We had a sad call the other day. The adult son of an injured worker called us. His father was a widower who had gone back to work after his wife died and injured his knee. He tore his meniscus, had surgery and made a recovery. He had hired a lawyer who agreed to a settlement and the paperwork to process that settlement was taking place.
Unfortunately, this worker died of a heart attack while waiting and that heart attack had nothing to do with his job injury. The adult son was his only heir and the son was not financially dependent on his Dad in any way.
The caller wanted to get the settlement, but had been told by his Dad’s lawyer that the case was over since he wasn’t financially dependent on him in any way.
Regrettably the lawyer is right. Even if the Dad had signed the contracts, if they weren’t approved by an Arbitrator, the case would still be over. This guy had a knowledgeable attorney who gave the right answer, even if it’s not what the client wanted to hear.
For you as a client, just know that until an Arbitrator approves a settlement, it’s not official. Even if you verbally agree to something, it doesn’t matter until the ink is dry on the Judge’s pen that signs off on a contract.
We are workers' compensation attorneys who help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.