By far the most common question an Illinois injured worker has is what can I expect for a settlement of my case?
The answer depends on so many things. I get this question a lot when someone has been recently injured or is in the middle of their treatment. For those people, the answer is, “I have no realistic idea,” because we don’t know what your ultimate recovery will be. We can make educated guesses, but the reality is that if you have surgery, the value of your case will increase. If you can’t return to your normal job or have permanent restrictions, the value of your case will go up. We, of course, don’t know those things early on right after you get hurt.
We also don’t know soon after you are hurt what the defenses will be to your case. A good IME doctor for the insurance company can cause your case to be worth less. Surveillance can reduce the value of your case if you are caught doing something that is beyond your medical restrictions or contradicts what you are telling your doctor. Making an unexpected great recovery or having an employer surprisingly give you a job within your restrictions will change the value.
So telling you what you can realistically expect isn’t something we can accurately say at that point. We can give a range, but the best advice you can get from us early on is to focus on your treatment and things to look out for like nurse case managers, surveillance, insurance company tricks, etc.
Other clients/callers want to know what they can expect for a settlement as their treatment is wrapping up. We can give a much more likely outcome of what will happen at that point. But if we aren’t your lawyer or even if we are, an accurate expectation of what you will get can only be made in most cases by seeing your medical records. Those little details matter. And if you are just calling us for the first time we need to know your age, job history, wages, medical history and many other things. In other words, it’s not a quick answer if you want an accurate one.
My bonus tip is that the time to really think about a settlement is when your medical treatment is ending. And if you are able to get back to work, the time to ask for a settlement is when you’ve gone back to work and are able to do your job without problems.
No matter what your question or situation, our lawyers are happy to talk with you for free. Call us at 888-705-1766 any time.