When it comes to hiring a lawyer, everyone wants “the best” and they should. But as I’ve discussed many times before on this blog, there’s no such thing as the best, but rather you need to find who is the best Illinois work comp attorney for you. That is always fact specific to your unique case and injury. And nowhere is that more true than if you are on a car accident while on the job. It completely changes who the right law firm is for you.
Generally speaking, car accidents while driving to and from work in Illinois are not part of work comp. But that can change if you are driving a company vehicle in a way that benefits them which could be as simple as having advertisement for the company on the car. It also changes when you are traveling for work instead of just going to and from a stand alone office every day. And of course if you are out of town for work and hurt while driving, that would be a work comp case to under Illinois law. These examples are on top of the countless workers for whom driving is an essential part of the job such as delivery workers, traveling nurses, truck drivers, etc.
In determining which attorney is right for you if you have been in a car accident while working, the first and biggest question is who was at fault. That won’t change whether or not you are entitled to work comp benefits because Illinois is a no fault law. But if the other driver was at fault, it’s likely that you will need a law firm that can not only handle work comp, but also a personal injury lawsuit.
You could get two different firms and that can work sometimes. But the reality is that the cases are related and because the work comp insurance is entitled to a partial reimbursement from your personal injury case, it’s often in your best interests to have one firm handling both cases as that increases the likelihood of more money going in to your pocket in the end.
The seriousness of your injury and who the defendant is will also be a big factor. If you are hit by an individual who doesn’t have much insurance, the personal injury lawsuit won’t be as big as the work comp case. On the other hand, if it’s a big injury and/or the defendant is from a trucking company or some other business, you could need a law firm that handles those cases on a regular basis and has a track record of success that proves they are right for you. If your case has seven figure potential, it’s likely that you’d want an outside firm to work with your work comp attorney. The work comp case is important because you want to get all of the medical care you need and have it paid for. But in the end it’s possible that the case with more value would be suing the trucking company, business or whoever injured you.
This can be confusing, but we are here to help. I don’t handle car accident cases, but can tell you who the best firm is for your case whether that means having one firm handle both cases or two separate firms. If you’d like a free consultation you can call us any time at 312-346-5578. We help everywhere in Illinois.