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Injured workers in Illinois are usually very curious about what their case will be worth. That makes sense. I’d want to know too. Lately, I’ve been getting questions from injured workers about where they can get a copy of the Illinois workers compensation settlement chart.
While the state of IL has set up a medical fee schedule that determines what amount medical providers can charge for their services, there is no such thing as a work comp settlement chart in Illinois.
There is an item known as a rate card that lets you know what the maximum and minimum PPD rates are and the most an injury to a particular body part can be worth. There is also a book called the Q-dex that lists what previous cases have settled for and offers a description of the injuries.
But there is nothing out there that requires any case to be worth any certain amount. Every case is different based on your age, injury, restrictions, wages, work experience, need for future medical care, and subjective pain among other reasons.
That’s not to say that we as lawyers don’t look at other cases to determine what your case would be worth if we went to trial and what a good settlement would be. We do that and previous cases can be a good guide. But there is no “chart” or other formula where you plug in an injury and some numbers and can say for certain that is what a case is worth.
You also have to take into account two big issues. Number one, if there are potential defenses to your claim, that can dramatically alter the value of the case. Number two, if you are unable to return to your old job and suffer a significant wage loss, that could make a case that would normally be worth tens of thousands of dollars suddenly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
By writing this blog, I choose to provide more information for injured workers than any lawyer I know of. I want the general public to know what lawyers know. The reality for settlements though is that you can’t figure out what a case is worth from a chart or by knowing what someone else with a similar injury got. There are just too many variables to take into account that affect the final outcome.
Bottom line is that you can drive yourself crazy worrying about this stuff. As the case goes on your lawyer should be able to give you a range of what the case might be worth, but there’s no way to know for sure until you are discharged from medical care.