In Illinois, injured workers have their benefits denied all of the time. Sometimes it’s for legitimate reasons such as a dispute as to whether your problem is really work related or because they have surveillance of doing things that your doctor says you shouldn’t be doing. Other times your case gets denied for ridiculous reasons which often is a strategic move by the insurance company to try and frustrate you and hope that you go away.
I say all of the time that lawyers need to be in the customer service and problem solving business. So if your benefits are denied or your TTD check is late or you can’t get a surgery approved because the adjuster didn’t call the doctor back, how does a good Illinois work comp lawyer solve that problem for you?
Forget legal training from three years of law school if you are looking for the answer. What I’ve learned in 20 years of being an attorney is that if you want to solve a problem for a client then you should pick up the phone.
Sounds too simple, right? It probably is, but it’s true. You need to call and ask for what you want. Too many attorneys simply fire off a letter and never get a response. When you call, especially when someone answers, it puts them in a tough spot when they are screwing over a client for no reason.
It’s kind of like real life where you don’t get something if you don’t ask for it. Same when it comes to solving a problem with a case. People by nature don’t like to say no and don’t like confrontation. So if I’ve got an opposing attorney or insurance adjuster on the phone and they don’t have a really strong case, they will often roll over.
Beyond all of this an attorney needs to file a trial motion to put a timeline on your opponent to make them respond. But if court isn’t for three weeks and I’m not trying to call before then, then I’m not doing my job and neither is your lawyer.
It may seem odd to write this “legal advice” post, but sometimes the best legal advice is life advice. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Work hard. Keep your promises. It all sounds cliche, but it’s often the secret to Illinois work comp success.
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