A reader asks:

My bro-n-law says that his attorney, that he has for his wc case. Told him that the new wc laws say that you dont get a lump sum settlement anymore. That he will get payments spread out until he turns 75yrs old. And if he should die before he turns 75, the payments will stop. ??????????????   Please, can you explain this to us that are left scratching our heads in confusion?

This one has me scratching my head too.  New work comp laws in Illinois were put in place as of September 2011.  They don’t affect injuries from before that date at all.  There is a new law that limits wage differential benefits for accidents after that date, but that shouldn’t come in to play yet for just about any injury as it would likely be too soon to determine that someone will be a wage differential because we don’t know what their recovery will be.  That new law limits wage differential benefits to the later of when you turn 67 or five years from the date it’s ordered by an Arbitrator, whichever is later.

Sounds to me like the attorney is trying to get the client to settle a case and instead of telling them why to settle, they are making stuff up to convince the client they did the best they could.  Most attorneys don’t do this, but you hear about it every now and then.  A common one is when attorneys say that it takes years to get to trial when in reality they are just too lazy to get a case prepared.

What you should know is that if you were hurt before 9-1-11, unless you have carpal tunnel, for the most part the new work comp laws don’t impact you in any way.  And even if you were hurt after that, the laws haven’t changed that dramatically and handling a case isn’t any harder than it was before.  If your attorney is saying something that leads you to scratch your head there is probably a reason that is true

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.

By Michael Helfand