I’ve written before how the best time to settle an Illinois workers’ compensation claim is in November because if you do it then, the case can be closed by the end of December. This allows an insurance adjuster to close their file and get a year end bonus. So they’ll pay you full value sometimes because they don’t care about their employer, they care about their bank account.
It’s really the biggest advantage you can have if you can hire a lawyer who actually cares about you and getting a good result for you. The insurance company and their attorney will never be as emotionally invested in a case as you are because of course it’s your life. If your lawyer feels the same way then you have a leg up. That’s partly why we created our state wide network of like minded lawyers.
I was reminded recently though that it’s not always November when an insurance company is desperate. I was recently talking to a defense attorney who let me know that his big client needed to settle as many cases as possible and needed to do it fast. Apparently they were trying to reduce their total claims that are open. My best guess is that there’s a new boss who’s trying to make an impact or perhaps their business year ends in August.
The point is, who cares why they are eager to settle, if you can get maximum value and your case is at a point where it should be settled, then you should take advantage of it.
What you don’t want to do is settle before you are back to work or while you are still receiving medical care. That’s just not smart and it’s a huge risk. It’s not as if a settlement won’t be there down the road when you are all better.
The other point is that sometimes your lawyer will make a settlement demand and the response from the insurance company will be an offer which is way less than your case is worth. They aren’t the be all end all in this case. You have to agree to settle too. So sometimes you wait and you get more or in this case, much more. Other times the right move is for your lawyer to say “if that’s the best you are going to do, we are going to trial.”
Then of course they actually have to get the case ready for trial which not every attorney will do.
Now I’m not promising that in your case the insurance company will be desperate at some point. But when the facts are on your side and there aren’t many or any disputed issues, you can usually do really well in the end.