A caller to my office had a shameful Illinois workers’ compensation story.
She works in the Quad Cities and was injured there, but hired a (in my strong opinion) shady Chicago work comp firm that does a lot of TV advertising to represent her. These are lawyers that seem to try and sign up as many cases as possible but don’t care what happens on the case.
In her claim she had a fall and someone from the company lied and claimed she said that she told them she wasn’t hurt at work. As a result her benefits were suddenly cut off. It put her in a real financial crunch.
What her lawyers should have done is filed a trial motion. What they did do is tell her to settle the case since it’s disputed. They said this despite her having a real serious injury, needing more treatment and the value of the case if they saw it through likely being 20 times what they got for her.
She didn’t know any better and thought this is what work comp is. The truth is that they had a young lawyer on the case who doesn’t know what they are doing and doesn’t want to travel three hours to a hearing in Rock Island.
So the client settled and now wants to know how to get medical treatment. The sad truth is that there’s nothing we or anyone can do for her now.
There is no such thing as the “top” or “best” work injury firm in Illinois. You need to hire whoever is best for your case. But there is a clear difference between good firms and those that don’t care about their clients and put their clients at risk.
This is a sad example of what can happen when you don’t have a good firm. It’s not the injured worker’s fault. They listened to their attorney.
To make matters worse, she still hasn’t been paid even though I could see that settlement contracts had been approved by the Arbitrator. When she asked her lawyer why she didn’t have her money yet they lied and said that the defense attorney hadn’t returned them yet.
I will never get how a law firm can operate this way. You have to have something majorly wrong with you to blatantly lie to people over and over. I think part of it is these types of firms are run by terrible people and the young attorneys they train either don’t know any better or are desperate to have a job. It’s probably a little bit of both as these young lawyers usually don’t last more than a year which just makes matters worse for the clients of the firm.