A very nice woman who was injured while working and has a garbage attorney on her case asked me, “Am I being unreasonable?” when she told me all of the terrible treatment she had received, the worst of which was being called stupid by her so called lawyer.  What a great guy.

She had never worked with an attorney before and didn’t know that she had rights nor did she know how a lawyer is supposed to act.  With that in mind, I thought about putting together a list of the bare minimum expectations if you are working with a work comp law firm in Illinois. This isn’t a list that makes them a rock star, but is the least you should get.

  • Returned phone calls within 48 hours.  We call back ASAP, usually within minutes, but if they can’t call you back for two days then something is wrong.  They should at least have their assistant call back to schedule a time or e-mail you.
  • They don’t talk down to you.  Being called stupid is beyond unacceptable, but so is having a general attitude of “I’m a smart lawyer and don’t need to tell you anything.”
  • If your case has problems, they explain your options.
  • If you choose an option, they follow through on that option. I can’t believe how many attorneys won’t file a motion for trial when a case is disputed.
  • They don’t try to settle your case without your consent.
  • They will talk to you and not only let you talk to their paralegal.
  • If the attorney who is handling your case leaves the firm, they make sure someone good takes over. A friend of mine watched a court hearing where a lawyer was arguing her client’s position, but wasn’t doing a good job.  She told the Judge, “Sorry, this isn’t really my case, it just got dumped on me.”  That is pathetic and not actually representation.
  • If you are going to trial they prepare you by discussing the questions they will ask you and what you can anticipate the defense attorney will ask.  They also explain what it’s like to go to trial. Going to trial isn’t a scary situation unless you have no idea what is going to happen.
  • Show up to court.

This isn’t a crazy large list nor one that any attorney who cares should have trouble following.  It’s truly the least you should expect.

Questions? Concerns?  Call us any time for free at (312) 346-5578.