There’s a good post on this at our sister site at http://www.findgreatlawyers.com/10-facts-illinois-workers-compensation-law/ that I would encourage you to read. It’s a real good starting point for someone that simply wants to educate themselves on Illinois work comp law.
What I would add to this list is:
- The law is always changing, so it’s really important to have an attorney who is handling these cases day in and day out in your corner. Avoid general practice lawyers.
- Nurse case managers are not your friend. They are there to interfere with your medical care and limit what is spent on getting you healthy. But …
- … You can boot them from your case at any time, even if you gave them permission to be on your case. It’s often the first thing we do.
- Your case can’t be closed without you either waiting too long to file it (via an application for adjustment of claim) or if you settle the case via a contract. I can’t believe the number of people that call me and say the insurance adjuster told them the case was closed. That’s not their call.
- Never give a recorded statement. It’s not for your benefit and as the saying goes, anything you say can and will be used against you. Most of our clients have nothing to hide (we wouldn’t take them on if we knew they were lying), but even then you don’t want your words to be twisted and used against you. Let your lawyer do the talking.
- The most common question we get is, “What is my case worth?” The answer is that it depends on your ultimate recovery, your wages, any disputed facts and many other things. We’ll tell you if we know, but any lawyer that gives you that answer soon after you’ve been hurt is a b.s. artist and is just going to give you an inflated number with the hopes that you will hire them.
- These cases are not lawsuits. They are claims for benefits just like health insurance. You aren’t suing anyone.
- The second most common question we get is, “How long will this last?” The answer is that it will take as long as it takes for you to get healthy and back to work, assuming that will happen. We encourage people not to settle early because once you do, the case is closed forever.
- It is legal for the insurance company to have someone conduct video surveillance on you. It happens a lot if there is a serious or long term injury. If you are being honest you have nothing to worry about and the reality is that most surveillance attempts are a waste of time and money.
- Not only do you not have to pay anything up front to hire a work comp lawyer in Illinois, but you should not pay for any of the expenses up front either. That’s on the attorney to pay for and if they won’t they are the wrong lawyer for you. But do know that the expenses on most cases are under $200 and I can only recall one case ever where I’ve seen them going over $10,000. There are no filing fees to bring a case so if you hire an attorney they should file your claim right away.
As always, if you have any questions you are welcome to call us – it’s free and confidential – at (312) 346-5578 or fill out our contact form and we’ll call you.