Rather than charge by the hour, Nevada workers’ comp lawyers usually charge a contingency fee: a percentage of your award or settlement. This means that you don’t pay your lawyer out of your own pocket, and you don’t owe any attorneys’ fees unless you win your case. (To learn how much you might receive, see our article on workers’ comp benefits in Nevada.)
Unlike most other states, Nevada does not place a cap on contingency fees in workers’ compensation cases. Instead, lawyers are free to set their own rates. Many lawyers charge a 33.33% contingency fee, which is the standard fee for personal injury cases.
Nevada is also unique in that it provides free legal services to injured workers. The Nevada Attorney for Injured Workers (NAIW) is a state organization, funded by employer and insurer contributions, that provides lawyers to injured workers at the formal hearing stage, free of charge. However, the NAIW does not represent workers during the early stages of a workers’ comp claim, including the informal hearing before a hearing officer.
If you hire a workers’ compensation lawyer, you should ask him or her how legal costs will be handled. Legal costs are the expenses that the lawyer incurs in pursuing your case, such as the costs of requesting medical records or hiring a doctor to testify at your workers’ comp hearing. Many lawyers will pay these costs throughout your case and deduct them from your settlement or award, either before or after the contingency fee is taken out. (To learn more, see our article on what items are deducted from your workers’ comp settlement or award.)