A lot of different problems can come up in an Illinois workers’ compensation case. Most of them stem from the fact that the insurance company is looking for any way possible to not pay money on your claim, even at times if doing so is against the law. As a result the number one question we get from people with issues on their case is something like:
My work comp check is late. It’s been four weeks since I’ve gotten paid. The adjuster hasn’t returned my calls. What can I do?
This happens all of the time. The reality is that a big insurance company “strategy” is to make life hard on you. If you live paycheck to paycheck, you are probably already struggling to live off of what you get for work comp payments when you are off work. If that money doesn’t come for a month, it could make you desperate. The insurance company is hoping that you’ll ignore your doctor and go back to work.
This of course is very risky, but if you don’t do it you could lose your house. If you do it and get hurt your case could get denied because you ignored your doctor. It’s a real catch 22 and really sleazy of the insurance company to do.
Not every case needs a lawyer, but this is the type of situation where we earn our money. By formally filing a case with an attorney, it gives you the ability to fight back. If your checks are late we can file a petition for penalties and fees. This is a legal strategy that punishes the insurance company when they act in bad faith and deny or delay benefits without a good reason.
It’s not just payments we can do this with. We can also file for penalties when they unreasonably deny your medical care. So if you are waiting on an MRI to be approved or a surgery or anything else your doctor wants, there is a way to fight back.
We also can file a 19(b) petition which is a trial motion for an immediate hearing. If your lawyer does their work, your case can soon be in front of an Arbitrator. Often just the threat of penalties or a trial is enough to make the insurance company do the right thing.
These aggressive strategies cost the insurance company money. And since they are acting this way to try and save money, they will often give up when they know they have no defense because in the long run it costs them more to fight.
The bottom line is that if they are messing with your life you need someone who will fight back for you. If you’d like our help with this, fill out our contact form or call us at 312-346-5578 to talk about your case for free and in confidence.