I will talk to anyone with Illinois workers compensation questions for free. For one, I like to help people and I get to speak with a lot of interesting workers and hopefully make them feel a little better about their situation. Second, you never know when a case that sounds like nothing will turn into an actual great case.
For example, in early 2021 I was contacted by a nice woman who drove for a trucking company. At first, she was very casual in describing her injury that had happened in 2019. She said something like, “I ran over a pothole and hurt my wrist,” Now if you’ve not worked with a lot of truck drivers in the past you’d think that this isn’t a thing. But in reality, a semi-truck steering wheel isn’t like a normal car steering wheel. It requires a lot of force and you can’t really be hands-free or loosely hold the wheel.
So when she hit the pothole, the steering wheel jerked and so did her wrist. I’ve probably hit 100 potholes in my life and have never had a worry other than I hope I didn’t blow out a tire. This client wasn’t as lucky, as she ended up with a severe DeQuervain injury that required a significant surgery along with a radial styloid decompression. She hasn’t made a great recovery from her accident and will need a future surgery. She has a permanent 20-pound lifting restriction and can’t drive a truck anymore.
So what at first seemed like a minor situation is actually a huge injury and case. She was a high-wage earner and is only in her 30’s and facing a career change. Her case is in Rockford so I connected her with a partner who has a great track record of good results there. In this case, he got her an amazing result as the case was settled and paid earlier this year for $475,000.00.
The reason the settlement was so high was due to a variety of reasons:
1. Her injury was very serious.
2. She needs more medical care.
3. She can’t return to her old job.
4. She’s a high-wage earner.
5. Her earning capacity has been reduced greatly. Meaning the jobs she’s qualified for within her restrictions don’t pay well.
6. She missed two years from work (all of which was paid before the settlement).
7. She’s young.
All of those things helped increase the value of this case and resulted in what will likely be one of the top 20 settlement amounts in Illinois this year. It’s a great result to have more than $400,000.00 in her pocket tax-free.
An interesting (to me at least) aspect of this case is that the total expenses on this case were $100. Unlike personal injury lawsuits that require court filing fees and often have expenses in the five figures, the only expense, in this case, was securing her medical records.
Now not every case is going to be like this, but it’s important to understand how settlements work and to realize that just because an injury seems minor doesn’t mean it might not turn into something else. I come across a lot of lawyers who won’t talk to workers unless they have a clearly major injury. That is absurd to me. It doesn’t provide actual service and like in this case, those lawyers miss out on great people and great cases.
If you’d like to talk to an experienced Illinois workers compensation lawyer for free, contact us any time at 312-346-5578.