We have been handling workers’ compensation claims in Illinois since 1997. If you would like a free consultation with an attorney, fill out our contact form or call us at 312-346-5578. We cover all of Illinois.
The top work comp question any Illinois attorney gets is “What is my case worth?” The answer always depends on a lot of things including your wages, your age, the medical care you’ve had, and the medical care you might need in the future. The biggest factor though is what is your recovery and do you have any permanent restrictions?
The reality is that if you’ve been hurt at work and you need permanent restrictions, your case will be worth more money than if you had made a full recovery. A permanent restriction can be something like no lifting over 20 pounds, a limited time period in which you can type, or an order for you not to do any overhead work. The more serious the restriction, the more the case is worth.
So how much more is it worth?
Every case is different. If you have a 20-pound lifting restriction but your normal job never requires that much lifting, it won’t make your case worth that much more. On the other hand, if you had to switch jobs within the company, the restriction will add value to your case.
Where a permanent restriction really changes what a case is worth is when your employer doesn’t have a job for you within your restrictions. If you were a high-wage earner and now are without a job, if you can’t find a job making close to what you used to make, it’s likely your case will be worth somewhere in the six figures. We’ve helped a lot of union workers who used to make $50 or so an hour and now can only make minimum wage. This is proven by going through vocational rehabilitation and doing a job search. A case that might be worth $50,000.00 with a full recovery can suddenly be worth closer to $500,000.00. The other factors such as your age are a factor too, but not nearly as important as your job status.
In other cases, your injuries are so severe that you have restrictions that not only your employer can’t accommodate them, nobody can. When there is no stable job market for you due to a work-related injury, you are considered to be permanently disabled. Those cases are also worth significantly more than a case where someone makes a full recovery and are almost always worth somewhere in the six figures.
The bottom line is that restrictions will increase what your case is worth and in some cases will increase it by a lot. And if you want a free review to discuss what your case might be worth you can contact us any time to speak with a lawyer.