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How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost in South Carolina?

How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost in South Carolina?
Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

How much does a workers’ compensation lawyer cost in SC?

The attorney fees vary from case to case, but it will usually be a contingency fee arrangement – you pay nothing upfront, and your attorney is only paid when they win your case.

In this article, we will discuss how workers’ compensation attorney fees work in SC, including:

  • Contingency fees in workers’ compensation cases,
  • Caps on attorney fees and the requirement for approval by the Commission, and
  • The typical costs in a workers’ compensation case.

How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost in SC?

When you call a Myrtle Beach workers’ compensation attorney for help getting your benefits approved, you pay nothing upfront because attorney fees in workers’ compensation cases are on a contingency basis.

Contingency Fees in Workers’ Compensation Cases

How does a workers’ compensation lawyer get paid?

By making sure you get paid…

There are no upfront attorney fees, your workers’ compensation attorney only gets paid if you win your case, and, the more you get in your settlement, the more your attorney gets paid – which motivates your attorney to get the best settlement possible on your behalf in every case.

Every case is different, but consider this scenario:

You file your workers’ comp claim on your own, your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement, and the insurance company offers you a total of $10,000 for a final settlement.

You know that’s far less than you are entitled to, the insurance company is discounting your future medical expenses, and you are getting jerked around by an insurance company that doesn’t want to pay valid claims like yours. So, you call your workers’ compensation attorney and ask for help.

Your attorney requests a contested hearing, prepares your medical evidence, argues your case before the Commission, and the Commissioner awards you $10,000.

Your attorney knows that you are entitled to much more than this, wants to get paid, and wants you to get full and fair compensation, so your attorney files an appeal to the full Commission. After the full panel reviews your case, you are awarded a full and fair settlement that comes to approximately $60,000.

After paying attorney fees of one-third totaling approximately $20,000, your recovery comes to approximately $40,000 minus the costs of a deposition, filing fees, and an expert medical witness – nearly $30,000 more than you would have received if you had not retained an experienced workers’ comp attorney.

The contingency fee arrangement ensures that your workers’ comp lawyer will fight for every dollar that is owed to you, leaving nothing on the table when you agree to a final settlement…

Caps and Approval by the Commission

SC workers’ compensation laws protect workers’ compensation clients from excessive or unearned fees.

First, the law caps workers’ compensation attorney’s fees in SC at one-third of your settlement – your attorney cannot charge you more than this.

Second, the Commission must approve all attorney fees in a written order before they can be disbursed. Your attorney must submit a form to the Commission showing the attorney fees, the amount of reimbursed costs, and the amount you will receive from the settlement.

The Commission will then review the terms of the settlement, attorney fees, and costs and approve them by written order.

Costs of a Workers’ Compensation Case in SC

How much does a workers’ compensation lawyer cost? After you calculate the attorney fees, you also must repay any costs associated with your case.

What are the costs that you may have to repay in addition to attorney fees?

It depends on the circumstances of your case and what we need to prove your case to the Commission. In every case, we do everything possible to minimize your expenses – we are stewards of your money and want to ensure that you take home as much compensation as possible.

For example, depending on whether your case is contested and what we must prove to the Commission, your costs could include:

  • Evidence fees – for example, to obtain the Commission’s file that includes forms filed by your employer,
  • Medical records fees – most physicians and medical facilities will charge fees to provide us with copies of your medical records,
  • Doctor fees – we may need to compensate your physician for additional time spent consulting with your attorney regarding impairment ratings, future medical care, or other issues we need to prove at your hearing,
  • Filing fees – for example, when we must request a contested hearing,
  • Depositions – in some cases, the insurance company or your attorney will need to take formal depositions of you or other witnesses,
  • Expert witnesses – in some cases, you will need to retain one or more expert witnesses like a doctor to provide a second opinion, a vocational expert, an accountant, or a life care planner, or
  • Mediation – in some cases, the parties will be required to participate in mediation.

How much will your total expenses cost in a workers’ comp case?

It depends on the circumstances of your case, but 1) in an uncontested or simple case that does not require experts, your costs will likely be a few hundred dollars or less, or 2) in a contested case with a higher value, your costs could run into the thousands.

Got Axelrod?

If you have been injured at work and believe you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, your SC workers’ compensation attorney can help you to file your claim, negotiate with the insurance company, present your medical evidence, and file any necessary appeals.

Call now and schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach worker’s compensation lawyer on the Axelrod team. Call us at 843-258-4079 or fill out our contact form today.

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