No attorney can guarantee anything, but we can certainly say what is 99% likely based on years and years of experience.
I thought of this the other day when I read about an injured worker who took his case to trial. He was lifting a case of product when he felt a pop in his back. He was employed through a staffing company and had only been on the job for about six weeks. If you know anything about temp agencies, they feel no personal connection to their employees and deny work comp cases as a matter of routine.
Sure enough they denied this case even though he reported it right away, went to the doctor right away, told the doctor it happened at work and there was no evidence that he was hurt in any other manner. The staffing company denied the case because it was unwitnessed. Having a witness is not needed to win your work comp case.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission ruled in his favor. They noted the following:
1. Not having a witness does not bar recovery.
2. The medical records were consistent with his testimony.
3. The written statement he gave to his employer was consistent with his medical records and testimony.
4. He had no physical complaints or treatment prior to the date of accident.
5. The insurance company offered no evidence to rebut his testimony.
All of these things taken together made the case a winner. This is how it goes in most Illinois work comp trials. Surprisingly, the biggest reason people win trials, in my opinion, is reason number five. When there is no one else to testify as to why your story isn’t true, it surely makes it seem more likely, especially when you come across as credible.
Arbitrators aren’t dumb. They are suspicious of people whose stories have changed. Suspicious of people who have filed many cases in the past, especially when it’s to the same body part. And they are suspicious of people who seem a little too slick.
However, if you honestly were injured on the job, get treatment, report the accident and listen to your doctors, unless there is some mystery witness to call you a liar, you should win your case.
It doesn’t always go that way. If your attorney isn’t prepared things can fall apart. If you haven’t been 100% honest things can fall apart. If someone is out to get you and will lie on a witness stand, you could lose your case.
In most cases though, if you are honest, credible and nothing is really against you, you should win the case.
As always, if you have ANY QUESTIONS, call or email us any time for a free consultation.