We are work comp lawyers who will talk to anyone for free and in confidence about their case. We get a lot of great questions from people just like you. Here are some from recent months that were either unique (so you might not know the answer) or very common (so we think everyone should know the answer because it comes up so much). If you have any questions, fill out the contact form to the right or call us at (312) 346-5578.
Can a workers’ compensation lawyer in Illinois agree to a settlement without my consent?
No. A thousand times no. The ONLY way to settle a case is to sign settlement contracts and you have to sign those contracts. What we sadly see happen very often is a lawyer who doesn’t want to work hard tell the client that “this is the offer and you have to take it.” That should never be the case. If you don’t want the offer your lawyer can negotiate or otherwise should take your case to trial.
Can work comp settle a claim but still dispute my medical condition?
Yes, this happens all of the time for a variety of reasons. For most injured workers it doesn’t matter because if your goal is to get a settlement and it’s a fair one then who cares if the insurance company will admit you are right or not? What you need to be careful about is to make sure that you don’t get stuck with any unpaid medical bills as a result of this.
How do I get workman’s comp started?
Step one is to report a work related accident to your employer. It’s best to do it in writing or document it some how. Step two is to go to the doctor and tell them how you got hurt. Step three, to formally file the case, is to get a lawyer. And don’t give a recorded statement or otherwise talk to the insurance company.
What happens to my job if i can’t perform the same duties when I recover from an on the job injury?
If you are as good as you are going to get, they have to provide a job for you within your medical restrictions. If they can’t, they have to pay you work comp benefits while offering vocational rehabilitation to help you find a new job within your restrictions. If the new job doesn’t pay well they have to pay you 2/3 of the difference of what you used to make and now make for the duration of your disability.
Can a person who is working illegally receive workers comp benefits after an injury at work?
Yes. Employers don’t get rewarded for breaking the law and hiring illegal workers.
What can I do when a dirty attorney who is representing me actually represents the opposition?
Usually in this situation the attorney is just awful as opposed to truly working on behalf of the other side. Either way, you can and should fire them and get a new attorney. It does not cost anything to switch lawyers. Total lawyer fees can not exceed 20% of the settlement.
I have a herniated disc at L3-4, L4-5. What is my case worth?
This is the most popular question we get. It’s impossible to give a good estimate without knowing your wages, seeing your medical records and knowing what your ultimate recovery is going to be. We are always happy to provide an estimate when we can. Beware of lawyers who will tell you very soon after your injury what your case is worth. They are LYING. Nobody can answer this question without knowing what your medical care will be and how you will recover.