Are you afraid of hiring a lawyer in Minnesota for your worker compensation claim? More specifically, does the thought of the potential costs intimidate you?
Minnesota has very different laws that state how your lawyer gets paid. The current statutes also say how much your lawyer gets paid for a successful worker compensation claim. As in most cases, other considerations like your total lump-sum compensation benefit and your employer’s willingness will come into play.
You do not have to hesitate to seek legal representation for your worker compensation claim. Read to learn more, and the actual costs may pleasantly surprise you.
If you have been asking: “how much are attorney fees for worker compensation in the state?” — this article will answer that inquiry.
Minnesota’s No-Fault Policy
There is a prevailing misconception that, for anyone seeking representation, paying out of one’s pocket is the norm. This is true in states where all accountability and liability is placed on the accused or the party at fault for damages.
In these states, parties need to pay their attorneys to have representation for their cases — work-related or not. This practice is founded on the presumption that those at fault need to provide compensation to the injured and their lawyers.
In other words, fault equates to liability in these states, and liability obliges one to pay compensation and attorney fees.
In Minnesota, the system is different. Minnesota operates on a no-fault policy. A no-fault policy holds that neither the injured nor the employer have to pay attorney fees in the event of a worker compensation claim. The employer still retains some liability after the injury. However, the no-fault system exempts them from paying out of their pocket.
With that in mind, you might be wondering who will have to pay your lawyer. In a no-fault state like Minnesota, paying for attorney fees for worker compensation claims falls on the shoulders of one group — insurance providers.
Insurance providers in the state provide businesses with work liability insurance. This form of insurance covers workers compensation and all the costs incurred in:
- Worker benefit
- Medical treatment of work-related injuries
- Attorney fees
This is why nearly all businesses in Minnesota have some form of work liability protection insurance.
In short, regardless of your worker compensation claim’s result, you may not need to pay for a work comp lawyer. Your employer’s insurance provider will shoulder the costs of your legal representation.
How Much Can Worker Compensation Lawyers In Minnesota Charge?
In Minnesota, lawyers are entitled to 20% of the total compensation given by the employer’s insurance provider. The total compensation for an employee in the state is determined by considerations like:
- The extent of the injury as shown in a permanency rating or injury rating
- Whether the injury is permanent or temporary
- The type of injury and the scale of impairment
For example, if you lost a limb, that can make you eligible for a PPD benefit. With a 20% injury or impairment rating, you are entitled to a total of $94,000 as per sec 176.10 subdivision 2a. Granted the lump-sum amount is $94,000, your attorney can charge 20% of that, which is roughly $18,800.
Worker compensation lawyers representing clients are forbidden from charging beyond the 20% limit. If a lawyer charges you more than 20%, he or she is acting against Minnesota labor statutes.
There is also a price ceiling to the amount a worker compensation lawyer can charge. In a situation where the total compensation benefit exceeds $130,000, lawyers can only make $26,000 at most.
For situations where the total benefit is undetermined or unresolved, there is also a limit to the attorney’s hourly consultation fees. Minnesota sets the maximum amount at $500.
“Can I Hire an Attorney Without Paying Anything Upfront?”
Once again, the full payment of your attorney fees is the responsibility of your employer’s insurance provider. Hence, you can still hire an attorney to represent you even without paying anything.
In the interest of receiving his or her share of the total compensation benefits due to you, your attorney will draft a retainer agreement. The retainer agreement is a document that legitimizes your relationship with your attorney.
It needs to state that he or she will be representing you for the duration of the case. Other stipulations like the attorney fees after the settlement need to be in the agreement. Also, the retainer agreement should contain the attorney’s hourly fees, especially if the total compensation benefit has yet to be determined.
When To Hire the Services of a Worker Compensation Lawyer
In many worker compensation cases, lawyers are hired at the same time workers are receiving benefits. Rarely are the services of a worker compensation lawyer necessary shortly after an injury.
There are a couple of instances when you might want to hire a lawyer:
Your Employer Refuses To Give You the Right Amount Of Compensation.
Sometimes, an employer’s insurance company will refuse to authorize the provision of workers’ compensation benefits. Other times, the employer may provide a certain amount that’s less than the one to which you are entitled.
This situation calls for the assistance of a lawyer. In these types of scenarios, your lawyer can provide you with the representation to challenge the insurance provider’s set amount. A worker compensation lawyer can help you get the right amount.
Your Employer Refuses To Shoulder Medical Expenses
As an injured employee, you are also entitled to medical coverage provided by your employer. By medical coverage, we mean full medical coverage. If your employer refuses to pay for your rehabilitation, treatment, and therapy, you will need a lawyer.
With a lawyer, you would not need to shoulder any proportion of your medical bills.
Do You Need a Lawyer For Your Claim? Reach Out to Us Now!
Seeking a lawyer can be intimidating due to the associated costs of attorneys. We at Osterbauer Law will not charge you a single cent for representation. In fact, we do not charge any legal fees unless we get you a successful settlement.
At Osterbauer Law, we do our best to ensure that you get what is due to you. Call us now if you need a work injury and compensation lawyer in Minnesota!