South Carolina Code of Regulations
Chapter 67 - SOUTH CAROLINA WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION
Article 12 - ATTORNEY PRACTICE AND FEES
Section 67-1205 - Determining a Reasonable Fee

Universal Citation: SC Code Regs 67-1205

Current through Register Vol. 47, No. 12, December 22, 2023

A. If the parties fix the fee by contract and base the fee on an hourly rate and/or a retainer, the fee is deemed reasonable unless it conflicts with the South Carolina Supreme Court Disciplinary Rule on determining reasonable fees.

B. If the parties agree to a contingent fee contract, the fee is deemed reasonable when the following requirements are met and the requested fee does not conflict with the South Carolina Supreme Court Disciplinary Rule on determining a reasonable fee.

(1) The attorney fully explains the fee agreement to the client and informs the client of the total dollar amount of the fee that will be deducted from the client's benefits; and

(2) The client agrees to the fee by signing a completed Form 61; and

(3) The attorney calculates the fee according to C below.

C. An attorney may charge up to, but not more than, 33.3% of the total amount of compensation, except in the following situations, where the attorney shall set the fee as instructed. When unusual circumstances exist, the attorney may attach to the Form 61 a short memorandum supporting approval of a fee calculated on an hourly rate or by quantum meruit.

(1) If the amount of compensation secured is derived from an impairment rating rendered by an authorized health care provider before the party employed the attorney, the attorney shall base the fee on the difference between the original impairment rating and the disability rating ultimately secured. The attorney shall include on the Form 61 the date the impairment rating was rendered, the percentage and the name of the rating physician. The fee shall not exceed 33.3% of the difference between the original impairment rating and the disability rating secured.

(2) If the attorney secures temporary compensation for a client on a Form 15, the attorney shall calculate the fee on the number of weeks that are past due at the time that the Form 15 is approved. The attorney may not charge a fee on temporary compensation that is due in the future. If the attorney secures the payment of permanent disability later, the attorney may charge, according to these regulations, up to but not more than 33.3% of the settlement or award.

(3) If the claim involves a fatality and the employer's representative does not contest liability, compensability or beneficiaries, the attorney may charge a fee up to but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars. If the claim involves a fatality and the employer's representative contests liability, compensability or a party disputes the status of the client as a beneficiary, the attorney may charge up to but not more than 33.3% of the settlement or award.

(4) If the claim involves lifetime compensation and the employer's representative does not contest liability or the claimant's entitlement to lifetime compensation, the attorney may charge up to but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars. When the claim involves lifetime compensation benefits and the employer's representative contests liability and/or the claimant's entitlement to lifetime compensation, the attorney's fee shall be considered on a case by case basis. The attorney shall attach to a Form 61, a Motion to Award Fee, according to R.67-215.

(5) If the attorney files or intends to file a Form 24, Lump Sum Application, for the client, the attorney shall base his fee calculation on the amount paid or payable to the client after the award or settlement is reduced to present day value.

(6) The combined fee of all attorneys for one party may not total more than 33.3% of the compensation. The Commissioner shall review jointly the motion for fee filed by a previous attorney for the client and the additional Form 61. The Commissioner assigned the claim shall indicate the portion of the fee approved for each attorney.

(7) When an attorney is employed after the employer's representative makes a written offer of settlement to the claimant, the attorney shall base his or her fee on the amount of compensation secured in excess of the settlement offer. The fee shall not exceed 33.3% of the difference between the offer of settlement and the amount of compensation secured.

D. If the claimant refuses to sign a Form 61, the attorney shall file the unsigned Form 61 and motion requesting a hearing which states the claimant refuses to sign the form. The Commission will notify the claimant by issuing a hearing notice according to R.67-213.

Disclaimer: These regulations may not be the most recent version. South Carolina may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
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