A detailed explanation is below, but the bottom line is workers’ comp attorneys fees are significantly lower than general injury cases.  An injury lawyer usually gets 33-40% of the recovery.  However, a workers’ comp lawyer usually gets nothing on the part making up for lost wages, and gets 20% on the permanency part. This makes comp lawyers, generally speaking, a relative bargain.  It is lower fees than other lawyers, but most workers’ comp lawyers try to do higher volume of business to make up for it.  The detailed analysis is below.



When the Claimant retains an attorney to assist with a workers’ compensation case, the attorney is not allowed, by statute, to collect any fee for legal services at the beginning of the case.  The Maryland legislature has set forth strict guidelines that must be followed when the WCC determines how much an attorney is entitled to for their representation of the Claimant.

When the WCC orders that the Claimant is entitled to compensation based on permanent partial disability, the Claimant will receive a weekly award.  For these cases, an attorney is only entitled up to 20% of the amount due for the first 75 weeks of an award of compensation awarded, up to 15% of the amount due for the next 120 weeks of an award, and up to 10% of the amount due in excess of 195 weeks.   For cases involving amputation or loss of vision, an attorney is only entitled to a fee up to 5% of the compensation awarded, but the compensation cannot be greater than six times the state average weekly wage (SAWW) for the year the injury occurred.

When the WCC orders that the Claimant is entitled to compensation based on permanent total disability, the WCC may approve attorneys’ fees in an amount not exceeding twenty times the SAWW for the year the injury occurred. However, in cases where the insurer does not contest that the Claimant is entitled to compensation for permanent total disability and (1) the Claimant is being compensated due to loss of two or more body parts, (2) or there is a stipulation made between the Claimant and insurer, the WCC may approve attorneys’ fees in an amount not exceeding thirteen times the SAWW for the year the injury occurred.

Attorneys are not entitled to collect fees for cases involving temporary total disability or temporary partial disability unless the Claimant’s right to compensation is contested.  If the Claimant’s right to compensation is contested, the attorney is entitled to up to 10% of the compensation accrued as of the date of the award.  The attorney is not entitled to further fees based on temporary total disability or temporary partial disability after the WCC has determined that the Claimant has a right to compensation.

In cases where the Claimant and the insurer reach a settlement for compensation, an attorney is entitled to attorneys’ fees based on the amount of the settlement.  For a settlement amount that is less than or equal to fourteen times the SAWW, the attorney is entitled to 20% of the settlement amount.  For a settlement amount that is greater than fourteen times the SAWW, but less than thirty-five times the SAWW, the attorney is entitled to 20% of fourteen times the SAWW, plus 15% of the difference between the settlement amount and fourteen times the SAWW.  For a settlement amount that is greater than thirty-five times the SAWW, the attorney is entitled to 20% of fourteen times the SAWW, plus 15% of twenty-one times the SAWW, plus 10% of the difference between the settlement amount and thirty-five times the SAWW.  Any attorneys’ fees awarded in a case involving a settlement agreement cannot exceed twenty times the SAWW.

When an attorneys’ fee is calculated, the attorney may not include as part of the settlement amount any amounts paid or payable for medical services, prescription drugs, or future medical services.

In cases where an attorney requests that the WCC reopens a case based on a worsening of condition, the attorney is entitled to an amount not exceeding the difference between the fee approved for all prior awards and the fee computed under the standards for a permanent partial disability case.

In cases where an appeal is filed with the Circuit Court, an attorney is entitled to additional attorneys’ fees up to 5% of the final award of compensation, but not exceeding six times the SAWW for the year the injury occurred.  When the decision of the Circuit Court is appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, and the attorney prepares and files appellate briefs, the attorney is entitled to an additional 5% of the final award of compensation, but not exceeding six times the SAWW for the year the injury occurred.  When the appeal to the Circuit Court is not tried or when the decision of the Circuit Court is appealed to the Court of Special Appeals, but the attorney does not prepare and file appellate briefs, the attorney is entitled to an additional 2.5% of the final award of compensation, but not exceeding three times the SAWW for the year the injury occurred.

Read more about Maryland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers here or via the homepage.  Hire a lawyer that only gets paid if you get workers’ compensation.

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