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Compliance Corner: What Goes in a Ga. Attorney Fees Contract?

25 Oct, 2023 Frank Ferreri

georgia g75bb98aed 640
                               

Atlanta, GA (WorkersCompensation.com) -- In Georgia, an attorney's fee cannot exceed 400 weeks of income benefits and may be terminated or suspended sooner as provided by law or at the Board's discretion. The Board may, in its discretion, approve an attorney’s fee for a period of greater than 400 weeks so long as the attorney fee is not in excess of 25 percent of the claimant’s weekly benefits.

According to state law in Georgia, here are requirements surrounding attorney's fee agreements.

(1) Immediately upon being employed by an employee or claimant in a matter which is before the Board, the attorney shall file a contract of employment and fees with the Board. No contract shall be filed with the Board which provides for a fee greater than 25 percent of the recovery of weekly benefits. Any contract with these terms, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, shall be deemed to represent the reasonable fee of the attorney.

(2) No party or any party’s attorney shall enter into a loan or assignment with a third-party creditor which requires repayment from the proceeds of a workers’ compensation claim. A third-party creditor shall not include a medical provider who has provided reasonable and necessary medical services to the employee pursuant to the fee schedule.

(3) The contract shall be dated and shall be signed by both the attorney and the client.

(4) The contract should include the following legible information:
+ Name of attorney
+ Bar number
+ Firm name
+ Address
+ Phone number
+ Fax number
+Email address
+ Board claim number

If the Board claim number is not known, this contract shall include the employee’s first name, last name, and date of injury. All contracts should include the employee’s name and address.

(5) The contract should include the following statement:

This contract is subject to the approval of the State Board of Workers' Compensation, and no fee of more than $100.00 shall be paid under the contract unless approved by the Board. No contract shall be filed with the Board which provides for a fee greater than 25 percent of the recovery of weekly benefits. Any contract with these terms, absent compelling evidence to the contrary, shall be deemed to represent the reasonable fee of the attorney. No party or any party’s attorney shall enter into a loan or assignment with a third-party creditor which requires repayment from the proceeds of a workers’ compensation claim. A third-party creditor shall not include a medical provider who has provided reasonable and necessary medical services to the employee pursuant to the fee schedule.

An attorney who requests approval of her fee contract when there is no pending litigation shall file with the Board Form WC-108a. When an attorney requests approval of her fee contract after a hearing notice has been issued and after the dispute has been resolved, that attorney shall file Form WC-108a with the Administrative Law Judge who issued the hearing notice.


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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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