We’ve been getting a ton of great questions lately. I thought I’d put a few of them out there for everyone to see. In no particular order here are 10 recent ones:
Can employer go in to the doctor exam room? They said they can, but that doesn’t seem right. Not only is this a violation of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, they also can’t directly talk to your doctor without your permission. Same goes for the insurance company.
Can they find out I’ve been to jail and will that matter to my case? Yes, there are public records for finding this stuff out. Does it matter? Only if the case goes to trial and you are a convicted felon or convicted of a crime that involves dishonesty. It usually doesn’t come up, but it certainly could hurt you as it goes toward your credibility.
Do I need to show up to the status call? No, that’s part of your lawyer’s job and nothing happens there that any injured worker would be a part of unless it’s at a hearing location (some of the downstate ones) where trials happen on the same day as the status call. A trial hearing can be set at the status call and you should show up to that if your case may go to trial. Some firms have their clients show up when they aren’t needed and it’s a complete waste of time.
My husband’s thumb was amputated at work. Do we need a lawyer? In an amputation case, the insurance company has to pay out a certain minimum amount. We as lawyers can’t touch those dollars. Where you’d need an attorney is if it prevented him from doing his normal job or lead to a disability in the hand or some other problem like PTSD.
Should my lawyer charge for things like storing my file or postage? No, that’s ridiculous and potentially illegal.
If I don’t like my lawyer, what will it cost to fire them? Nothing. Total lawyer fees can never exceed 20% total no matter how many attorneys are on the case. You should though secure a new attorney before you get rid of the first one.
Years ago I hurt my shoulder and got a settlement for my arm being injured. My husband just tore his rotator cuff and got a settlement for a man as a whole which seems like it’s worth more. Did my lawyer screw up? No, the law has changed on shoulder injuries. Nothing to see here.
My boss yells at me and calls me stupid. I’m really stressed out. Is this a work comp case? Unfortunately it’s not. To win a mental stress case you need to show a one time, severe and sudden event. I don’t agree with that part of the law, but that is the law in Illinois.
I was hired in Illinois 20 years ago and then transferred stores to Wisconsin. I just tore my ACL at work. Can I bring that case in Illinois? Yes, under Illinois law, if your “contract for hire” took place in Illinois you can file your claim here as long as there wasn’t an interruption in your employment (e.g. assuming you didn’t stop working and then re-apply in WI).
I was hurt in 2008. Is it too late to file a claim? Probably too late, but not definitely. Depends on if they made a payment toward this injury in the last two years or not. If yes then we can still file and should rush to do so. A payment is usually a medical bill of some sort being paid, but also could be TTD benefits. If not then you are out of luck.
And if you have any questions we love to help people! Call us any time for free at (312) 346-5578. We’ll always tell it to you direct and hopefully in plain English.