Legal Attorney

Attorney Compensation Guidelines

Published at 04/05/2012 19:24:31


A compensation attorney works with workers who suffer any physical or psychological trauma while at work and are eligible for medical benefits from his/her employer. Handling the legal side of the matter and ensuring that the worker is not kept out of his rightful share is the job of the compensation attorney. Such help does not come for free and the attorney in turn has to be compensated for his work. Attorney compensation may take several different forms depending on the type of law firm.


Attorney compensation depends on a number of factors which including the amount of time spent on the case; the judgment on the case and the difficulty of the claim to be settled. The attorney compensation is also based on the experience of the lawyer and how prominent he/she might be in the field. The costs associated with the handling, working and closure of the case also has an impact on attorney compensation and may drive up the costs the longer it takes to settle the claim.
There are multiple standard payment options that can be used for attorney compensation which are based on what the lawyer may offer his/her clients. The most prominent of these is contingency fees, flat fees, retainers and hourly rates. Depending on your lawyer you will be asked to pay via one of these attorney compensation methods. Now what do each of these means and what are they based on?


A contingency fee is an attorney compensation method that relies on the end result of a case. Whatever amount the plaintiff/worker wins in the case, a part of it is shared with the lawyer. This percentage is set before the case is initiated through the mutual consent of both the lawyer and the client. In case of an adverse decision on the case i.e. No compensation is awarded to the worker, the client is not usually liable to pay any fees since he/she has not won anything.
Another attorney compensation method is an hourly fee rate that is used by a majority of lawyers in any field. Depending on the hours spent on the case including meetings with a client a fixed hourly rate is charged which varies from lawyer to lawyer. The rate will depend on the prominence of the lawyer with the more experienced ones charging higher rates as compared to newer entrants.

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A flat fee attorney compensation method involves setting a fixed amount of fee to be paid by the client regardless of the end result of the case. Win or lose the client has to pay that set the price for the lawyer. Lawyers may charge a set fee for all clients whose cases are of a given nature or the fee might be negotiable depending on what the lawyer offers.
The retainer is yet another type of attorney compensation in which a part of the fee is paid to the lawyer before any legal action is taken by him/her. This is done by arrangement between the lawyer and client.
While this list is not exhaustive these remain the most prominent methods. Lawyers may combine two or more of these methods.