This bill would require, in cases in which a workers’ compensation petitioner has received compensation from an insurance company or self-insured employer prior to any judgment or award, that the reasonable attorney fee be based upon the amount of the compensation received after the establishment of an attorney-client relationship (as memorialized in a written agreement), plus any amount of the judgment or award which is in excess of the previously received compensation. Under current law, in such cases involving insurance or self-insurance compensation, the attorney fee is based solely on any amount of a judgment or award that is in excess of the amount of previously received compensation.
Historically, "An offer and tender may be withdrawn or modified by the respondent prior to its full payment. The offer and tender is not binding upon the respondent and is revocable. If the respondent withdraws or modifies the offer prior to the hearing, it will be responsible for a statutory award of the counsel fee to the extent that the final award is in excess of the payment made." Torres v. Miller, 238 N.J.Super. 158, 569 A.2d 301 (App.Div.1990). Gelman, Jon L, Workers’ Compensation Law, 38 NJPRAC 30.2 (Thomson-Reuters 2018).
S2145 Concerns attorney fees for workers' compensation awards.
Passed both Houses