A woman called me with a nightmare story. She has a pretty good case. So good in fact that she got offered $200,000.00 to settle.
Problem is that her case appears to be worth closer to $250,000.00 and her attorney hasn’t gotten back to her about a Medicare set aside which is a payment the insurance company has to make for your future medical needs. It shouldn’t be negotiable. This Chicago work comp attorney is also telling her to ignore around $10,000.00 in out of pocket expenses related to the case. Of course she never would have had these expenses if her attorney did his job.
The woman told her lawyer that she didn’t want the settlement. That of course is her right. When that happens your lawyer should either make a counter offer to the insurance company or just get the case ready for trial.
In this case it appears that her lawyer just wants his fee without having to do any work. He shockingly told her that if she didn’t accept the settlement offer that he would sue her for his expenses related to the trial. And he would do that right away.
I’ve never, ever heard of anything so low. It really is awful. As attorneys, we incur some expenses in pursuing your case. This is usually subpoena fees for getting your medical records and doctor fees for depositions. We advance those costs and get reimbursed when we win the case. I’ve never asked a client to pay these expenses up front or during the course of the case.
This lawyer made his awful behavior worse by trying to scare the injured worker in telling her that if they went to trial they would lose. While it’s possible that any trial could end up badly, there is no way the insurance company would offer so much money if they believed for a second that they could win the trial. Insurance companies don’t give money away.
I will never, ever understand why an Illinois work comp attorney would not be willing to fight for their clients. Even if they are offered the most a case could be worth, if they want to go to trial you should explain the risks and then go to trial if that’s what they really want.
But to lie so blatantly and then try to extort the client with a lawsuit threat is beyond unacceptable.
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