We are Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers who with our state-wide network, handle cases everywhere in Illinois. We’ll talk to anyone for free and in confidence. You can contact us any time at 888-705-1766.
We love to answer questions and help people. We get so many good questions that I thought it would be a good post to list some that I’ve heard lately.
I just had a neck fusion last month. I feel much better. When can I expect a settlement and how much will I get?
That’s a big surgery. Any time you have something that serious it’s not a good idea to try and rush a settlement. Doing so could cause you to get hundreds of thousands less in benefits potentially. We wouldn’t expect to pursue a settlement until a client has been discharged from medical care and back to work without problems. This person is not close to being discharged as the typical timeline for recovery is at least six months and usually up to a year. How much they will get depends on what recovery they make among other things so there’s no way to give an accurate number right now.
Someone told me a work comp settlement in Illinois is tax-free. Is that true?
It is. When your case is over you will get a copy of an approved settlement contract. You should always keep a copy in case anyone from the IRS or elsewhere wants to know where you got your money from.
I’m on social security and was hurt at work. If I get a settlement will that end my social security benefits?
It shouldn’t, but it could reduce them. To offset that, we add something called “spread language” to your settlement contract. You still get your money upfront in a lump sum, but the language on the contract would note that the payment you are getting is based on your life expectancy and for social security purposes, the dollar amount would be spread out over the rest of your life which will cause your benefits to not drop as much.
This next one is a mashup of something I hear a lot. My cousin had the exact same knee injury with surgery at his job and he got a settlement for $20,000 more than I did. How is that possible?
There could be a lot of explanations. It could be that your lawyer doesn’t know what they are doing or isn’t fighting hard enough. The more likely answer though is that while the injuries are similar, the cases are different. The cousin might make more money. They might have had a worse recovery. There might be potential defenses to your case where the cousin’s case was cut and dry. Maybe the cousin has permanent restrictions or a possible need for future medical care. All of these factors can cause two cases to end up with different results. It’s sensible that people want to compare, but in the end, it’s a bad idea. Your claim is unique and should be treated that way.
And here’s another spin on the last one. I hurt my back ten years ago and got a settlement for about $15,000.00. I had a similar injury last year with the same treatment, steroid injections. Now I’m getting an offer for almost $30,000.00. Did I get too little the first time?
It’s the same answer as the last one along with the fact that every year the value of cases goes up because the settlement rates go up.
If you have any questions about anything related to Illinois work comp law, please contact us at any time.