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  1. #1
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    Sep 2016
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    Default Attorney Fees

    Are attorney’s suppose to take 20% of medical bills payed in addition to 20% of the award amount? I won my workers comp trial and the commission appeal. The payment received was more than I was awarded by the arbitrator for my injury because it also included my doctors surgery fee. My lawyer is taking 20% of the total. I thought they were just allowed to take 20% of the award, not medical bills.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
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    4,979

    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Quote Quoting Reg View Post
    Are attorney’s suppose to take 20% of medical bills payed in addition to 20% of the award amount? I won my workers comp trial and the commission appeal. The payment received was more than I was awarded by the arbitrator for my injury because it also included my doctors surgery fee. My lawyer is taking 20% of the total. I thought they were just allowed to take 20% of the award, not medical bills.
    They're not suppose to pay you directly for medical, that money should've went to the doctor.
    I see you're on SSDI, if they paid the bill you will have to pay them back.
    If this was a final settlement, you should've set up a Medicare Set Aside - This whole thing makes little sense, too many unknowns to comment further.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2016
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    I wasn’t on SSDI when my hand injury occurred 8 years ago. I am on SSDI now but you can’t have a Medicare set aside when you go to trial and receive an award instead of a settlement. You can only have workers comp open medical ordered by the judge.
    My doctor charged his $8700 surgery fee to workers comp which they fought for 8 years. I thought the workers comp would pay the doctor instead of adding it to my award causing me to lose $1740 in lawyer fees in addition to the 20% my lawyer got of my injury award.

  4. #4
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    Oct 1971
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    4,979

    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Better get a hold of your lawyer and ask what the deal is, none of this sounds right to me.
    Be careful with that money they gave you for medical, it'll catch up with you if you don't pay that doctor.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2016
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    The money for the doctor is being deducted from my check by my lawyer before I receive it so he can pay the doctor. He also deducted cost for the deposition, court reporters and medical records etc. That I expected, it’s the extra 20% I paid out of my award for the doctor’s bill that bothers me.
    I was also suppose to get 1.89% interest after the 9 month appeal that I didn’t receive and he told me it would take years of litigation to get it. I talked to him today and we go around in circles, very frustrating. I thought a judge was suppose to look all this over to make sure I’m not getting screwed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Your lawyer, not the judge, is supposed to make sure you don't get screwed. That is your lawyer's job. Getting interest probably requires a motion to be filed, and possibly a hearing, and insurance companies tend to appeal everything, because they can, so it might take many months to get your interest.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  7. #7
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    Sep 2016
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    The interest was imposed by the arbitrator if they appeal. The commissioners appeal board confirmed that it was suppose to be paid. I thought that was an order, not an option. I guess your right though because my lawyer says they will fight it.
    I know in Illinois a judge has to approve a settlement so it may be different with an award.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Reg, your explanation of the award makes no sense to me either. If you have open medicals, then the money to pay the workers' comp doctor should have been directed to the medical provider by the carrier, not to you or your lawyer. Now, if you owed money to a non-approved doctor, that may be the explanation. And if you have open medical, there is no logical basis for a Medicare set aside, so that would not be in the discussion.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    12

    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    That’s my point about the medical cost being added to my award instead of going directly to my doctor. My lawyer taking an additional 20% of of the doctors cost out of my original injury award seems like I got ripped off. If the payment went directly to the doctor would my lawyer still get 20% of it since he recovered the cost?
    In Illinois I can go to my own doctor, the doctor doesn’t have to be approved. My doctor did bill the surgery to workers comp which they denied. My hand injury was a causation injury that workers comp hates. It was after I won the trial and the commission appeal that workers comp was ordered to pay my medical bills and gave me future open medical.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
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    4,979

    Default Re: Attorney Fees

    Reg
    That’s my point about the medical cost being added to my award instead of going directly to my doctor. My lawyer taking an additional 20% of of the doctors cost out of my original injury award seems like I got ripped off.
    Maybe, it depends on the language in the retainer.
    Some lawyers do base their fees on the total amount of the award - they claim they're entitled to a percentage of benefits obtained on your behalf in litigation so they base their fee on the total award, including medical.
    Call your lawyer and have him explain things, if there's an error I'm sure he'll correct it.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

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