Illinois workers’ compensation attorneys do a lot of things to sell themselves and get you to hire them. I usually write about the interesting ones because the boring ones (track record, experience) are good reasons to hire someone. I want you to be aware of reasons not to hire a lawyer so you don’t send your case down the wrong path.
A caller to my office with a big injury wanted to fire his attorney because he realized he wasn’t fighting for him. I asked why he hired this particular lawyer in the first place and he replied, “Once I told him who I work for, he said he’s good friends with the defense attorney who handles all of the cases against my company. He said that if there were any problems getting my benefits the defense attorney would do him a favor and make sure I get paid.”
Let me tell you a non-secret about lawyers. We like making money. That doesn’t mean we are bad people and if you read my blog I hope you understand that first and foremost we care about the people who seek out our help. But we are business people. You know who else runs a business? The defense lawyer.
A defense attorney doesn’t typically just have one case defending a big company, they have many. If they got caught selling out their client, they’d get fired and for some law firms that could mean their whole business would shut down or at least they’d lose a ton of money and have to lay people off. I know of defense firms who have clients which account for 25% of their business. They fight tooth and nail to get that business and they aren’t going to risk losing it for a buddy.
So I believe this attorney is friends with the defense lawyer. I have defense attorney friends. But just as I fight for my clients, they fight for theirs. I’d never sell you out and they wouldn’t risk their career either. They might agree to take a deposition quickly for me or meet me to discuss settlement, but if their client has a reason to fight your case or wants to fight your case, they will do it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just lying to you.
A lie is what happened in this case. A firm who will tell you what you want to hear to get you in the door often won’t be able to back it up later. But that’s not what worries them. They just want you to sign and assume everything else will work out. They’ll make up a new lie when things don’t go right.
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