We’ve met and talked to a lot of great people in the last 20 years, but as much as I enjoy them and most seem to enjoy me or whichever Illinois work comp attorney they work with, they are usually happy to have the case over and not have to deal with us anymore. So it’s not unusual for an injured worker to want to know how long does an Illinois workers compensation case take?
The answer is that it depends. Here are the things it depends on:
- How badly are you injured? You should never settle a case before you are fully healed. In some cases that takes a few weeks or months, in others it takes years.
- Are you back to work? If not it affects the value of your case. We would not want to try and settle your case without knowing either you are back to work without problems or if your injury prevents you from going back to work, knowing what type of work you can do and how much you will earn.
- If the case needs to go to trial, is it ready for trial? That could mean taking depositions of your doctors and the insurance company doctor. At a minimum it means securing all of your medical records by subpoena and getting the availability of any needed witnesses.
- Does the insurance company have a good defense and/or are they fighting the case? They have a right under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act to send you to a doctor of their choosing. They can’t delay your benefits for an unreasonable period of time, but they can certainly delay a settlement.
- What are your goals or personal concerns? We never try to settle a case before it’s time or for less than a case is worth, but if you are about to lose a home to a foreclosure, we might push to get it done quicker for slightly less money if that makes sense for you.
But the most important reason is the first. You never want to settle before you are better because when you do, it closes out your medical rights. Health has to be the number one consideration.
Bottom line is that our goal is to get you as much as possible, as quickly as makes sense. We’ll never tell you to settle when it’s not in your best interests.
Questions? If you want to talk about anything, call us at (312) 346-5578 any time. It’s always free and confidential.