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There are a few Chicago workers’ compensation law firms that do a lot of advertising. Billboards, TV, radio, etc.  There’s no law against that, but it’s just not my style, especially when they give themselves a nickname. I know it works because we get a lot of calls from their unhappy clients.

Some of the firms that advertise do a fine job and others, in my opinion, are lousy.  I find that they have so many clients that their customer service tends to suffer.

Their reach isn’t just in the Chicago area.  These firms are taking cases all throughout Illinois. While an Illinois law license allows you to practice anywhere, that doesn’t mean that a Chicago lawyer should take a case five hours away from their office.

Quite simply, the best workers’ compensation attorney in southern Illinois is not going to be someone from Chicago. They could do a good job for you, but what I find is that if a law firm in Chicago is handling a lot of cases far away from their office, they are sending their young, less experienced attorneys to handle the case.

I saw this first hand back in the late 1990’s when my career was starting.  I was sent on a plane to Alton, Carbondale and Belleville on multiple occasions to handle cases.  I did my best, but quickly realized that the local lawyers who were on a first name basis with the Arbitrators were better equipped to get a good result.

These early experiences inspired me to create a state wide network where I identified lawyers that I think do a great job throughout the state.  In other words, if you are hurt in Madison County, Decatur, Effingham, etc, I won’t try and directly handle your case, but instead will refer you to lawyers that I have known for years and who I think do as good of a job as any “big city” attorney.

The goal for any attorney should be to get the best result for their client. Any lawyer who’s so arrogant that they think they are the right one for you in every situation is lying to you.

This whole post was inspired after getting a call from a downstate injured worker who hired one of these firms that advertise a ton. When push came to shove and they needed a surgery that wasn’t approved by work comp, this firm didn’t go to court to get it for them, but instead tried to make them settle their case. Worse yet, it wasn’t even an attorney who was the main contact person but some inexperienced paralegal.

One word of warning. While there are many great downstate attorneys for work injuries, you need to avoid some of them. The best ones are almost exclusively handling work comp cases or have it as the main focus of their practice.  Beware the ones who try to take on any case that comes through the door or handle non-injury cases like divorce, traffic, etc.  I highly recommend that you ask them how many work comp cases they’ve taken to trial in the last year. If the answer isn’t at least five, it’s a bad sign.