We are Illinois work comp attorneys who will answer whatever questions you have or if needed, discuss representing you on your case. We are straight forward, blunt and care about our clients.
One thing I find helpful to blog about is good questions that I get from readers. One recently called and wanted to know why it was taking so long for their lawyer to settle their case? Now every case is different so there isn’t a one size fits all answer. But these are the most common reasons an attorney takes forever to settle a case. In no particular order …
- They suck at their job. Some lawyers are just lazy. It’s fortunately a minority, but I’ve seen a couple lawyers who will wait years after the case could be settled to try and do anything. It makes no sense as they aren’t getting paid more by waiting. Others are just disorganized or not aggressive enough. One work comp firm in Chicago seems to take the approach that if they write a letter asking for a settlement and don’t get a response, there is nothing they can do. It’s nonsense as you can pick up the phone, motion the case for trial, track down the opposing attorney, etc.
- They are waiting for medical records. If you don’t have all of your client’s relevant medical records, you can’t make the right settlement demand.
- You are still going through vocational rehabilitation. You never want to settle too early. If you aren’t able to return to work due to permanent restrictions, but haven’t been looking for a new job for very long, it’s not time to settle yet.
- You need more medical care. Once you settle, you are responsible for your medical bills. If you still need more treatment, especially if it’s a surgery, it would likely be a bad idea for your lawyer to try and resolve the case now.
- They are trying and you don’t realize it. Step one is usually to talk to you about making a settlement demand. Step two is to put that settlement demand in writing. Step three is to pick up the phone if you don’t get a response. Step four is to file a motion for trial or get the case ready for trial by taking doctor depositions. The first two steps wouldn’t likely happen without you knowing about it. The second two steps shouldn’t happen without your knowledge. That said, some work comp attorneys in Illinois are just really bad at communicating. Instead of shooting you a quick email to let you know what they are doing, they say nothing. That makes you think they aren’t fighting for you when they really are.
These are the five most common reasons I see, although there are others. If you are at this point in your case and not happy with your lawyer, if you want to switch firms, you likely need to do that before an offer is made. Once your attorney gets any money on the table it can be hard to get new representation. So if they suck at their job, get rid of them before it’s too late. If it’s one of the other issues, stick with them and let the process play out.
And as always, if you have questions, you can contact us for free at any time.