I’ve written on this in the past, but it’s so important that I have to write about it again.
Insurance company adjusters make money off of bonuses based on how many cases they close. So when they deny your injury and you go away that’s a win for them. But it’s also a win for them when they actually settle your case.
During the normal course of the year they aren’t motivated to close out your case because they aren’t thinking about bonuses in March or April. At this time of year, however, the adjusters know that if they settle your case and many others it could mean more spending money in your pocket. As awful as some insurance companies can be on Illinois work comp cases, the reality is that at the end of the day most insurance adjusters could care less how much you are getting if it helps their bottom line.
I just received the first mention of a settlement day from a very large employer. They are looking to settle all cases below a certain dollar threshold (in my experience that usually means the low six figures) before the end of the year. To do so they need to start negotiations now because contracts have to be submitted to an Arbitrator with signatures from all parties and ALL issues, including outstanding medical bills, must be worked out.
This is not to imply that they are just giving away free cash or paying way more than the cases are worth. It also doesn’t mean that you should settle. That depends on where you are in your medical treatment and how fair an offer is as well as your employment status.
What it does mean is that if you have been discharged from medical care for a while and back to work without problems, there is no excuse for your attorney to not get the case over with. Insurance companies are literally doing whatever they can to close out cases. So if your lawyer says they aren’t getting a call back or that they can’t get an offer, you might have a reason to be skeptical.
If you don’t have a lawyer, be careful. For starters, you’ll be told that your case is based off of an AMA rating which is a low-ball tactic to avoid paying you what the case is worth. If you do get a settlement offer before you get an attorney it can be hard to get a lawyer to take on the case when you realize the offer is unfair. So you may be stuck with an insurance company that won’t offer you any more and no legal help to get a better result. Bottom line is that you will almost always get more with an attorney than without even when our 20% fee is considered.
If you have questions about what your case is worth or anything else related to Illinois job injuries, fill out the form to the right or call us at (312) 346-5578 for a free consultation. We help everywhere in Illinois.