I’m always amused/disgusted by the new tactics insurance companies come up with to try and make injured Illinois workers fell like they don’t have any rights.
The latest one I’ve heard of came from a guy who called me after he was badly injured when he fell off of a roof. It’s a no doubt compensable injury. Yet somehow a bunch of his medical bills have gone unpaid and his TTD checks have been late or missing depending on the week. This has led to bill collectors harassing him at a time when he just needs to focus on getting healthy.
He was drugged up at the hospital following a surgery when a nurse case manager for the insurance company came to see him. He made him sign a bunch of papers that he has no idea what they said which is of course unethical of the insurance company. The nurse manager then asked if he was going to get a lawyer and told him he wouldn’t need one. When the bills were unpaid and the checks were late the injured worker said he was thinking about getting a lawyer.
At that point the nurse case manager said “If you get a lawyer, we can’t do business with you anymore.” Essentially he was saying that if the worker thinks things are bad now, if he gets a lawyer they’ll stop paying everything. This worker was desperate and didn’t feel as if he could risk a rent payment if somehow benefits got delayed.
If I confronted this unethical employee of the insurance company, he’d probably explain away his statement by clarifying that he meant he can’t talk to the worker if he gets a lawyer. That’s true, he’d have to talk to me or whatever firm gets hired. That doesn’t delay benefits at all. What it does do is allow the worker to focus on their health and let us deal with the nonsense.
Beyond that, it’s illegal for companies to try to collect medical bills against you if you have a pending work comp case in Illinois, so getting a case filed with a lawyer will stop that too. Also, we can file a penalties petition against the insurance company for their unreasonable delay in paying bills and TTD benefits.
So the insurance company really doesn’t want him to get a lawyer. Their plan surely was to hope they could ride this out until he is cleared for work and then offer a low ball settlement that the injured worker would feel desperate to take.
Not every injured Illinois worker needs a lawyer and we’ll tell you when you don’t need our help. If you just need a question answered we are glad to do that. But if you have sustained a serious injury like this guy you’d be crazy to not get an attorney. It’s just a fact that the insurance company will try to take away some of the benefits you are owed or reduce them. It’s how they make/save money and they aren’t billion dollar companies by looking out for you.
If you’d like to discuss your injury or just have a question, call us any time at (312) 346-5578.