“all fees awarded by the compensation commission.” In other words, we are routinely awarded fees of 20% in cases where we are successful or settle. We are not awarded fees by the comp judges in cases we do not win. Win, lose or draw, we ask our clients to reimburse for money we have spent on their behalf for medical reports, depositions, exhibits, subpoenas, etc., and such repayment usually comes out of the settlement, Award or other payment to our clients. At Abrams Landau, we understand that our clients are injured, out of work and not able to bear the costs of litigation prior to receiving a workers compensation Award. The fees awarded Doug Landau in Virginia Workers Compensation claims are typically lower than those awarded by the courts and judges in Social Security Disability cases (25%) or even car crash, sports injury and other negligence cases (usually 33-40%). The costs in comp claim are also much lower than in similar negligence cases because the medical expert witnesses do not need to come to court to testify.
Chief Deputy Commissioner Link, writing for the Full Commission, wrote in the case of Hughes vs. Allen:
“The Commission has given its approval to a twenty percent fee as a benchmark or guideline for deputy commissioners to follow in awarding fees when cases are compromised [settled]…We concur that the settlement was in the best interest of the claimant and [counsel] is awarded a total attorney fee of $20,0000.00 [from a $100,000.00 settlement].”
Remember: The Virginia Workers Compensation Commission, like the D.C. Office of Workers Compensation, approves all settlements, attorney fees and cost reimbursements. This is an additional protection for the injured workers Doug Landau helps every single day.