and your future could well be at stake.  Make sure your attorney will give your case the attention it deserves.

We feel supremely confident that our combination of local focus, personal service, and aggressive representation is unmatched. 

Call us at (239) 332-4100 and make an appointment to come by our office and meet us in person.