We talk to hundreds of people every year who have Illinois workers’ compensation claims. While they all have unique situations, we do get a lot of similar questions. The most common one is what is my case worth?
That’s a good question and one we are happy to answer if we can. The truth is though that in most cases it’s too early to tell. If you were lifting at work last week and felt a pop in your back, there is no way to tell you what your case is worth when it’s time to settle. You might just have a strain. You might have a herniated disc. It’s possible your injuries will resolve themselves with muscle relaxers and physical therapy. Other workers will get better with an epidural steroid injection. Some workers will need a laminectomy. Others will need a fusion, maybe two. You will hopefully be able to return to your old job, but it’s possible you won’t.
All of these things can affect what the case is worth. So the range of what your case could be worth a week after your injury is somewhere between a couple of thousand dollars and many hundreds of thousands of dollars or possibly even in to the seven figures over a lifetime of payments. Some work comp law firms will tell you that your case is worth a ton even though they have no idea. They do this to get you excited and convince you to sign up with them even though they are lying. They just deal with their lies later on.
The bigger issue for injured workers is making sure that you don’t discuss settlement too soon. When you settle your case, you end your right to medical treatment at the expense of the insurance company and also lose your rights to weekly payments. If you have a herniated disc or torn ACL or other major injury, you could probably get $50,000.00 from the insurance company to settle quickly. They would do that because they know they’d likely have to spend 2-3 times that or more on your medical care. So while it seems like a good deal to you, you would actually be drastically short changing yourself. The only winners in that case are the insurance company and your lawyer who got a quick buck for selling you out.
There is nothing of course more important than your health so you shouldn’t even consider settling an Illinois work injury case until you are discharged from medical care and back to work or told you are as good as you are going to get and have gone through vocational rehabilitation. Put it to you another way. Would you rather have 50k and nobody to pay for your medical care or time off work now or in one year get 200k plus all of your bills and lost time compensated?
This can be tricky and even frustrating. We get that. If you would like a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call us at (800) 517-1614 or fill out our contact form. We help with work injuries everywhere in Illinois.