We have received a bunch of interesting questions lately.  So in no particular order:

The attorney I hired for a workman’s comp case wants me to sign a power of attorney form giving him full power of attorney over any monies received in my case….my gut tells me don’t do it.  What do you think?

We don’t know who your lawyer is, but it’s almost certainly nothing to worry about.  The settlement check is made payable to you and your lawyer.  This power of attorney allows them to simply sign your name to the check, deposit it in to their client trust account and then write you a new check for your portion.  The alternative option is for you to come in person and sign the check, but it makes no difference.  I can’t imagine your firm won’t provide you a copy of the original check and a settlement breakdown.

 I was wondering when a settlement contract has been signed, how long does the employers insurance company have to pay?  I thought there was a statute or time length. The employer signed on May 30th, I received it and returned it on June 10th. Thank you for your time.

The key date is actually when the contract is approved by an Arbitrator.  You usually get paid within 30 days of the date that happens and the approved contract is sent to the insurance company and in reality it’s typically less than two weeks.  There is no law about when it has to be paid, but more than 30 days would be odd.  Insurance companies actually want to send the settlement check because once they do and it’s cashed they can close their file.

My attorney said he was invited to a settlement day and wants me to come with him.  I can’t find any information about what that is.

Insurance companies have a motto that a good file is a closed file.  That could also be taken to mean that a good file is a settled file.   Some insurance companies want to settle a case, but a lazy lawyer sometimes prevents that from happening.  Settlement days usually happen at the Commission and allow attorneys to discuss any case in person with an adjuster to try to end the case.  If your case is ready to settle then your attorney’s request is a good sign.

 Is it true that I have to be done with treatment for six months before I can get a settlement?

No, but it’s often a good idea to wait at least a couple of months after you are done treating before you settle.  Once you settle the case is done forever.  Better to settle too late than too soon.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys that 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.