Claimants' Attorneys' Fees


TO: All Commissioners, Fiscal Administrative Officers, Self-Insureds, Insurance Carriers, and Attorneys
FROM: Jesse M. Frankl, Chairman
DATE: January 2, 1998
RE: Claimants' Attorneys' Fees


Section 31-327(b) states that "all fees of attorneys... shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner." The criteria that should be used is as follows:

  1. There should be no attorney fees for uncontested voluntary temporary total or temporary partial payments.
  2. Any contested temporary total or temporary partial payments shall be subject to no more than a 20% attorney fee or contingency fee. Robinson v. Allied Grocers et al, 39 Conn Sup 386 (1983), aff'g CRD Vol 1 Conn Workers' Comp Rev Op 132, 68-CRD-1-81 (1982).
  3. Permanent partial award. An attorney may charge no more than 20% as a fee of a permanent partial award. If the permanent partial award is commuted, then the attorney's fee shall be reduced by the same percentage that the commutation is reduced by.
  4. Settlement or stipulation. An attorney may charge no more than 20% of the total of the settlement or stipulation, less medical bills that are paid by the claimant.
  5. Contested cases or formal hearings. An attorney may charge a contingency fee not more than 20% or an amount to be determined by the Commissioner based on time spent.
  6. An attorney may not request a retainer or fee unless the issue is contested or prior to a Formal Hearing or appeal.