Most people we talk to about their Illinois work injuries will at some point have questions about a settlement.  Here are some questions we’ve received recently that were great and we think people would want to know about.

Is the first settlement offer ever the best offer?

When insurance companies make settlement offers in work comp cases, it happens after they’ve made an internal decision as to the most a case is worth.  An adjuster or their lawyer will be given a maximum amount of settlement authority.  So if they are told that the most they are allowed to pay on your case is $100,000.00, there is no way they will offer that much on the first offer.  They want to have room to negotiate.  They also often get a bonus or other incentive for staying under that top number.  It’s not an amazing settlement strategy so I would never recommend that you just take the first offer without countering them.

Is there a formula used to calculate what my case is worth?

Yes and no.  Yes, we determine your average weekly wage to establish your permanent partial disability (PPD) rate which is part of what your case will be worth.  And yes every body part has a maximum value of what an injury to that body part can be worth. But every case is different so there is no plug-in formula for saying how much you will get paid.  It’s all negotiable and there are a variety of factors that make a case worth more, the main ones being the treatment you’ve had and the recovery you have made.

I heard that Gallagher Bassett pays less than other insurance companies. Is that true?

No. Gallagher may fight cases hard, but so does Travelers, ESIS, The Hartford, etc. There is no insurance company or employer that worries us more than any other or affects what your case is truly worth.

If I take my case to trial am I able to settle it at a later date?

Yes.  This happens a lot, especially when a worker is permanently disabled or has a wage loss that leads to wage differential benefits being paid.

Is there a limitation on carpal tunnel settlements?

Yes, there can be if you made a full duty release recovery. In those cases, the most your case can be worth is 15% of the hand.  If you have any permanent restrictions it can and should be worth more.

When will workers comp offer me a settlement?

They don’t have to ever offer one which is one reason why you get a lawyer. If they do offer it, it shouldn’t happen until you are discharged from medical care.  Lately, though we see insurance companies trying to take advantage of people desperate financially due to Covid and making offers long before medical treatment is up. Don’t take those offers because if you do, you won’t be able to get medical care at their expense anymore.

If you have any questions about settlements or anything else related to Illinois work comp law, please call us at 312-346-5578 to speak with a lawyer for free.