A caller to my office was a driver for a major shipping company and got injured in two accidents, resulting in a severe neck and back injury. He was a high wage earner and it’s doubtful that he will ever get back to that job again. With a 30 year work life expectancy he stands to lose a lot of money which means that this Illinois work comp case is likely worth a few hundred thousand dollars.
Or I should say it would have been worth that much. This really nice guy hired an attorney that doesn’t know much about Illinois work comp laws. He was offered around $20,000 to resign and retire from the company and his attorney told him that was no problem and that he should take the money as it would help him with his finances.
The BIG PROBLEM with this advice is that once he resigned, he essentially ended any chance of receiving wage differential benefits that would make up for the amount of money he will lose since his yearly pay will dramatically drop once he returns to the work force. He also risks having his TTD benefits get cut off and loses a chance to make the insurance company pay for vocational rehabilitation.
It was a huge screw up by his attorney.
So I’m here to tell you that if you have an active work comp case in Illinois, don’t resign or quit, especially if you have a major injury, are facing significant future medical care or won’t be able to replace your old wage with a new one that is the same or better.
Resigning or quitting too early can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. I estimate that this case will now be worth no more than $75,000. It’s not chump change, but certainly not the same as $300,000.
I get that some people can feel pressure to quit or need a severance that gets offered, but if you do so without talking to an attorney who knows how to handle these cases, like this gentleman it can really cost you.
Bottom line is that you might be able to quit or resign, but doing so without knowing how it will affect your case is a really bad idea. We would be happy to talk to you for free at any time if you would like to discuss it.