Long term disability attorney fees are the number one reason why some people avoid getting legal help. It is natural to be afraid of the costs of litigation, especially if do not know how much money you are getting at the end. Rest assured, you won’t be ending up with a negative number when you get your benefits and pay your lawyer.
The amount you pay depends on the type of litigation and how complicated it is. For LTD, most lawyers operate on a contingency basis. This means that if you win, you give them a share of your proceeds. If you lose, you are not obligated to pay anything. But there’s more to this.
It is unavoidable for your lawyer to incur expenses while processing documents. These expenses are usually reimbursed after the end of the case. If it is stated in your agreement that you pay other fees despite losing the trial, you will be required to pay the expenses as reimbursement. Although, attorney fees for long term disability in the form of a percentage of your proceeds won’t be included.
It might be good to know as well that disability attorney fees are tax deductible. They are a form of income, so you can think that no matter how much they receive from you, this amount will still be lessened with income tax. The next time your lawyer asks you to increase the percentage of the share, take this fact into consideration.
How much does a disability attorney cost on average?
In a contingency plan, you can expect two types of fees. First, the standard rate for the attorney’s services or his share of your proceeds. And second, all fees incurred for the administrative appeal in the insurance company, the district litigation and appellate courts. To explain it further, look at the following:
- The Past-Due Benefits Percentage
This serves as the main attorney fees for disability, deducted or calculated from the benefits you are entitled to from the agreed date in which you should have been receiving disability compensation up to the present. The amount does not usually go upwards $6000 for one client, which belongs within the range of 25-40% of the total benefit amount. However, your lawyer can request for higher compensation by submitting an appeal to Social Security.
- All other fees
This part is the most controversial one, because most people do not expect to pay past expenses. However, it is legally binding that a client pay for all expenses, no matter how minor, if they were for the benefit of the case. This can include:
- Fees for obtaining documents and records
*Filing and submission fees
*Copying and documentation costs
*Long-distance phone calls or faxes
Always make it a habit to read documents before signing them. See that you agree with the fee structure in the document and refuse to pay unnecessary costs like overhead. Once your case has ended, request for an itemized list of payables with receipts, if possible. Go through everything and confirm if there are expenses you think are unrelated.
- Fees for obtaining documents and records
What should I do if I think my disability lawyer fees are too high?
It would be good to discuss this with your lawyer. This usually happens when you agree on a percentage at the start of the agreement and then you find out that the sum you are receiving is substantial. Thus, you lawyer also gets thousands of dollars for working on a case for only a few hours. You have a written agreement, so negotiating can be slim. However, try to discuss your concern and why you want to lower it down.
In order to avoid this type of situation, always be attentive during your fee structure discussion. 25% might sound like a small number, but if you are dealing with thousands of dollars, it will amount to a higher value. You can do your own computation of your proceeds and determine the sum. After which, similar how much your lawyer will get. By doing this, you can get an idea on how much you are willing to give and the suitable percentage you desire.
Can I hope for my LTD Insurance Provider to pay for my private disability attorney?
It is not impossible. There is a law that insurance providers may be liable to the other party’s legal fees. However, this is an award under the sole discretion of the judge. If the judge does not specifically mandate that your carrier should cover your disability benefits attorney’s fees, or no written order is present, your carrier can refuse to pay anything.
You don’t actually need to be the winning party in order for the judge to decide that your carrier should handle the costs. Most of the time, you just need to prove that you are entitled or you deserve it. Some of the factors they consider in deciding are:
- The opposing party acted in bad faith.
- The opposing party is capable of paying the attorney fees without entering into financial hardship.
- The payment of the fee can be a deterrent to others engaging in similar conduct.
- The requesting party also applied benefits for other policy holders.
- The merit of the both parties’ positions.