At least once a week I talk to someone who has never talked to an attorney before, at least not to hire them potentially.
Some of these callers hate that they had to pick up the phone and seek my help.  They hate it so much that they let themselves get taken advantage of and abused by insurance companies and nurse case managers who are messing with their medical treatment following a work injury.
I recently talked to one nice guy who got illegally fired after a work injury and had his benefits cut off without cause at all.  But before he would hire a lawyer he said he wanted to talk to his priest to make sure it’s ok.
Lobbyists and others have done a great job of painting the legal industry in a terrible light.  And to be honest, many of my peers have made law firms as a whole look terrible.  So I understand why lots of people have a terrible perception of our industry.
Most of those that are hesitant don’t want to get an attorney because in their mind they are “not the suing type.”  Well, I have good news for them.
First off a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois is not a lawsuit.  It is simply a claim for getting an employee benefit that you are entitled to and no different than filing a claim for your health insurance company to pay the hospital bill if your appendix ruptures.  When you hire us we are never filing a lawsuit against your employer or anyone else.
Beyond that, there is no “suing type” at least not in reality.  We only represent honest people with honest claims.  If we thought that a client was faking an injury we wouldn’t help them.   If we sign you up and catch you lying, we’ll withdraw from your case.
But if you are like most of the people we meet that bring claims in that you are a hard worker who had an accident while working and sustained an injury, we want to protect you and make sure that you get the benefits allowed by law which will allow you to get healthy and financially survive.
There is nothing immoral about hiring an attorney when you are being honest.  What’s immoral is how some of these insurance companies and IME doctors will screw you at a moment’s notice in order to avoid having to do what they are supposed to under the law.
And the truth is that this isn’t unique to work comp.  Any car accident lawyer I know, for example, wouldn’t take a b.s. case either.  But the good news for you is that if you don’t want to sue anyone, you don’t have to, as work comp is not a lawsuit.
If you have any questions about Illinois law and want a no cost, no commitment consultation, just call me any time at 312-346-5578 and we’ll try to point you in the right direction.

By Michael Helfand