There are a lot of great scenes in the movie Animal House, but one of the best is John Belushi’s speech where he says, “Over?!?!?  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”
Bluto Blutarski goes on to offer a great piece of advice for most Illinois workers’ compensation claims: “Nothing is over until we say it is!”
I’ve lost track of the number of people that have called me and told me that they were injured on the job and received some benefits, but then the insurance company told them that their case was closed.
There are really only a few ways to “close” a case for good.  1. Wait to long to actually file a case with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and have your claim barred for a statute of limitations violation. 2. Settle your case and sign settlement contracts that get approved.  3. Go to trial although even then your case won’t likely be closed for good.
If you haven’t waited too long to file, we can magically re-open your case by filing the proper paperwork and there is nothing that even the meanest insurance company can do about it.  You still have to prove your case to receive benefits of course, but nobody from the insurance company can just tell you that you’ve waited too long for their taste.
Well, they can tell you that and they do, but you don’t have to follow what they say.  Insurance adjusters typically get bonuses for how many files they can close.  The sooner they close a file, the more they can make.  So it’s not unusual for them to call your file closed.  That means no more work for them and some money in their pocket.
Of course, just because it’s good for them does not mean it’s good for you.  In fact, most things that are good for the insurance company are not in your best interests.  This is especially true when it comes to getting medical care which can be expensive and ruin your life if it’s delayed too long.
Bottom line is that you should never trust advice that comes from somebody that has a competing interest with what is best for you.  And we’ll always talk to your for free if you want to verify something they told you.

By Michael Helfand