People who have been seriously injured on the job who think they may have a Kentucky workers’ compensation case may be reluctant to contact an lawyer because they are afraid of how much it will cost.
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Cases are Handled on a Contingency Fee Basis
The truth of the matter is that it costs nothing to hire a Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyer who is willing to take your case.
This is because Kentucky workers’ compensation lawyers are hired on a contingency fee basis, similar to Kentucky car wreck lawyers. A contingency fee means you owe the lawyer no money unless they win or settle your case.
Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Fees Are Fixed By Statute
Unlike contingency fee agreements in car wreck cases, contingency fees in Kentucky workers’ compensation cases are fixed by statute, KRS 342.320. This statute says that the attorney’s fees in workers’ compensation cases are limited to twenty percent (20%) of the first twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) of the award, fifteen percent (15%) of the next twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), and ten percent (10%) of the remainder of the award, not to exceed a maximum fee of eighteen thousand dollars ($18,000). This fee shall be paid by the employee from the proceeds of the award or settlement.
Any lawyer who quotes you a fee for a higher percentage than what is in the statute is trying to charge you for more than what the law allows. Do not hire that lawyer.
Costs Are Not Reimbursed Until We Win Or Settle Your Case
In addition to this attorney’s fee, Kentucky workers’ compensation cases normally require that we hire a physician to evaluate our client’s degree of permanent impairment due to his or her injury, which is required under Kentucky law to determine the amount of his award or settlement. The treating physician will sometimes provide this information, although many will not. This means we may need to hire another physician to provide a second opinion, which usually costs between $800 to $1,000 to examine the client along with his or her records and provide a report.
We advance all costs required necessary to achieve the maximum settlement recovery in our clients’ Kentucky workers’ compensation cases. They do not owe the attorney’s fee and are not required to pay us back for these costs until we win or settle your case.
Some Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Cases Can Also Involve a Personal Injury Case
Sometimes a person may be injured at work due to the fault of someone else outside of his or her employment, such as in a car wreck while on the job. This is known as a “third-party” claim. It is important in these types of cases to hire a lawyer who is capable of handling both workers compensation cases and personal injury cases. Most lawyers in this area handle one type of case or the other, but few of them handle both types of cases. Harville Law Offices has many years of experience handling workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.