When people call me for help with their Illinois work injury, I often hear that I’m the first attorney that they’ve ever spoken to. That’s usually a good thing because unless you have a lawyer who is a friend, there aren’t too many good occasions to be speaking to one.
I try to talk in plain English and sure hope that I come off as approachable. Hopefully that helps people who contact me realize that I’m just like anyone else that they know.
One thing I often hear from callers and read in the comment boxes when someone fills out my (quick, easy, free and confidential) comment form on the right of this page is something like, “I’m not sure what to say.”
That’s OK because I’m trained to ask you the right questions. All I want is for you to answer them honestly so I can get a full picture of what’s going on. For example, once a potential client told me he had shattered his leg and had surgery, but it turns out that he just had stitches. He told me that he didn’t think I’d take the case if I knew what really happened. Of course he didn’t think that I wouldn’t want to help him once I discovered his lie.
If you do fill out the comment form, aside from good information about how to reach you -and note that we’ll usually call you within minutes – we want to know what happened. The best formula is something like a Mad Libs where you fill in the blanks, except you don’t try to be funny. Hopefully you had Mad Libs as a kid and know what I’m talking about. Here’s a good fill in the blank example.
My name is __________. On _______, 20__, I was working at ________. It is located in __________. My job duties are _____________. While working I hurt my _________. This happened when I _______________. I saw a doctor and have been diagnosed with _________________.
That’s a really good starting point for us to evaluate your case. Of course not every injury falls in to this pattern, especially repetitive trauma cases like carpal tunnel from excessive typing, but you get the idea. We want to know who you are, where you work, where that’s located, what you do, what happened to you and as a result, what’s wrong with you. You’ll note that we add in “I saw a doctor” for you. If you haven’t seen a doctor yet, that’s the first thing you should do, even before you call us. If it’s work related, workers’ compensation will have to cover 100% of the bill. And of course nothing matters more than your health, so get checked out.
What you tell us doesn’t have to be a novel, but I’ve never gotten mad at someone who contacted me for sharing too much information, especially not in writing. We can filter it down if needed, but it’s always best to know too much rather than too little.
Once we have the basics, it’s our job to ask you additional questions based on the unique situation you are in. This usually involves talking about your medical care, missed time from work, who you reported the injury to, learning if you’ve had past similar problems or anything else related to the case. It’s not rocket science and we don’t want you to have to guess on what to say either.
So use our Mad Lib as a guide, but also feel free to say, “I got hurt at work and want to talk to a lawyer.” We’ll call you and talk to you for free and of course you can call us any time at (312) 346-5578 to talk about any case.