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Workers’ Compensation 101: Attorney’s Fees

Workers’ Compensation 101: Attorney’s Fees

If you were injured in a work-related accident recently, you might be wondering how you’re going to afford the help of an attorney. But if you’re worker in a state of the Minnesota, there’s nothing to worry about!

Most injury attorneys do their work in the hopes of getting the biggest recovery possible for their injured client’s. This isn’t just for the benefit of their client, but for the attorney’s as well. Most injury attorneys work on the basis of a contingency fee – meaning that the fee is a percentage, usually one-third, of the total amount recovered from the claim. This type of fee agreement has been the standard in the practice of law for a very long time. If you are injured in an auto accident or a slip-and-fall, you can expect to sign a contingent fee agreement.

Workers’ compensation attorneys also work on a contingent basis. However, unlike with a typical personal injury case, the maximum fee for a workers’ compensation attorney is set by law. Minnesota Statute §176.081 states that, “A fee for legal services of 20 percent of the first $130,000 of compensation awarded to the employee is the maximum possible fee.” This works out to a maximum of $26,000. Say, for example, that you receive a settlement of wage loss benefits: 

  • The fee on a settlement of $100,000 would be $20,000.

  • The fee on a settlement of $130,000 would be $26,000.

  • The fee on a settlement of $200,000 would also be $26,000.

In other circumstances, there might not be any dispute about lost wage benefits that leads to settlement, but the employee still needs an attorney’s help with disputed medical benefits. Typically, the insurer will pay medical benefits directly to healthcare providers and the benefits never pass through the hands of the employee or their attorney. However, if it becomes necessary to bring disputed benefits to a hearing, and the employee wins, the insurer will still pay the reasonable legal fees of the employee’s attorney.

Contingent fees are of great benefit to Minnesota workers. An injured worker will be able to hire an attorney for help on their claim even if they are unable to pay fees out of pocket, or if their case does not lead to a cash settlement.

If you need legal help for your injury case but are concerned that you can’t afford it, please call Aaron Ferguson Law at 651-493-0426 for a free consultation.

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