Attorney Fees and Costs Explained

L&I Attorney Fees, Case Costs, and Referrals

Attorney Fees

Attorney fees are an important consideration when looking for legal help. Let’s talk about that now.

Do I Want an Attorney? What’s It Going to Cost Me?

These are important questions. Answer them by looking at the facts of your L&I claim. Look also at the medical and vocational opinions in your claim file. Think about how much money is at stake and whether you can afford to lose it.  How much experience do you have with L&I claims? Do you understand the law? Do you have the evidence you need to prove your case and make it a winner? Is your case good enough that a lawyer will take it?

Not sure? Call us for a free consultation and strategy session.  206-343-1988.

Can I Afford an Attorney? Contingent Legal Fees Explained

L&I attorney fees at our law firm and most workers compensation firms are based on a contingent fee agreement. Contingent legal fees means we only get paid if we get you money.

Lawyers offer to handle an L&I claim on a contingent basis only when they believe in the case and the client. At the Sharpe Law Firm, we only take cases we believe in.

Contingent legal fees mean that no recovery results in no attorney fees.  If there is money for you then attorney fees are a percentage of the money the attorney recovers for you.  If you are offered a contingent fee agreement it will be in writing, read it.  No matter how much you trust your new lawyer be sure to carefully read any fee agreement put in front of you.  Ask questions.  Know what the deal is. It’s the smart thing to do.

For more informaiton see: Contingent Legal Fee Agreement

Limits on Attorney Fees

There are legal limits on attorney fees in L&I cases.  Attorney fees either before L&I or at the Board of Industrial Insurane Appeals are limited in three ways; by statute, by reasonableness, and by best practices.

  • By statute L&I attorney fees are limited to 30% of the increase in award secured by attorney services. RCW 51.52.120
  • Reasonableness. Pursuant to the statute and the Washington State Bar Association, attorney fees must be reasonable.
  • Best Practices. Attorney’s informally set additional limits on their own fees based on what they believe is fair.  For example for time loss benefits secured by attorney services, 30% of past due time loss  and 15% of ongoing time loss is considered fair by most attorneys. However, 30% of ongoing time loss is probably not fair in most cases.  Have a discussion with your attorney.  If your current attorney or the attorney you are thinking of hiring charges you too much, say something.

Case Costs

Case costs are different than attorney fees. Case costs are expenses incurred in the handling of your case. For example, an injury case needs medical records.  We order your medical records, we review the records, and we use these records as part of your case; we do not charge for that.  The doctor however charges for a copy of the records, that charge is a case cost. The client is responsible to eventually pay this case cost.

Some lawyers want clients to pay costs in advance, some want costs paid as the case proceeds, and some  will advance costs until the end of the case when money is awarded. At the Sharpe Law Firm, we are successful recovering money for the client in almost every case. If we advance costs for our clients, we are repaid  out of the money we make L&I pay you.

If you hire a lawyer, the fee agreement presented to you will provide the specifics about attorney fees and case costs. Read it with care. Ask questions. Know your rights.

Information and Referrals

Information for free.  This information on this website is provided as a free service, so you can make informed choices about your L&I claim. If you contact us, we will do our best to answer your initial phone or e-mail quesions about yourinjury claims, at no charge to you.

Referrals. Christopher Sharpe is the “of counsel” attorney at the Walthew Law Firm. He often refers clients needing active L&I legal assistance to the partners and associates at the Walthew Law Firm.

What’s Next?

L&I Attorney Fees, Case Costs, and Referrals
Who is the Sharpe Law Firm?
Top 13 Things to Think About Before Hiring an L&I Attorney

Want to Contact Us:

Call for information or a free strategy session – 206-343-1988

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