I have a good friend that is a workers’ compensation lawyer in Florida. I have referred him cases and the ones that he’s able to take on he does a great job with them. The problem is that he has to turn down a lot of clients because in many cases he can only get them a settlement from the insurance company if they are willing to quit their job. It sounds pretty illegal to me and it would never happen in Illinois, but it does prevent him from taking some cases on. Of course it’s the workers that end up getting screwed over in the end.
I say it could never happen in Illinois because if the insurance company doesn’t want to offer a settlement we can force one by going to arbitration.
But recently a caller to my office told me that the insurance company told him that any payment for permanent partial disability to him would have to come with a resignation and if he didn’t provide one he’d get nothing.
That is a total lie. They might not voluntarily pay anything, but again we can easily get him compensated by filing a trial motion.
Nothing in Illinois law requires you to resign. Ever. They wanted my caller to do that because he is fairly old and had a major injury that does not allow him to return to his old job. If he were to resign it would greatly reduce the amount of money that the insurance company would have to pay him.
So essentially he was lied to in order to save some money. That’s a pretty immoral thing to do, but it’s the type of nonsense that you see all of the time. It just happens that this is the first time I’ve heard this angle.
Like with any other workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, you have to realize that the insurance company has a competing interest to what’s best for you. That doesn’t mean you are always going to get in to a battle or go to trial. It does mean that you are going to look out for yourself and not take legal advice from someone with a competing interest from you.
And overall, if they are saying something that sounds ridiculous, they are probably just throwing a dart against the wall and hoping that it sticks.