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(820 ILCS 310/16a) (from Ch. 48, par. 172.51a)
Sec. 16a. (A) In the establishment or approval of attorney's fees in relation to claims brought under this Act, the Commission shall be guided by the provisions of this Section and by the legislative intent, hereby declared, to encourage settlement and prompt administrative handling of such claims and thereby reduce expenses to claimants for compensation under this Act.
(B) With respect to any and all proceedings in connection with any initial or original claim under this Act, no claim of any attorney for services rendered in connection with the securing of compensation for an employee or his dependents, whether secured by agreement, order, award or a judgment in any court shall exceed 20% of the amount of compensation recovered and paid, unless further fees shall be allowed to the attorney upon a hearing by the Commission fixing fees and subject to the other provisions of this Section. However, except as hereinafter provided in this Section, in death cases, total disability cases and partial disability cases, the amount of an attorney's fees shall not exceed 20% of the sum which would be due under the Workers' Compensation Act for 364 weeks of permanent total disability based upon the employee's average gross weekly wage prior to the date of the accident and subject to the maximum weekly benefits provided in this Act unless further fees shall be allowed to the attorney upon a hearing by the Commission fixing fees.
(C) All attorneys' fees in connection with the initial or original claim for compensation shall be fixed pursuant to a written contract on forms prescribed by the Commission between the attorney and the employee or his dependents, and every attorney, whether the disposition of the original claim is by agreement, settlement, award, judgment or otherwise, shall file his contract with the Chairman of the Commission who shall approve the contract only if it is in accordance with all provisions of this Section.
(D) No attorneys' fees shall be charged with respect to compensation for undisputed medical expenses.
(E) No attorneys' fees shall be charged in connection with any temporary total disability compensation unless the payment of such compensation in a timely manner or in the proper amount is refused, or unless such compensation is terminated by the employer and the payment of such compensation is obtained or reinstated by the efforts of the attorney, whether by agreement, settlement, award or judgment.
(F) With regard to any claim where the amount to be paid for compensation does not exceed the written offer made to the claimant or claimants by the employer or his agent prior to representation by an attorney, no fees shall be paid to any such attorney.
(G) All attorneys' fees for representation of an employee or his dependents shall be only recoverable from compensation actually paid to such employee or dependents.
(H) Any and all disputes regarding attorneys' fees, whether such disputes relate to which one or more attorneys represents the claimant or claimants or is entitled to the attorneys' fees, or a division of attorneys' fees where the claimant or claimants are or have been represented by more than one attorney, or any other disputes concerning attorneys' fees or contracts for attorneys' fees, shall be heard and determined by the Commission after reasonable notice to all interested parties and attorneys.
(I) After reasonable notice and hearing before the Commission, any attorney found to be in violation of any provision of this Section shall be required to make restitution of any excess fees charged, plus interest at a reasonable rate as determined by the Commission.
(Source: P.A. 81-1482.)