Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How Do I Pay For An Attorney If I Don't Have Any Money?

This is one of the shorter sections I will discuss in my blogs because the law is very simple. First, it is ILLEGAL and UNETHICAL for an attorney to request a retainer to represent you in a Minnesota Workers Compensation matter! Do the attorney’s work for free? No, each and every attorney who you may call will charge the same amount as required by Minnesota Statute. You can “shop around” in an attempt to find a bargain, but you won’t find one. Unlike a personal injury attorney who may vary their fee and often charges 33% to 40% of your recovered damages, the fees for workers compensation attorneys are far less and more uniform.

Attorney fees are simply deducted directly from money benefits paid to the injured worker on a “contingency” basis using a state-imposed formula of 25% of the first $4,000 recovered and 20% of the next $60,000. The maximum fee is usually $13,000. Attorney’s fees on medical or vocational disputes are NEVER paid by the injured worker. Minnesota law requires the employer and insurer to pay the attorney directly when there is a dispute regarding medical benefits or vocational rehabilitation.

Under this system you will NEVER pay a retainer or send a check to your attorney as the result of representing you in a workers’ compensation case. The attorney will simply file a request for release of attorney fees at some point AFTER he/she obtains benefits on your behalf. The fees will then be released by the insurer to the attorney directly after he/she files a Statement of Attorney Fees and compensation judge Orders said release and payment. There is no bait and switch as every injured attorney is paid in the same manner.

At Minnesota Disability and Atkinson Law Offices you will be retaining an attorney who has limited his practice to workers compensation and injured worker disputes for nearly two decades. If you shop around, look for an attorney who has at least a decade of significant workers compensation experience to assist you AND will provide personal attention to your matter! Call attorney Tom Atkinson directly at 651-324-9514 or email him at