In workers’ compensation cases throughout the state, including Jacksonville, a 2003 state law greatly reduced the amount of fees awarded to attorneys for injured workers when winning claims. Because of this law, many attorneys stopped handling workers compensation cases as they were no longer profitable. As a result, employers gained a significant legal advantage as injured employees whose claims were denied were left without legal advocates.
The Legislature passed the restrictions in a supposed attempt to limit the costs of employers’ workers compensation insurance. However, while limiting the fees recoverable by attorneys’ representing injured employers, the Legislature made no effort to limit the fees that employers paid their own attorneys. The resulting unfairness often pitted unrepresented injured workers against well paid insurance defense lawyers.
In a widely anticipated Florida Supreme Court ruling, these restrictions were eliminated. With the Supreme Court’s decision, the law governing the award of attorneys’ fees returns to its pre-2003 state, requiring the employer to pay a “reasonable” fee when it wrongly denies an employee’s workers’ compensation claim.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, please contact me Greg Lawrence, at my Jacksonville, Florida, law firm, The Lawrence Law Firm P.A., for a free consultation. If I accept your case, you will pay nothing unless I make a recovery for you.