We understand that when a lawyer tells you that your case is work “X” dollars, you feel relieved to finally have an answer. You want to hire this lawyer because they seem to have certain knowledge. After getting injured at work, there are way more questions than answers and you just want to know what to expect. We get it.
The problem is that promising a client a particular outcome or dollar amount is misleading, and frankly, it’s dishonest. No lawyer, no matter how much experience they have, can promise you a result. No one can possibly know the value of your case, especially at an initial consultation or the beginning of a claim.
First of all, every case is different. Even if your lawyer has handled hundreds of workers’ compensation claims in the past, yours is the first one like yours. Your job, your particular injury, the way the injury affects you, the type of treatment your doctor recommends, the type of surgery you might need, how well you recover and how long your recovery takes, and many other things make your case unique.
Secondly, it’s virtually impossible to say what a case is worth until you finish your treatment and see where you’re at in terms of your health and your ability to go back to work. Two workers with similar injuries might not recover in the same way. One might be able to return to their old job, while the other might never be able to work in their chosen field again.
We aren’t saying your lawyer shouldn’t discuss possible outcomes with you or tell you whether they think you have a “good” claim. We’re just saying you should be wary of someone who promises anything, makes the outcomes seems too good to be true, or says your case is definitely worth “X.” Are they saying these things in order to get clients? Are they too afraid to tell their clients the truth? Do they not have the experience to know better? We can’t say for sure, but in our experience it isn’t a good sign.
When looking for an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney, focus on finding someone with significant experience. Make sure they focus their practice on helping injured workers and not on many different kinds of law. A focused practice often means the attorney has a deeper understanding of that area of law than someone who handles it only occasionally.