I got a very sad e-mail from a woman whose husband became paralyzed when his work truck flipped after he swerved to avoid a deer. Their life has been turned in to chaos and they have a long road of challenges ahead.
Her e-mail was more venting than anything and she wanted to know how she would be able to afford a lawyer given all of their medical bills and this injury.
But what she didn’t know is that even in a catastrophic injury case like this, 100% of her medical bills should be paid for by the workers’ compensation insurance. Beyond that, hiring a lawyer, no matter what firm you choose, costs nothing up front. Lawyer fees are capped by State law at 20% of whatever settlement we get for you. Up until that point you aren’t paying for anything to have an attorney represent you.
There could be costs for bringing the case that include subpoenas for medical records or taking the deposition of a doctor. That could run from less than $100 to a few thousand dollars. But that’s not money that you have to give your lawyer up front either. No reputable Illinois workers’ compensation law firm would ask their clients for help with the expenses. We advance the costs for you and get reimbursed when there is a settlement. If we lose the case then we are simply out that money.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t cost you anything to bring a case. There isn’t even a filing fee with the State as there is with lawsuits.
Now, we are selective with the cases we get involved in because there is usually not a need for an attorney if you just have a contusion on your arm. But no matter how big your injury is or isn’t, it does not change the fact that you don’t need to be rich or have any money at all if you want to exercise your rights to benefits after you’ve been injured on the job.