How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost? Staff Profile Picture
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You might be concerned about the fees if you have experienced a work-related injury or illness and are considering working with a workers' compensation attorney. Getting through the legal system can be challenging, especially when you are dealing with injury-related stress, medical expenses, missed wages, and other hurdles. Understanding the financial aspects of hiring a workers' compensation attorney is vital for making informed decisions, as the fees can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of your case and the attorney's fee structure and other court-related costs that go along with your lawsuit. In this article, we will discuss whether or not you need to hire a workers’ comp lawyer, what type of fees you can expect in your workers’ compensation lawsuit, and legal resources to help you through the entire process. 

Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?

Yes, you should absolutely consider finding a workers’ comp lawyer if you have suffered an accident at work. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you determine several factors about your case that insurance providers tend to overlook to give you the minimum benefits. This can include things like whether or not your injuries require surgery, if you’ve suffered mental distress along with your physical injuries, whether or not you have a partial or permanent disability, and if you can do your job or not. A lawyer will have more experience working with the complex workers’ compensation system and will advocate for you if the employer or insurers attempt to deny your claim.

According to surveys, employees who have filed workers’ compensation lawsuits and hired an attorney have generally collected a larger amount of compensation in their cases while paying an average of 15% to their attorney. The average compensation for cases where the worker did not hire a lawyer was around $18,000, while the cases that had attorneys received compensation that was around 30% higher.

Workers’ Comp Lawsuit Costs: What to Expect

When you decide to file a workers’ compensation lawsuit with the assistance of a workers’ comp attorney, there are several costs that you need to be aware of. This section discusses the costs you can expect to incur when filing a workers' compensation claim. Furthermore, you will be able to prepare yourself for your case and be prepared financially when the time comes.

Contingency Fee

Many workers' compensation lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means they get paid out of your compensation if you win the case. The attorney's fee is often established as a percentage (commonly between 10 and 25 percent) of the overall settlement. Some states have a cap for the percentage amount a lawyer can charge a workers’ comp client. With this method, injured workers can pursue their claims without paying in advance, as the attorney's fee is only paid if the case is successful.

Upfront Costs and Other Expenses

Even if your lawyer accepts a contingency fee arrangement, there can be other charges and expenses related to your case that are required to be paid upfront. These fees could be for several things like obtaining medical records, paying an expert witness like a doctor or other healthcare professional, filing fees for the lawsuit, paying for depositions, and other related expenses. Obtaining medical records is extremely important in these types of lawsuits, and they will generally run between $0.30 to $1 per page, as well as the cost to potentially file a court order to obtain them. 

Your lawyer may need to send physical copies of the paperwork to the state workers’ comp board and the insurance company involved in your case. Both copying fees and postage fees will generally be included in your attorney costs, but many states allow for electronic filing of workers’ comp documents and forms, and you should discuss these costs with your attorney before signing an agreement for representation. Other expenses that can be incurred by your attorney in a workers’ comp lawsuit include travel costs, fees for court reporters, and mediation fees.

Most states do not require any payment to file a workers’ comp claim, but some states require a minimal filing fee to start an appeal after a claim has been denied, and the cost of additional appeals can cost several hundred dollars

Witness Fees

If you are calling an expert witness, such as a doctor or other medical professional, to testify on your behalf in your lawsuit, they will generally be entitled to fees for their time and testimony. This cost varies from person to person. Additionally, if your lawyer has to take depositions of witnesses like the insurance company’s doctors or another witness, it will cost additional fees, which tend to add up quickly over the course of your case. 

Independent Medical Exams

The workers' compensation insurance provider could occasionally ask for an independent medical examination (IME) to assess your condition. Usually, the insurance provider will pay for the medical examination. But if you disagree with the examination's findings, you might need to get your own independent medical examination, which could cost more money and would be an out-of-pocket cost for you. Generally speaking, it would be wise to get multiple medical opinions when pursuing a lawsuit. This allows for the most clarity when experts are looking over your case.

When you’re looking at hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer, it is important to go over any prospective fees upfront with your lawyer so you know how they will be handled. Many workers' compensation lawyers offer free initial consultations to evaluate the strength of your case. During this meeting, you can talk about the pricing structure, payment plans, and other possible costs related to your case. It provides an opportunity to talk specifically about legal expenses and get details on the cost of pursuing your claim. 

Legal Resources for Injured Workers

The associated costs of filing a workers’ compensation claim can vary from case to case and even from lawyer to lawyer. If you are planning to pursue a workers’ compensation lawsuit, make sure that you do plenty of research into your options when looking for an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. If you or someone you know is the victim of a workplace accident and isn’t sure where to find an attorney, this section will help provide valuable resources to help you locate one. These resources may also provide additional assistance with your case, as well as provide potential support for physical and mental health services while you recover from your accident. Make sure that you get the help you deserve as you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Injured Workers Online

Injured Workers Community Legal Clinic (IWC), an independent, non-partisan legal aid clinic, supports the website Injured Workers Online on behalf of the injured worker community. Injured employees, legal counsel, labor organizers, community supporters, researchers, and medical professionals worked together to build it into a powerful resource for those who have suffered workplace injuries. Together, they push for improved care for injured workers from the workers' compensation system, their employers, and the government.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 to guarantee that all workers have safe and healthy working conditions. To accomplish this, OSHA establishes and upholds regulations for all businesses and offers them comprehensive training opportunities, outreach, help, and information. When an accident occurs, OSHA offers tools and support to both employers and employees. They provide assistance to workers injured in workplace accidents by way of information, training, and claim submissions, and their resources cover a wide range of accident-related topics. Visit their website to discover more about the legal assistance they may provide to workers who have been hurt. is a government-run website provided by the United States that offers information and resources for a number of different topics, including government benefits, housing help, taxes, scam and fraud prevention, travel, and legal resources. Their website features a section that allows you to find low-cost legal aid and additional legal resources for a wide variety of issues, including workers’ compensation lawsuits. They feature legal resources for veterans, people with disabilities, and seniors. Additionally, they offer links to pro bono programs that you may be able to find in your state of residence. To discover the resources they have to offer, visit their website here

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