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Old 08-31-2008, 10:11 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: California
Posts: 369
Sunnycal HB User
How does lawyer get paid?

My husband has RSD from a work-related accident. He has been on WC for many years, been declared permanent and stationary and is now receiving long term disability but has not settled. The lawyer is working on it slowly. As we understand it, he gets a percentage of the total award, both indemnity and medical. The checks my husband receives now are depleting the ultimate indemnity award. What happens if it takes so long that the indemnity is so low that there is not enough to pay the lawyer? I don't think they can take it out of the medicare set-aside. Do we have to come up with cash!?!!!

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Old 08-31-2008, 07:13 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: How does lawyer get paid?

Hello....Sorry to hear about your husband.

Since it's a work related injury, the company may pay for the lawyer. It's usually in their best interests, financially. For example, when I had to go on disability, I had LTD through my employer. The process was easy and I sailed right through. However, the company has a policy that you also have to apply for Soc Sec Disability....You can either do it yourself, hire your own lawyer, or they provide one free of charge. They really encouraged me to use theirs because they have contracts with some of the best....Any $ you win from SS is deducted from the amt paid on the LTD. As far as payment, yes they typically get a % of your award....Paid by whoever officially hires them...You or the company.

I'm pretty sure WC works the same way.

Good luck.


Old 08-31-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: California
Posts: 369
Sunnycal HB User
Re: How does lawyer get paid?

My husband applied for and got SSD (since the company told him to apply, as you said) before we even hired the lawyer, so nothing was deducted from it. I know we have to pay 15% of the total WC award to the lawyer, but I am just wondering if by the time we actually get any money, the indemnity portion is so low that it doesn't cover his fee. Unfortunately the indemnity amount is determined by a formula and has been decreasing ever since he was declared P&S, since his biweekly payments come out of it. They wouldn't take it out of the medical portion, I would think.

Last edited by Sunnycal; 08-31-2008 at 07:54 PM.

Old 09-01-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: California
Posts: 369
Sunnycal HB User
Re: How does lawyer get paid?

Actually, I guess I am not sure if we have to pay 15% of the total settlement, including medical, or 15% of the indemnity award, which is a lot less. That would sure make a difference.

Old 09-02-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Florida
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Re: How does lawyer get paid?

Your lawyer works for you. Don't be afraid to ask financial questions, including questions/concerns about his fee. You won't shock or upset or bug him - they get questions like that all the time.

I don't know if you've seen this State of Cali Worker's Comp website yet, you probably have, but here's the link just in case: [url][/url]

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