No workers’ compensation case happens without incurring some costs. While people know that they’ll have attorneys fees after the case is won, there are a few costs that come up along the way. Often people don’t realize that fees don’t fit in with their attorney’s fees.
Whenever you are planning on hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Alexandria, VA, you should consider all aspects of the costs. Not only will you need to agree to a contingency fee arrangement for the legal services you receive. You will have other costs as well.
These costs are never under the standard agreement that you sign with your attorney. In fact, you may not know about them until you see the statement of what your compensation payment paid. You should always ask your attorney to be upfront about fees and to let you know when they’re filing something that will incur costs.
Filing fees are fees that apply to your case when filing a lawsuit or claim. The initial claim form that you submit to your employer o the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission is free. You can even handle it online at WebFile. However, when you file an appeal, which is when most people involve an attorney, it is not free.
To file an initial notice of appeal, you must pay a fee of $35 as a certification of record. The board will waive that fee if you file a motion to waive. However, that’s not the only fee you’ll have with an appeal. The Court of Appeals demands a $500 bond be paid with the appeal as well. This bond will go right back to you when you close out the case, the record is with the Commission, and any other costs have been paid. These other costs can include liens for medical bills and child support.
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Fess for Access to Documents
You may need certain documents to back up your claim. The documents that people pay for most often are official medical histories. If the company’s insurance claims that you had a preexisting condition or issue which led to your current health problem, you will need to show otherwise.
For example, if you were in a car accident and sustained a shoulder injury, that is not relevant to the knee injury, you’re making a claim for now. Too often, insurance companies will intimidate workers into finding out if they will let the case go because they’re afraid to go to court. Don’t be afraid to appeal your case. Access your medical history and allow an attorney to explain the various parts of your history that do need explaining.
Paying for Independent Medical Exams
When you initially see a doctor, you have to see someone on your workers’ compensation insurance’s medical network. Usually, you’ll have a choice of between three and six doctors. Employees don’t know anything about these doctors, and it’s similar to picking a name out of a hat.
Then maybe you realized you needed a second opinion, and you had to see another doctor on the medical network with the insurance company. All of these doctors are on that insurance companies payroll in essence. So, attorneys will often encourage an independent medical exam to see if a different doctor says the same thing.
These medical exams don’t fall under the scope of insurance and will be part of your expenses with this case.
Deposits and Other Expenses
If your appeals require the depositions of witnesses or expert testimony, there will be a charge for this. That means paying for the act of taking the deposition and that time for the mediator. Other expenses that you might not expect can include postage and expenses for copying pages of documents. Additionally, you might need to pay for your attorney’s travel expenses, which aren’t included in their fees sometimes. Be sure to hire a local attorney.
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Always Get Legal Help for Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Contacting the law offices of Ashcraft & Gerel can make a difference in the outcome of your claim. Workers’ compensation claims are challenging, and often you have a large insurance company with a strong legal team saying that you’re wrong. Or, that you don’t actually deserve that level of compensation.
Don’t worry about fighting with an insurance company. Begin your appeals and that have an attorney help you through the process. A workers’ compensation attorney from Alexandria, VA, can explain what fees are necessary and how they will come out of your final compensation.
Schedule a consultation with Ashcraft & Gerel now to understand more about your claim.