I got a call from a trucker in Georgia who works for an outfit out of Texas and was injured while making a delivery inIllinois. See if you can keep all of that straight.
He had originally tried to pursue a Georgia work comp case, but was told by a lawyer down there that he couldn’t since he wasn’t hurt there or hired there.
He then tried to go through Texas because he’s originally from there and still has family there. He quickly learned that work comp laws in TX are awful for the worker. They are so bad that he couldn’t find any attorney that would take his case down there. So somebody suggested he call Illinois since he was hurt in Chicago.
The first thing that he told me was that he didn’t like Chicago, didn’t feel safe here and never, ever wants to come toIllinois.
The good news for him is that he doesn’t have to come back to IL to start a case. He just needs to sign paperwork that will get filed and we can begin working on his case. In fact, we’ve worked with a ton of out of state employees that were hurt here who we never met. Many of them are truckers, but a lot of the others were here on business or for a convention.
With e-mail and the phone, it’s easy to work this way. We actually have represented folks in other countries via our state wide network, the farthest away being Australia, I believe.
The bad news is that if there ever is a trial on his case, he will have to come back to testify in person. There is no way to go to a hearing without that happening. Fortunately, most Arbitrators are very accommodating when it comes to out of town witnesses and will let us specially set a trial date so you only have to come in once. Usually clients will arrive the day before to go over their testimony and then be on the witness stand the next day. In most cases they can leave that night.
So while we do whatever we can to make it so you don’t have to come back, our bigger goal is making sure that you get the best case result possible. If the insurance company knows/believes that you’ll never travel here then they won’t be fair with you.
The silver lining is that Illinois does have much better work comp laws than most states. So while a day or two of travel might be a bother, it’s nowhere near as bad as not being able to get the medical care that you need or fair value for the permanent extent of your injury.
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.