We don’t take on a case if we don’t like a client.  That doesn’t mean we have to be best buddies, but it does mean that if we think you are faking your injury or lying about how you got hurt that we’d decline to represent you. If you get known for helping liars and frauds then it’s assumed that all of your clients are that way which of course would hurt everyone.
But if I’m being honest, my favorite people to talk to are the ones that never in their life imagined that they could get hurt on the job and find themselves in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s with their first work related injury.  These are people that take great pride in punching the clock every day and earning an honest days pay.  They don’t like lawyers or doctors or anything else that distracts them from doing their work.
I love talking to them and had a wonderful conversation recently with a man that fits this description.  He like most similar workers have one thing in common.  They are selfless to the point that they are harming themselves.
What I mean by that is that they’ll work through the worst pain because they don’t want to let their boss down who has been a long time employer.  That’s true even when their boss is a jerk and could care less that they are hurting.  What often ends up happening is that they make their physical problem worse.  This turns in to a short term injury in to a long term one.  Of course that means more medical treatment and usually more time off of work.  So the goal of helping your employer doesn’t end up happening.
If you do have health problems, you need to be “selfish” and focus on your own health.  Nothing is more important than your physical well being.  If anybody has a problem with you taking care of yourself then that is not the type of person you want to make happy.
This advice couldn’t be truer for anyone that has worked for decades without ever bringing a claim.  You’ve led an exemplary life.  There’s nothing wrong if you need help from an attorney or need to make a claim for benefits.  You wouldn’t think less of a family member or friend that worked for 30+ years and dedicated their lives to their family had a problem if they needed to take care of themselves.  And nobody is thinking anything bad about you.
If we have to go to trial at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission on your case, you will see that the life you have lead will make you appear very credible before an Arbitrator.  In fact, I’ve seen Arbitrators compliment workers for the great life they’ve lead and the contribution they’ve made to society.
So please take care of yourself. It’s truly the best for you and everyone else that you are worried about.

By Michael Helfand