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A really nice caller to our office had an accepted Illinois workers compensation claim. That means her bills were being paid and she was compensated for her time off of work. The problem was getting approval for certain medical needs. There were delays in things like getting authorization for an MRI and epidural steroid injections.

The problem she told me was that there have been three different insurance adjusters assigned to her case since she’s been injured. Each time a new one takes over problems happen. She wanted to know if this was normal.

In her case, she was injured less than a year ago, so while it’s not unheard of, it’s certainly not normal for there to be so many different adjusters on her file.

That said, being an insurance adjuster isn’t always a great job. The pay is often low. There is a lot of turnover. There aren’t always great support systems. And you spend your day trying to screw people over. It’s not a lot of fun.

And while some insurance companies are better run than others and some people make a long career out of being an adjuster, we do see a lot of new faces on these cases. And we do see, especially on cases that drag on, multiple adjusters on one file.

Another reason this might happen (although it’s not likely for this caller) is that the longer a case lasts, the bigger the financial exposure is for an insurance company. Sometimes this will result in them pulling files from younger workers and giving them to more experienced claims adjusters. The goal is for them to limit their financial exposure at your expense.

My caller actually has had a good experience compared to many people who contact us about their experiences with Illinois work comp insurance companies. Often checks just don’t show up or they discover that bills haven’t been paid. That said, her health is being put at risk based on the fact that medical care is being delayed.

One of the ways a lawyer can solve this problem is by formally filing a case. An experienced attorney will have working relationships with many people at most insurance companies. Getting an adjuster on the phone can be easier for an attorney and if they don’t return phone calls we have solutions such as trial motions or talking to other people at their employer.

What you should know is that whether they are helpful, awful, or somewhere in between, the job of these adjusters is to limit what is being paid to you. The goal of an attorney is (or at least should be) to make sure you get everything you are entitled to under Illinois law. If you’d like to talk about your case, we are happy to do so for free and in confidence anytime.