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How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost in Oregon?

How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost in Oregon?

After the trauma of an accident, it’s natural to feel hesitant about making contact with and hiring a workers’ compensation attorney. You may be wondering, “Do I really need legal representation if I wasn’t injured?” “My insurance company will take care of everything for me, right?” and “Aren’t workers’ compensation attorneys expensive?”

You should employ a workers’ compensation attorney for a variety of reasons, regardless of whether or not you were hurt in the collision. An accomplished workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the legal process and explain your options.

Contingency Fee

Attorneys that specialize in workers’ compensation cases usually accept cases on a contingency fee basis. A workers’ compensation attorney only gets paid if they win your case and obtain you money for your injuries. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, hiring an attorney can help you get a higher settlement offer and won’t leave you unable to pay for necessary medical care or other damages caused by the incident.

Plaintiffs in workers’ compensation cases typically have two options: either pay attorney fees directly for representation or agree to a contingency fee arrangement under which the attorney receives a percentage of any money recovered, as there is no statutory entitlement to recover attorneys’ fees for workers’ compensation cases other than small tort claims where the amount pleaded is less than ten thousand dollars (see ORS 20.080).

How Attorneys Get Paid

There are three common ways for attorneys to get paid: (i) a fixed fee, (ii) an hourly charge, or (iii) a contingency fee. According to Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) ORS 20.340, the attorney must provide a written explanation of their fees to clients. An attorney's duties under a contingency fee agreement are regulated by statute in the state of Oregon. You should read the agreement carefully and consult an attorney if you have any questions about its meaning. The ORS 20.340 makes clear that after twenty-four hours of signing a contingency fee agreement for a workers’ compensation case, the client has the right to revoke his or her assent and the agreement will be null and void. If you wish to terminate the contingency fee arrangement, you must do so in writing and send it to the attorney. The attorney may still charge you for the time they spent on your case even if you opt to terminate the contingency fee arrangement in certain circumstances.

Attorneys that specialize in workers’ compensation lawsuits typically charge clients only if they get compensation for their injuries. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney under a contingency fee arrangement is provided at no cost to the client. In many cases, the client will pay the attorney a certain portion of the final settlement amount. Attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis invest their own resources into a case and count on getting paid back by the losing party if they are successful. If you don’t prevail in your workers’ compensation lawsuit, you’ll have to pay your attorney back for the time and resources they spent on your behalf. You and your attorney or law company could lose thousands of dollars in expenses if the case is unsuccessful. Workers’ compensation attorneys often charge a contingency fee of 33% of your settlement or award. The longer a case goes on, the more likely it is that the plaintiff will lose, and the higher the attorneys’ fees will be as a result.

When an employee is involved in a car/truck accident (also known as work auto accident), it can involve any mode of transportation other than an automobile, such as a train, plane, boat, or bicycle. There were 41,010 transportation-related accidents in 2020, or 3.5% of the total. Therefore, it is advisable to hire a workers’ compensation attorney to deal with such cases. Having a workers’ compensation attorney present during the settlement negotiating process has been shown in multiple academic studies to increase the likelihood of a favorable settlement being reached.

As per the findings of a research by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), “Auto Injuries: Claims Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs“ examined how having legal counsel affects insurance settlement amounts. The IRC reports that 85% of bodily injury insurance settlements are awarded to clients who are represented by a workers’ compensation attorney.

The influence of legal representation on insurance settlement payouts was the subject of a second IRC report titled “Auto Injuries: Claims Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs“ According to the IRC, eighty-five percent of all bodily injury insurance payouts go to clients who are represented by personal injury attorneys.

Further, in the IRC’s study titled “Auto Injury Insurance Claims: Countrywide Patterns in Treatment, Cost and Compensation“, twelve different private auto insurance companies provided data on more than thirty-five thousand claims for injuries. The study stated that the involvement of a personal injury attorney has an effect on the amount paid by insurance companies for claimants’ medical bills.

The All-Industry Research Advisory Council (AIRAC) published a report titled “Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims“, which indicated that accident victims who hired an attorney were compensated at a rate of $1.59 for every dollar of economic loss, as opposed to the unrepresented claimants’ rate of $1.26.

It should now be clear to you that hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you after an accident is a financially savvy move, based on the fee models and the way in which workers’ compensation attorneys charge fees discussed above, as well as the findings of the research studies and reports mentioned above.

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