Do I need a lawyer to get workers compensation benefits?
No, you don’t need to hire a lawyer to help you with your workers compensation claim. Many claimants successfully represent themselves before the Labor Commission without a lawyer.
But, sometimes insurance companies refuse to pay benefits for certain injuries or illnesses. Having a lawyer help you through the process may be beneficial.
You can get a lawyer at any time, even if you have started your claim without one.
When you talk to lawyers about representing you, you should ask about their experience handling workers compensation cases like yours. Ask about any expenses and fees that you might have to pay.
Who pays for the lawyer?
Some lawyers will charge you an hourly rate (for example, $200/hour) but most will charge a “contingency fee.” A contingency fee is a percentage of whatever benefits you win, and is typically 33%. For example, if you win $10,000 and your lawyer charges you a 33% contingency fee, you would take $6,700 and your lawyer would get $3,300. If you win nothing, your lawyer would also get nothing. You may, however, still owe your lawyer for certain out-of-pocket expenses even if you lose your case.
You will need to work out the amounts and conditions for attorney’s fees with you lawyer. Be sure that any agreement you reach is in writing and that both you and your lawyer sign it. Also be sure that you understand exactly what you are agreeing to pay your lawyer, and what out-of-pocket expenses you will be responsible for.
Will the Labor Commission provide me with a lawyer or an ombudsman to help me with my claim?
Before you file your claim, Labor Commission employees can help you in resolving disputes that you may have with insurance carriers regarding workers compensation benefits. Labor Commission staff can also provide you with information, dispute resolution and mediation to try and resolve workers compensation disputes and return the injured worker as quickly as possible back to the workplace.
Once you file your claim, Adjudication staff can still help walk you through the hearing process but they cannot represent you or give you any legal advice.
We welcome your questions or comments
Utah Labor Commission
160 East 300 South, 3rd Floor
PO Box 146615
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6615
Monday - Friday 8:00 - 5:00
St George Office
1173 South 250 West, Suite 304
St George, Utah 84770
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Monday - Friday 8:00 - 5:00