Despite what some lawyers will tell you, handling most workers’ compensation claims isn’t rocket science. If you know what you are doing and will put in the work needed to make a claim successful, things usually work out well.
While it isn’t complex, Illinois workers’ compensation laws also aren’t basic. By that I mean that there are a lot of exceptions and variables that will obvious to someone who handles these cases every day, they aren’t as obvious to a lawyer who only dabbles in work injuries.
If your case does need a lawyer, I can’t emphasize enough the two things needed to make sure that you are hiring the right firm. 1. You need someone who will work hard. This is harder to figure out, but if they don’t return your phone calls, don’t do anything to get your benefits reinstated, allows the nurse case manager to walk all over you, etc. then you’ve hired the wrong firm.
The second thing needed is someone who is experienced. This means you don’t want the law firm that is run by a lawyer who has handled work comp cases forever, but is going to let some kid who recently graduated law school work on your case. It also means you want someone who isn’t also doing car accidents, medical malpractice, divorce or whatever else walks through the door.
None of this guarantees a result, but it increases your chances of success. This was evident in a recent call to our office by a very nice woman whose husband had died of a heart attack while working. Those are tough cases because most people who this happens to have some sort of blockage or other heart problem which will always be used as a defense to paying out a claim which in this case would be worth at least $500,000.00 if successful.
To win a case like this you need to prove that the job duties were a part of the heart attack happening and aggravated any pre-existing condition. In most cases that means that you were working in extreme heat or cold, doing a ton of heavy lifting or experiencing something else which is extreme.
You also need to know who a credible cardiologist is to testify that yes the job duties did in part lead to the the death happening. An experienced attorney will have handled many similar cases in the past and will know which cardiologists testify well and which ones are not as respected. Again this doesn’t promise a win, but it greatly increases your chances.
In the case that came to our office, there is a lawyer in our network who has handled more heart attack cases than any other lawyer I’m aware of and has taught other attorneys how to handle these cases. That is the type of experience you want/need in your corner. I think this client will win, but if they don’t it won’t be because their lawyer didn’t know what they are doing or didn’t put in the work. That’s all any client should hope for.
If you want our guidance with your Illinois work injury case or just have questions, fill out our contact form to the right of this page or call us for free at (312) 346-5578. We help injured workers everywhere in Illinois.