There are many things that are true across all Illinois workers’ compensation claims. The truest is probably that the insurance company will do whatever they can to limit the amount of money they pay on a case.
Sometimes their strategy is just to deny a case for no reason and see how you respond. Other times they’ll accept your case, but do whatever it takes to find a reason to deny you. This may include talking to your doctor (which is illegal), doing surveillance on you, combing your medical record history for a pre-existing condition, taking a recorded statement or sending you for an IME.
But there’s another somewhat tricky way that insurance companies save money on cases where they have no defense. They will be as nice as can be and pay your bills and lost time and then ghost you. Just the other day I got called from an injured worker who told me, “They paid all my bills, and then I never heard anything.”
So how does paying your bills save them money? A lot of injured workers don’t realize that they are entitled to a settlement when the case is over. So the insurance company is hoping that if they are nice to you, and don’t give you a reason to hire an attorney, you will simply go away and not realize that they owe you a bunch of money before it’s too late. In cases where this strategy works, they will usually save the insurance company somewhere in the five figures.
You have three years from the accident date or two years from the last payment of benefits on your case (e.g. the date they last paid a medical bill or TTD payment) to file a claim. So the good news is that even if they’ve blown you off, if you act fast enough, you can still get a settlement.
Sometimes you’ll call and inquire about one. In our experience, two things happen when you do that. One they make an offer, but it’s for way less than what the case is worth. Two they ignore you with the hopes that if they delay you long enough that you will lose your rights. They may even tell you that your case is closed. The good news is that if you file the case with an attorney it will be re-opened if it’s not too late.
Bottom line is that in almost every case you are owed a settlement. If you want help getting it, we’d be happy to guide you.