I get calls all of the time from business owners. I try to politely tell them that I only represent injured workers and can’t answer their questions. Some offer to pay me and I decline. It’s just not what I do.
At least one Illinois work comp defense firm doesn’t work the same way. I know this because a client of theirs called me with a major injury. There is a huge offer on the table to settle the case but it doesn’t cover all of his medical needs. The client is savvy and knows that if he goes to trial he will keep his medical rights open. Problem solved, right?
Unfortunately the lawyer told him that if he goes to trial he will likely get nothing and that he has to settle.
I’m used to lawyer lies, but not from attorneys who normally represent insurance companies. Lots to unpack here:
1. This lawyer likely only took this case on because they thought they could make a quick buck.
2. The lawyer is looking out for themselves and not the client.
3. The attorney probably doesn’t want to go to trial because a defense firm can’t be seen advocating for injured workers. It would be used against them by other defense firms.
4. The lawyer is completely lying to the client. Insurance companies don’t offer hundreds of thousands of dollars on cases that they think could eventually be worth nothing.
It’s really shady that this attorney took this case at all. I can’t think of a bigger conflict than having to worry if you’ll lose other business because of doing a good job for a client.
Bottom line for you is that if the law firm you are thinking of hiring represents workers and companies (or in a case like this, they are usually only for the insurance company) don’t hire them. It’s not in your best interests and like happened here you could really be screwing yourself to no fault of your own. Even if they do a good job the thought has to be in your head wondering if they could have done more.