What does it mean when my workers’ compensation lawyer files a lien on my case?

If you read your workers’ comp lawyer’s fee contract carefully, there’s probably a provision in there about what happens if you fire your attorney. Usually, the attorney will file a WC-108b with attached documentation outlining the number of hours spent on your claim and the administrative expenses incurred. The fee contract should lay out an hourly fee in case of termination, and this fee will be reflected in the total requested on the WC-108b lien (after multiplied by hours spent).

The questions I most frequently get when this happens are,
“Do I owe this money?” and, if so,

The answer is, “It depends.”

You cannot give an attorney more than 25% of your TTD, TPD, PPD, or stipulated settlement amount; that’s the most the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act allows an attorney to receive for representing an injured worker.  Thus, if you get a new attorney, you’re not going to owe 25% to one and the lien amount to the other.

Regarding timing: you don’t owe the total lien amount immediately after termination.
Instead, it’s to be paid when/if the case is settled by stipulated settlement.  The amount may be negotiable.  If you’re already receiving your full Temporary Total Disability weekly benefits (i.e., 25% isn’t going to an attorney), and the case never settles, you may not have to pay the lien at all.

Have more questions about attorney’s fees in Georgia?  Feel free to call us:

Moebes Law, LLC
3535 Piedmont Road NE
Building 14, Suite 410
Atlanta, GA 30305

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