Find VA Disability Lawyers Near Me

If you're tired of failure to reach a settlement or compromise with Veteran Affairs, consider hiring a VA disability lawyer to assist you.  For many, its a lot less headache.

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If you're a veteran seeking VA disability benefits, you may wonder how to navigate the complex claims process. That's where VA disability lawyers come in. These legal professionals specialize in helping veterans get the compensation they deserve for service-connected injuries or illnesses. But how are VA disability lawyers paid?

The short answer is that most VA disability lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. They only get paid if they win your case, and you receive retroactive benefits (back pay). Typically, their fee is a percentage of those past-due benefits. Let's look closer at how VA disability lawyers are paid and what you can expect when working with one.

Table of Contents:

Understanding Contingency Fees

Contingency fees are a common payment arrangement in VA disability cases. Under this model, your lawyer agrees to represent you without charging any upfront fees. Instead, they receive a percentage of any retroactive benefits you're awarded if your claim is successful.

The exact percentage can vary, but it's capped by law. According to 38 CFR § 14.636, fees 20% or less of past-due benefits are presumed reasonable. Fees over 33.3% are considered unreasonable.

How Contingency Fees Work in Practice

Let's say you hire a VA disability lawyer who charges a 20% contingency fee. After months of gathering evidence and arguing your case, the VA grants your claim and awards you $50,000 in retroactive benefits.

Your lawyer would then receive 20%, or $10,000, as their fee. The remaining $40,000 would be paid directly to you. If no past-due benefits are awarded, you wouldn't owe your lawyer anything.

Retroactive Benefits Awarded Lawyer's Contingency Fee (20%) Amount Veteran Receives
$50,000 $10,000 $40,000

The Advantages of Contingency Fees

Contingency fees offer several benefits for veterans seeking legal representation:

  • No upfront costs - You don't have to pay anything out of pocket to hire a lawyer.
  • Aligned interests - Since your lawyer only gets paid if you win, they're motivated to build the most robust case possible.
  • No fee if you lose - If your claim is denied, you won't owe your lawyer anything.

Other Costs to Consider

While you won't have to pay your lawyer directly in most cases, there are some other potential costs to keep in mind:

Medical Records and Other Evidence

Your lawyer may need to obtain medical records, expert opinions, and other evidence to support your claim. While some of this evidence may be free, costs could be associated with obtaining certain records or hiring expert witnesses.

Your lawyer should discuss these potential expenses upfront and get your approval before incurring them. These costs are separate from your lawyer's fee and will generally be your responsibility whether your claim is successful.

Appeals and Additional Legal Action

If your initial claim is denied, your lawyer may recommend appealing the decision or taking other legal action, such as filing a lawsuit. Additional legal work could mean extra fees, although many lawyers will continue working on a contingency basis for appeals.

Be sure to discuss the potential costs of an appeal with your lawyer before deciding to move forward. A good lawyer will be transparent about the chances of success and the possible expenses involved.

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