Virginia Workers’ Comp Lawyers Fees
Attorney fees in Virginia workers compensation cases are regulated by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commission reviews, approves, and sets the fee charged by your lawyer.
Attorney fees in workers compensation cases are contingent fees. This means you pay no fee unless you get awarded benefits or settle your workers compensation case. If you lose your case, you owe your attorney nothing.
The Attorney Fee Percentage Depends on the Workers Compensation Claim Type
If you get a settlement or an award of total disability compensation, partial disability compensation, or permanent total disability benefits, my office gets 20% of the benefit amount. The 20% attorney fee is paid from your accrued benefits. If you do not have any accrued benefits, the Commission may order you or the employer to pay the attorney fee directly.
If you get an award of permanent partial disability benefits, my office gets 15% of the benefit amount.
In cases where we seek authorization and payment of medical care, I can request an attorney fee from the medical provider who benefits from performing the procedure or providing the medical treatment. For example, if I win your claim for a total knee replacement, the surgeon who performs the surgery will be paid by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The surgeon must then pay me a percentage of the cost of the procedure. The Commission’s authority for assessing an attorney’s fee against a health care provider is found in Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act Section 65.2-714.
If the employer or insurer defends your claim without reasonable grounds, or files an application to suspend benefits without reasonable grounds, the Commission may assess against the employer or insurer the cost of the legal proceedings, including a reasonable attorney’s fee. The Commission’s authority to assess fees against the employer and insurer is found in Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act Section 65.2-713.
Virginia has one of the lowest percentages for attorney fees in the country. Usually the Workers’ Compensation Commission awards 15% to 20% of the benefit amount, but sometimes there are no accrued benefits. This low attorney fee percentage is one reason that many personal injury lawyers do not handle workers comp claims.
Don’t let concern over how you’ll pay your workers compensation lawyer’s fee keep you from getting help from an experienced attorney. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you’ll never have to pay a fee unless you get approved for benefits or settle your case. Call or e-mail now for a free consultation.