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Should my attorney be receiving 20% of my workers comp check every time i get a check?

Allentown, PA |

i have an open wc case, i was burned on one side of my body and broke my left leg causing permanet nerve damage and a "drop foot". Ive been told by family members that had wc cases before that he is not supposed to receive anything until the case is settled is this true??

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

Look at your fee agreement with the attorney, but typically once the fee is approved by a Workers' Compensation Judge the attorney will receive a 20% fee on both weekly or biweekly installments and a final settlement, if there is one. Some cases can go on for years and the attorney receives 20% of the weekly or biweekly checks. Some cases never settle. If you have questions about the fee, you should feel comfortable sitting down with your attorney to discuss them.

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Posted

OK THANKS FOR TIME...I UNDERSTAND NOW....

Asker

Posted

WHEN YOU SAY SOME CASES NEVER SETTLE, IM GONNA ASSUME THE INSURANCE COMP THATS PAYING MY WC CAN CHOOSE NOT TO SETTLE AND JUST KEEP PAYING MY MEDICINE AND PAY? I ASK BECAUSE MY LAWYER SENT THEM A SETTLEMENT OFFER TO CLOSE THE CASE ABOUT 4 MONTHS AGO AND THEY HAVENT RESPONDED

Levi Samuel Wolf

Levi Samuel Wolf

Posted

They will pay until they settle or until they can convince a judge that you are no longer entitled to benefits. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

OK THANKS

Posted

You should read the terms of your Fee Agreement with your attorney. Usually, when there is a hearing the attorney will submit the fee agreement to the Workers Compensation Judge, who will approve the fee agreement as being reasonable and Order that 20% of your compensation benefits be deducted and paid directly to your attorney. If there is not (or never has been) a petition pending before a WCJ, the attorney would have to petition the Workers Comp Appeal Board for approval of counsel fees.

The rationale for an ongoing fee is quite simple, however, either your attorney has done something to get you benefits awarded; or is in the process of defending a petition seeking to terminate, modify or suspend your benefits which is the basis for payment. He will then be entitled to 20% of the settlement as well, or whatever terms your fee agreement provide.

Francis J. Lafferty, IV, Esquire Helping injured workers throughout Pennsylvania. fjl@norlaflaw.com www.norlaflaw.com DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania and is personal in nature, not professional in nature. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

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Posted

I DID SIGN A FEE AGREEMENT, BUT MISUNDERSTOOD,I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESION IT WAS IF I SETTLED, BUT I UNDERSTAND NOW ,THANKS

Posted

It is not at all unusual for a workers' compensation attorney to collect a fee outside of a lump sum settlement. But, as indicated above, be guided by the fee agreement that you signed.

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Posted

THANKS

Posted

I would agree with Levi and Francis. This is a conversation that you should have had with your lawyer when you signed the fee agreement or when your attorney asked the Judge to approve it. Keep in mind, that your claim is just that, i.e. your claim. It is not your family member's claim. They may have had a claim in another state or just "forgot" that they had been paying a fee prior to resolving their claim. Regardless, best of luck to you!

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Posted

YES, I DID SIGN THAT,THING WAS THAT IT WASNT COMING OUT OF MY CHECK UNTIL AFTER A YEAR....BUT I UNDERSTAND NOW, THANKS

Robert L. Cullen

Robert L. Cullen

Posted

Never a problem.

Posted

This is a completely acceptable practice. The exception would be if the case was never litigated. I would not be surprised if your family members workers' compensation claims were not litigated before they were settled in which case the attorney very well may have monitored the file without a fee pending settlement. However, the situation you describe is normal procedure in workers' compensation matters.

Timothy D. Belt, Esquire Helping injured workers in Northeast Pennsylvania. belt-law@belt-law.com www.belt-law.com DISCLAIMER: This post is intended as general information applicable only to the state of Pennsylvania. The information given is based strictly upon the facts provided. This post is not intended to create an attorney client relationship, or to provide any specific guarantee of confidentiality.

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Posted

THANKS

Posted

While I agree with my colleauges, it is not clear from your question how your attorney is being paid his fee. If his fee has been approved by the workers' compensation authorities and is being paid by the insurance company, then the fee is appropriate. If you are paying the fee directly, then it is contrary the WC Act and you should stop making the payments and consider requesting a refund. I have run into such direct payment arrangements (client to lawyer) before, and they are almost always contrary to the law.

This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated.

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NO, I DID SIGN AN AGREEMENT. WHAT THREW ME OFF WAS THAT IT DIDNT COME OUT OF MY CHECK UNTIL A YEAR LATER. I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESION HE ONLY RECEIVES 20% IF I SETTLE,BUT APPARENTLY I WAS WRONG....THANKS FOR YOUR TIME

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