There are a lot of misconceptions about Illinois workers’ compensation claims. One of the biggest is that it’s a lawsuit. It’s not. Pursuing work comp is a claim for benefits that really isn’t much different than something like health insurance or any other protection that a worker is provided.
So while many injured workers who contact us think they are getting involved in what will be a hotly contested lawsuit, that’s not usually the case.
Because people believe this though, a common concern I hear is from people who want to know how our law firm will be able to win a case against their employer who is some billion dollar plus corporation that has all the resources in the world and can afford the “best” lawyers. How can we compete with that????
The reality is that because these aren’t lawsuits and the cases aren’t potentially worth millions, there isn’t much a difference between handling a case for an employee of a mom and pop shop or one who works for a giant, international corporation.
In both cases, the laws are the same. In most cases there is an insurance adjuster who is handling the case and calling the shots on that side of the case. They might hire an attorney, but they aren’t going to get one that costs $500 an hour and works at a huge firm because they’d end up spending way too much in lawyer fees. There are some big companies like Walmart who treat their employees terribly that can be a little bit of a pain to deal with, but if the case facts are on our side, we’ll win.
The reality is that if a defense attorney does come on the case, it will be one of them and one of us. They can send you to one of their doctors who may be a hired gun that will mess with your benefits, but insurance companies do that no matter who the employer is. Some really big companies are self insured which means they don’t have an insurance company and pay the costs of their injured workers. But even then they usually hire an insurance adjuster called a third party administrator to handle the case.
Bottom line is that you should never lose a case because of who you work for. If the facts are on your side you should win, if not you should lose. There’s no jury to be persuaded by a fancy talking, big time attorney. If you go to trial your case will be heard by an Arbitrator and it’s your medical records, credibility and history of how you got hurt which will decide the outcome.
So don’t sweat it. I promise you that size (of employer) does not matter.
One final thought, another thing we hear from people with crummy cases is a belief that their billion dollar employer will just settle with them because what’s a few thousand or ten thousand to a company like them? That’s not how it works and I can assure you that wealthy companies don’t just give away money. And much like with good claims, it’s usually their insurance companies that are calling the shots.
If you are scared, nervous or just have questions about this or anything else related to Illinois work comp, call our lawyers for free at (312) 346-5578 or fill out our form to the right and we’ll call you. It’s always free and confidential.