One thing that is true about dealing with insurance companies is that they are not looking out for you. Whether it’s your health insurance, car insurance or something else, the main goal of the company is to limit how much they pay on your behalf. Sometimes they will tell fantastic lies to further their ends. I heard a real doozy recently from an injured Illinois worker.
This very nice woman had broken her arm. She regularly worked 60 hours a week, but was only getting work comp benefits based on a 40 hour work week. When she asked about the extra pay, she was told (wrongly) that overtime isn’t included in work comp payments. She responded by saying that she wanted to ask a lawyer if this was true and the adjuster went off on her. “If you get a lawyer that will make the case drag on for two more years and they’ll take your money!”
Both of those things aren’t true. First off, the length of a case depends on your medical recovery. The only time getting a lawyer makes it last longer is if you are getting screwed over and we go to arbitration to get you tens of thousands that you are missing out on. In most cases having a lawyer makes things go faster because we stop the insurance company from playing games and allow you to focus on your health.
As for the second lie, attorney fees in Illinois work comp cases are capped at 20% of what is recovered for your settlement or trial verdict. In almost every case, you end up with more money by getting a lawyer than if you didn’t have one, even after the 20% fee. This is a common insurance company lie to try and screw you out of money that they owe you.
This isn’t a one off situation. It happens all of the time. Later the same day I got a call from an Amazon worker who was dealing with their insurance company, Sedgwick. Whoever she talked to told her that there had been a “global settlement” of their work comp cases and that she had been allotted a certain amount to resolve her case. It was basically implied that all of the cases were getting settled together and that this worker had to take what was a low ball offer.
This was a lie I’d never heard before, but it’s absurd. Work comp cases aren’t class actions. Everyone’s case is their own and you don’t have to take less because all of the cases are resolving at once. They aren’t doing that. Your case settles whenever it’s ready and you get paid whatever it’s worth. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. Their lies might try to avoid that, but if you know your rights you won’t fall for their tricks.
The bottom line is that generally speaking insurance companies don’t look out for you and shouldn’t be trusted. Even when they are nice, they have an agenda, so be careful.
If you would like to speak to an experienced Illinois lawyer for free, call us any time at 800-517-1614. We help with cases everywhere in Illinois.