If you are having issues with your workers’ compensation claim but are uncertain about hiring a lawyer due to cost, do not hesitate any longer. A Florida workers’ comp attorney will not cost you anything out of pocket, since we are paid by the insurance company or through a portion of the settlement.
Are you concerned about getting fired from your job if you are injured and file a claim or hire an attorney? At Berlin Law, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to ensuring that your job is preserved and that you receive the full benefits you deserve.
How Florida Workers’ Comp Lawyers Are Paid
Under Florida statute §440.34, attorney fees for workers’ compensation claims are clearly laid out:
- 20 percent of the first $5,000 of the amount of the benefits secured
- 15 percent of the next $5,000 of the amount of the benefits secured
- 10 percent of the remaining amount of the benefits secured to be provided during the first 10 years after the date the claim is filed.
- 5 percent of the benefits secured after 10 years.
Your attorney cannot receive payments higher than that. By law, every Florida worker’s comp attorney is paid the same percentage. In addition, all fees require approval from the workers comp judge or of the court with jurisdiction in the case.
That means you should seek out the most highly qualified, successful workers’ comp lawyers to handle your claim. If you do not win your case, you do not pay attorney’s fees. However, with an attorney representing you, it is more likely that if you win your case, your compensation will be larger than if you did not have legal counsel. Under these circumstances, hiring a skilled lawyer may bring you greater compensation even after paying attorney fees out of the award.
At Berlin Law, our clients never write a check to our firm. All fees are paid directly to the firm from the insurer or through the settlement award.
Factors That May Affect Your Settlement Amount
In Florida, if you owe unpaid child support or court fines, these amounts may be taken out of your settlement. The same holds true for unpaid taxes or outstanding student loans.
If your workers’ comp claim was initially denied and you receive unemployment compensation in the interim, Florida wants reimbursement for unemployment payments.
Generally, workers’ comp benefits are not subject to state or federal taxes. Florida has no state income tax, and the IRS generally considers workers’ comp benefits as disability payments.
If your award includes interest payments on overdue benefits, this interest is subject to tax.
When Do You Need a Florida Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
Some workers injured while on the job will not need the services of a workers’ comp attorney. If your employer’s insurer does not dispute the circumstances of your injury and your injury is relatively minor, you can probably handle your workers’ comp claim on your own.
However, if issues arise regarding your claim, that is when you need legal representation.
- The insurer disputes your claim.
- You suffer serious injuries.
- Your injury results in permanent disability.
- Your employer’s doctor sends you back to work before you recover completely.
- You received an inadequate settlement amount.
These issues are complicated, and you should not try to navigate the system on your own, especially while recuperating from a serious injury. Your lawyer will negotiate with your employer’s insurance company and guide you through every step of the process.
Contact a Florida Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you have issues with a workers’ comp claim, you need the services of a seasoned Florida Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Berlin Law. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us today.