Recently I was contacted  by  a nice guy who had been in a car accident in Chicago.  He had found what seemed like a great car accident law firm to represent him, but had questions about their fees.

He first asked me what a standard fee is for a personal injury lawyer. I answered honestly that in most cases it’s 1/3 of what is recovered.  Occasionally this goes higher or lower, but 1/3 is pretty standard.

That made sense to him. What didn’t make sense is that the firm he was thinking about hiring wanted to charge him 40% of what is recovered if the case goes to trial and 50% of what is recovered if the case gets appealed.

Now I’m not saying that this never happens or that there aren’t circumstances that call for it, but none of the firms I work with do this (that I’m aware of) because 33% is a lot to begin with and when you are talking 40-50%, the lawyer tends to end up with more than the client and that’s not right.

When you hire an attorney, they must be thinking the case could go to trial.  That’s their job.  So for them to get an extra 7% for the “inconvenience” is absurd.  They aren’t taking less money if they settle the case quickly, why should they get more money if the case takes a longer time?

The reality is that some law firms will just charge what they think they can get.  In most cases there are a handful of firms that can do a good job for you.  So to me, there is no reason to hire one for 40-50% when an equally good one will do it for 33%.  And quite honestly, to me it says something negative about the character of a lawyer that tries to take that much from a client.

Bonus tip.  Under Illinois law, the maximum fee for a medical malpractice case is 33% and for workers’ compensation cases it’s 20%.  If you come across a lawyer who is asking for more than that they are likely breaking the law.

Bottom line is that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask these types of questions and if you aren’t happy with a fee and have a good alternative, don’t sign up.

If you have any questions or want a referral to an experienced personal injury lawyer, call us for free any time at 312-346-5320.

We are experienced Chicago attorneys who offer free legal guidance and lawyer referrals to the best law firms in Illinois.  We have helped more than 300,000 people in 20+ years.  If you have questions or would like a referral, call to speak to one of our lawyers at 312-346-5320.

Pretty much everyone has either had cancer or knows someone who has.  If you get it, you will have lots of questions: How did I get this? What type of cancer do I have? Will it spread? What are my treatment options? What happens next? So many questions, but the only reasonable and natural thing to do is to put your trust in your doctor.

A recent study discovered that the most common form of medical malpractice claims is the failure to diagnose, or misdiagnose, diseases and illnesses. Of these claims, the most frequently missed were cancer, particularly breast, colon, prostate, melanoma and lung cancers.

No one can predict or even prevent who gets cancer and who does not. Cancer is a very aggressive condition that tends to spread quickly and is out of anyone’s control, but the key to surviving cancer is early detection, diagnosis and treatment. When a doctor fails to diagnose cancer, the patient often misses a critical time frame for effective treatment and it often can mean the difference between life and death.

Cancer, such as colon, breast and prostate cancer are very treatable in the early stages. Once cancer has spread to the blood or other organs, or has metastasized, treatment options and chances of survival are greatly reduced. Often, treatment for later cancer stages is typically more aggressive, resulting in additional pain, discomfort and loss of quality of life for the cancer patient.

But, not every misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is grounds for malpractice. The type of cancer, the stage of cancer, the symptoms and the actions taken by the doctors all are factors to consider when looking at medical malpractice. Failure to diagnose may be unavoidable, depending on the nature of a patient’s case. It is common for cancer to not exhibit clear signs or symptoms that are reasonably identifiable by medical professionals until the advanced stages. Sometimes, cancer symptoms may not even show at all.

So how do you know if you have a case?

In general, to have a case worth looking in to you need to show that a doctor should have looked for or diagnosed cancer and the time from when it should have been caught until it was caught was six months or more.  When the delay is that long or longer you can often show that your cancer got much worse than it would have been had it been caught right away.  This doesn’t guarantee a win if there is a lawsuit, but in Illinois if the delay is that long the case is worth investigating by a malpractice law firm.

The next logical question is how do you know if a doctor should have caught the cancer?

There’s no slam dunk to this either, but if the patient exhibited visible cancer signs and symptoms and no scans or blood tests were ordered, that is likely malpractice.  If they misread an x-ray or CT scan or failed to perform a biopsy, that could be a case. Not recommending any follow up when there are warning signs is a problem too.

It’s important to know that for most cases you have two years from when you knew or should have known malpractice occurred to file a lawsuit, but no more than four years from when it happened.  Bottom line is that if you think you might have a case you should act fast.

Malpractice lawsuits in Illinois do take time, but there are a handful of experienced law firms with an incredible track record of success.  We would recommend you to one that has experience winning cases with the type of cancer you or a loved one are dealing with. Call us any time you’d like to discuss a case. It’s always free and none of the attorneys we recommend charge a penny unless they win the case.

A couple of weeks back I got a call from someone who had been injured in a car accident. They wanted me to give them a list of the best five car accident attorneys in Chicago.  When I told them that didn’t exist they didn’t give me a chance to explain why and hung up. So for them or anyone else who is looking for the “top” or “best” attorney for their case, let me tell you why it’s not that simple.

Let’s say that you are driving down the highway and you hit the breaks because traffic has come to a crawl.  Ten seconds later a semi truck slams in to your car, killing two of your family members and shattering your leg, pelvis and arm.  Physically it will take you years to recover and emotionally you likely never will. While it sounds like a slam dunk case, the reality is that there are only a handful of law firms qualified to handle that case.  Trucking cases require a high level of experience as many truck owners create shell companies to disguise the true owner of their truck and make it appear there is only limited insurance available to make a recovery against.

In a case like that I’d say there are maybe ten Chicago law firms at most with a real track record of success in those cases. Hiring the “best” one in that case might be the difference of millions of dollars as you really have to know how to handle these cases to get the most money.

So while those firms are great, if you told me that you were sitting at a stop light and rear-ended by a person with a GEICO insurance policy for $100,000.00 and sustained a back injury, I would not tell you to hire them.  It’s not that they couldn’t do the job, it’s that there is no way a lawyer who deals with truck death cases is going to spend the time needed on a smaller case like this.  They’d likely assign a very young, inexperienced associate to handle the case.  The “best” car accident attorney for you in that case is a smaller firm that handles these types of cases all day.  You’ll pay the same fee, but have an attorney with 20 years of experience in your corner.

There are many other issues that make who is best for your unique case an issue.  Maybe the defendant has what is known as a sub-standard insurance company which means to get the best recovery you need a lawyer who is willing to go to trial.  Believe it or not, not all firms will do that.  Perhaps you have a unique injury.  In that case getting someone in your corner who has won a similar case and understands the medicine is important. Maybe you are calling for a family member who does not speak English. To be successful the case might require someone who speaks their language.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that the top attorney for you might not be the top for someone else.  Every case is different. If you want to talk with a lawyer for free, call us any time at 312-346-5320 for a free consult.

There are no words that can describe the pain and suffering for a family after the loss of a loved one. If that loss was due to a wrongful death, it can be especially painful to think and imagine the horrors your loved one faced. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit won’t fix the damage that’s been done, but you can be the voice of the deceased and force the defendant to acknowledge their wrongdoing and and make right by it and hopefully prevent it from happening to someone else in the future.

A loved one dying suddenly can be stressful and carry an uncertainty of what to do next. This is especially true if you do feel that your loved one died due to negligence or malicious behavior. The best step you can take, especially when thinking of taking legal action, is you must demand an autopsy immediately. Aside from that, you will want to start the legal process sooner than later.

An autopsy is not always required to prove wrongful death, but is crucial as it can help prove with certainty what caused the individuals death. With an array of circumstances resulting in wrongful death cases, the most common are by automobile accidents and medical malpractice. Autopsies are generally a good idea when the cause of death is unknown or if you suspect you know why someone passed, but can’t say for sure.

In other words, when there is a car accident that causes a death, an autopsy is helpful, but it won’t end the case most likely if you don’t have one. On the other hand, if someone goes to the hospital with stomach pain and dies the next day, an autopsy is likely the only way to prove that the hospital was negligent.

Any evaluation to a wrongful death claim begins with one simple question: What was the cause of death? When a sudden death occurs and is believed to be done by negligence or malicious behavior of a medical professional or another individual playing a role, an autopsy can help answer that.

Once the cause of death is determined, a lawyer can help determine whether the death was preventable or not. This is where the real issue lies: was the defendant negligent and did their negligence cause your loved ones death. This information is crucial to your case.  While it may be the last thing you want to do, not having an autopsy could cause you to have problems finding a lawyer and/or cause you to lose the case when it goes to trial.

You may be lead to believe that an autopsy is unnecessary by a healthcare provider, as the death seems clear and obvious. The truth is there are many times when a health care provider/facility may not want to perform an autopsy since it could reveal they could be partially liable for the death.

We recognize how devastating the sudden loss of a loved one can be and how the decision to have an autopsy performed can be equally emotional. But it is important to remember that an autopsy is extremely valuable to a wrongful death case. Grieving can be very different and difficult for anyone. We are here to be the voice to families affected by wrongful death. Give us a call for any questions or guidance in your wrongful death case.  We can be reached at 312-346-5320 for a free consultation any time.

We are Chicago based lawyers who cover all of Illinois and have experience with serious injury cases. Fill out our contact form or call us at 312-346-5320 if you’d like to discuss a case for free and in confidence.

Many Americans are highly concerned with access to affordable and quality health care. And rightfully so with the price of premiums rising as they are. What many American’s don’t realize is that even if you can afford insurance, your access to quality health care can be restricted by insurance company tactics that limit coverage for certain prescriptions and procedures.

That’s right. The doctor that you seek out when you’re sick, share your health with, and trust: They may not have full reign when working for you, as the patient. The medical middleman has come between doctors and patients. As healthcare costs have risen, insurance companies have increasingly used their power as payers to alter doctors’ prescriptions and override patients’ treatment decisions.

The Doctor-Patient Rights Project (DPRP) recently did a study that showed the health of nearly one in four insured patients, that’s almost 53 million Americans, treating a chronic or persistent illness may be in jeopardy by insurance providers to denied coverage. One-third of these patients cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs and may be forced to put off or forgo treatment altogether.

Of course the power should be in the hands of the doctors not insurance companies. The good news is that there is a way to fight back.

In many cases insurance companies are essentially practicing medicine when they deny commonly accepted treatments as “experimental” or refuse without good cause to approve a surgery at all.  In a recent case a family won more than $25 million in a lawsuit against Aetna for not approving care.  A law firm we work with is pursuing a case currently against United Health Care for something similar.

In that case it’s alleged that a sick person called the toll free line for the insurance company and spoke to a “nurse” who allegedly assured him that despite shortness of breath and difficulty breathing he was fine.  The reality is that the proper advice would have been to tell them to hang up the phone and rush to an ER or call 911.  This has resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit against the health insurance company.

This was the insurance company allegedly practicing medicine and giving bad advice.  With some insurance companies approvals and denials are made by people with limited to no medical training.

Doctors should have the power to make treatment decisions without interference from insurers and if you call an insurer they should always err on the side of your health and not their bottom line. This isn’t the case as recently we’ve seen a cancer patient denied specialized treatment, a diabetic denied vascular surgery, a child with a brain tumor denied specialized marrow transplantation and/or chemotherapy, a man with brain cancer denied testosterone.

 

When this type of insurance company malpractice happens, you may have a lawsuit.  Contact us any time for free if you’d like to discuss your options.

Your baby is born and it is the most rewarding experience for your family and one that you’ve been anticipating for a long time. But, what if, what should be one of the brightest and happiest moments in your life, has turned to one of the darkest moments.

Such is the case for a mother in Cook County who just won a medical negligence against her obstetrician. In 2008, Evanthia Georgas had a seemingly normal delivery. After only two hours of labor, the doctor decided to use a birth-assisting tool, the vacuum-extractor. At birth, her newborn son showed signs of bruising above his left ear. A CT scan showed hemorrhages between the skull and scalp on the right side. Because of the medical errors made, her son had suffered from traumatic brain injury and a stroke leaving him, at the age of 10, to have left-side paralysis, cerebral palsy and frequent seizures.

Birth-assisting tools, such as the vacuum extractor, can be very beneficial during a difficult delivery, but can also lead to serious birth injuries and permanent medical issues if used improperly.
A vacuum-extractor is typically used when a difficult labor takes too long or the mother is too exhausted to continue pushing. During a contraction, the doctor will apply a soft cup to the top and back of the baby’s head that will help pull the baby out, using a light suction.

Birth injuries vary depending on how the vacuum extractor was misused. However, because a vacuum extraction does relate to the brain and most injuries are head or brain related one very surprising injury for a newborn can lead to a stroke.

The reality that a baby can have a stroke is shocking. Surprisingly, pediatric strokes are common and even have the same chances of experiencing a stroke as an older person. They usually occur in the first month of life in roughly one in every 4,000 births (whether premature or full-term) and are one of the top 10 killers of children.

You might be asking how strokes can even occur in a newborn. Eighty percent of strokes in babies are by clots, which are when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to brain eithers bursts or are blocked.

A clot is actually a common risk during delivery. Childbirth is already a tremendous strain on the baby’s head and can often form a clot. Adding a vacuum-extractor can add more stress on the arteries and veins in the baby’s head potentially leading to a clot formation and therefore a stroke.

Several other birth injuries occur from the misuse of the vacuum-extractor. These can include skull fractures, retinal hemorrhages, brachial plexus injuries (also known as shoulder dystocia, Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy), brain hemorrhages, nerve damage, neonatal jaundice and cerebral palsy. Untreated, some of these conditions can lead to paralysis, intellectual disability and other life-long conditions or even death.

I sincerely hope that you don’t have to go through this with your child, but if you do, it’s important to know that there are only a handful of law firms that have the experience to protect your family and child and to right this wrong legally speaking. It won’t fix what’s happened, but will provide significant compensation and hopefully prevent it from happening to anyone else again. If you’d like to talk with one of our lawyers about a case, call us for free any time at 312-346-5320 or fill out our contact form and we’ll call you.

The idea of spending a few days in bed may seem like heaven on earth to some, but the reality is there are many patients who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair for extended periods. It can be very difficult for many patients to adjust to and often very painful. Those patients rely on nurses and rehab facilities to take care of them. When those people fail it is negligence and can lead to a lawsuit.

Due to a lack of activity for long periods, bedridden and wheelchair patients, become vulnerable to various health complications such as circulation and respiratory problems, depression and contractures. One of the most unfortunate and common health risks for bedridden patients is pressure ulcers or bedsores as they are most commonly known.

Unfortunately, bedsores are generally a sign of neglect and are a common sight in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 1 out of 10 residents in an in-patient treatment center currently suffer from bedsores. Staff in these centers needs to remain aware that patients, of all ages and health, are at risk for bedsores and need to be diligent with preventive care.

Bedsores are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Most of us have full mobility to rotate our bodies, which keeps the blood flowing normally avoiding any risk of bedsores. However, those with limited mobility are usually unable to rotate their bodies easily and therefore have poor blood circulation. Sitting or lying in the same position for long periods on areas of decreased blood supply adds pressure causing the bedsores. Over time, the decreased blood supply causes the flesh in these areas to die and form sores that can become very deep and can even become infected causing further complications, categorized into 4 stages.

Pressure on skin and tissues that cover bony areas of the body are at the biggest risk for breaking down and causing bedsores. Heels, ankles, hips, shoulders and tailbones are the most common areas and patients immobilized with medical conditions such as joint replacements, hip, pelvis or leg fractures, paralysis or coma are most at risk.

The severity of bedsores is based on how deep the sores are and the accompanying symptoms. As previously mentioned, there are essentially 4 stages to pressure sores. The stage number reflects the severity of the bedsore damage, with four being the greatest level of damage. As a bedsore progresses in severity, it becomes increasingly more difficult to correct.
Here are the four stages of bedsores to be aware of as well as treatment options:

Stage 1 Bedsore
Stage 1 is the beginning stage for a bedsore and only affects the upper layer of skin. Symptoms can include pain, burning or itching. The first and most important thing to do is to stop the pressure by changing position or using foam pads, pillows or mattresses. Washing the area with mild soap and dry gently. Eating a diet high in protein, vitamin A & C and Iron and Zinc are all helpful to your skins condition.

Stage 2 Bedsore
Once a sore has become an open wound, the bedsore has reached stage 2. This becomes very painful, as the skin is broken, swollen and tender. Sometimes this stage looks like a blister filled with clear pus. Skin also becomes damaged beyond repair in this stage. For treatment, you would follow the same steps as in stage 1, but also be sure to keep the sore covered with a see through dressing or moist gauze.

Stage 3 Bedsore
Here, the sore has deepened into a serious wound, forming a small crater. This indicates permanently destroyed tissue. Bad odor, red and yellow infected edges and drainage are all signs of infection. Stage 3 will need more care and your doctor may need to remove any dead tissue and prescribe antibiotics to fight any infections.

Stage 4 Bedsore
Stage 4 bedsores are the most serious and at the most advanced stage. The sores destroy muscle, bone and even tendons and joints and can often be lethal. It is imperative to tell your doctor right away as stage 4 can require surgery.

In stages 3 and 4 there is often excruciating pain due to significant tissue damage. Serious complications, such as infections to the bone or blood can also occur.
Pressure injuries can also be “unstageable,” meaning that the doctor cannot see the base of the sore to determine the stage. In some cases, a deep pressure injury is suspected but cannot be confirmed. These are DTI, or deep tissue injuries. This occurs when there isn’t an open wound, but the tissues beneath the surface have been damaged.

Those with bedsores can experience discomfort, great pain, depression and a reduced quality of life. If you have been a victim of medical neglect, contact an experienced attorney right away to get the help you deserve.  If you would like our help, fill out our contact form or call us at 800-517-1614 for a free consultation with a lawyer.

If you have a work-related injury in Illinois, you may consider seeking out legal help. First thing, you should consider what kind of attorney would best fit your criteria and interview them. This first meeting is an initial consultation and is your chance to really dig in and ask some important questions, make observations and evaluate to determine if they would be a good fit for you and your case.

You’ll want to have a list of questions in mind to ask relating to the lawyer’s expertise, experience, fees, special knowledge and management of the case. Listed here are seven questions to help guide you in your consultation.

Q: Will you be handling my case personally? Who will be doing the bulk of the work?
A: It is common for lawyers to delegate appropriate tasks to associates and/or paralegals. One Chicago work comp firm is famous for hiring really young lawyers and giving them tons of cases without much training or supervision. Chances are you spent some time finding this experienced workers compensation lawyer, and the last thing you’d want is for him/her to pass off your case to another attorney. You will want to make sure your hired lawyer is the one overseeing everything in your case and doing the high-level work involved.

Q: How much of your practice is devoted to workers’ compensation?
A: You are looking for a specialist in workers’ compensation, so ideally the lawyer should devote a significant portion of his/her practice to representing injured workers, if not 100%.  Most of the attorneys we recommend only handle work comp cases.  If they are doing any non-injury related cases it’s a bad sign.

Q: What are your fees and how is litigation costs handled?
A: This is obviously an important question to ask upfront. It is important to understand all fees associated with your case before retaining their services. All workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they receive a percentage of your settlement. By State law, the fees are capped at 20% of what they recover for you.  But there will be expenses and if they ask you to give them money to cover that you should walk away.

Q: How will I know how my case is doing?
A: Communication is the key when working with a lawyer and this question should give you some insight into the attorney’s communication style. Ask the lawyer how often and under what circumstances you can expect to hear from him/her and to be sure you would be receiving periodic status updates. Also, find out if you can expect to hear from them via phone or email.

Q: How many cases have you represented that were similar to mine?
A. Experience matters, so now is the time to make sure they have experience in producing results in similar cases. Feel free to ask about their record of accomplishment, such as the number of cases won or settled. You can even go a step further and ask for references.  It’s not always enough that they only do work comp. You want them to understand your injury too if it’s unique.

Q: What is the best strategy for my case?

A. Once you have explained your situation to them, you should get a better idea of how the lawyer values your case and the steps he/she can take in favor of your case. No attorney can ever guarantee a recovery; but an experienced attorney should be able to give you a general assessment of your case, including strategy and possible outcomes.

Q: Is there anything I can do that can help my case?
A: For any successful case, you and your attorney should work as a team. An experienced attorney will understand this and will appreciate your willingness as a resource You may be asked to help answer questions on your case, gather medical records and documents, and to explain details of your injury. Make sure your conversation is thorough and that you know what may be expected of you moving forward.

The director of public affairs for Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Kate Ellis, said in a statement “The safety and security of our patients and team members is our top priority.” However, after a Cook County jury awarded more than $10 million to former AIMMC employees this week for two (2) separate incidents in a 2014 lawsuit, it seems doubtful they are truly concerned for anyone’s safety and security.

Dr. Caroline Ryan, a former anesthesiologist at AIMMC, and six (6) former nurses, brought a lawsuit against Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in the Illinois Circuit Court for two (2) separate incidents of misconduct.

The first incident gives allowance for a culture of tolerating misconduct. Dr. Stephen Laga has been accused of physically attacking Dr. Ryan. When Ryan immediately reported the incident to Advocate’s vice president of medical staff management, she was encouraged to drop her report “for the sake of the hospital.” According to the complaint, Laga had a long and documented history of violent conduct that the hospital has chosen to ignore continuously.

Workers have the right, among other rights, to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. Yet workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings face significant risks of workplace violence. Violent incidents can come from a variety of sources with many going unreported. Doctors are more often protected as they bring in a considerable amount of profit to their healthcare organization. Clearly, this just isn’t right or legal.

At trial, Advocate claimed the hospital leadership had discretion when handling doctor misconduct and they acted reasonably in this instance. The jury disagreed and awarded Ryan $50,000 in compensatory damages and $7 million in punitive damages. It’s clear the jury was sending a message that just because doctors do generate significant revenues for hospitals, the culture of tolerating misconduct by them is not okay.

The second incident, occurring less than a year later, involved a prominent eye surgeon secretly videotaping women at the hospital and a medical clinic. Robert Weiss was an eye doctor at the Chicago Eye Institute at the 3000 block of Milwaukee Avenue. It was here that another employee found a camera inside a toilet in the women’s facilities. Recordings on the memory card showed Weiss in the recordings as well as other illegal and secret recordings in the locker room at Chicago Eye Institute maintained at AIMMC, where Weiss also held employment.

Weiss was arrested when the secret camera was discovered in April 2014 and charged with felony criminal conduct. Yet, this wasn’t Weiss’ first offense. Advocate knew or should have known that Weiss had a history of similar inappropriate conduct while working for the hospital. One instance includes complaints of him using his mobile phone to photograph female clients and employees without their consent. What is further bothersome is that Advocate delayed in his suspension, despite the history and criminal charges.

Filming someone in a private place without the consent of those present is illegal. To compensate the plaintiffs for the invasion of their privacy, the jury awarded each of the women amounts ranging from $50,000 to $275,000, totaling $1.175 million. In addition, the jury awarded $2 million in punitive damages. These awards made against Weiss and the jury found Advocate liable for the invasion of privacy, but did not hold Advocate accountable when asked if Weiss misconduct was reasonably foreseeable.

That may have relieved the hospital of further liability for now, but it seems apparent that the hospital is failing to act when violations of its own written policies are being reported.

We have a lot of experience helping people who have been abused by doctors both physically and through invasion of privacy.  If you would like our help please call us at 312-346-5320 for a free consultation.

Workers’ Compensation claims can difficult, exhausting and just plain complicated. If you’ve found yourself suffering from a work injury, here is a list of our favorite 33 tid-bits that you might find helpful.

1. With the exception of Federal workers, Chicago cops/firemen, some farm workers, and truly independent contractors, all employees, including employees through a temp-agency, are covered under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.
2. If you don’t have health insurance this doesn’t stop you from making a claim if injured. Workers compensation is there to pay you for all of your related medical bills.
3. All businesses, including non-profits, are required to have workers compensation Insurance. It’s a felony not to have it.
4. In Illinois alone, there are more than 40,000 work comp claims filed every year.
5. Workers hired in Illinois, but injured while working in another state are still covered under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.
6. There is a Statute of Limitations to file for any work injury. You have the longer of two years from the last payment of compensation from your job, or three years from the date of your injury.
7. From the moment you begin work, you’re covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. This includes during training.
8. Pre-existing conditions will not exclude you from receiving benefits.
9. Filing a case isn’t a lawsuit. They are claims for entitled benefits.
10. All injury claims are processed through the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Every case starts with filing an Application for an Adjustment of Claim.
11. Once you have an active case, no doctor or hospital can legally send your bills to collections or report negatively to your credit report.
12. If you are injured while on company property before clocking in, you still may have grounds for a case. The same goes if you are injured after clocking out and leaving the office or are on company grounds for company business.
13. In a case where you may be injured and unable to go back to work, the insurance company will pay you for your retraining or for you to go back to school. This is known as vocational rehabilitation.
14. Pain medication has been known to cause addiction. When this occurs because of a work inury, drug rehabilitation to stop the addiction could be covered.
15. Mental stress will also be considered for workers compensation if the stress occurs from a shocking situation, such as being robbed at gunpoint, or from a physical situation, such as back surgery causing depression from the pain.
16. Cancer can come from extreme exposure to radiation on the job. Workers compensation may cover this.
17. If found necessary by your doctor, victims of catastrophic injuries may be entitled to benefits such as modified vehicles and home repairs.
18. It is typically not a good idea to quit your job in the middle of a case. Be sure to talk to your lawyer before taking any such actions.
19. If you are pursuing a claim, your company cannot fire you for doing so.
20. If you have a work accident that causes you to miss work, your employer can’t force you to use your sick or vacation days.
21. The insurance company has every legal right to hire a surveillance company to follow and film you as part of their investigation into your claim.
22. Be mindful about your social media. Your posts may negatively affect your case. Never post about your case, but it is also best to keep your profiles private and do not accept unknown friend requests.
23. The cause of a work related accident is never assigned to a fault, unless you were engaging in horseplay or taking unnecessary risks. Work comp will cover medical costs related to the job injury, regardless of who caused the accident.
24. While almost every case has a settlement value, there is no set value for what any one case is ‘worth’ because every case has different circumstances.
25. The money you can receive for a settlement is tax-free.
26. If a work accident causes you to be unable to work your second job, wages for both jobs are typically considered when calculating benefits.
27. When filing a claim for a work injury, pain and suffering is not considered in the recovered amount.
28. The amount of medical care and attention you need determines the time it takes for a case to settle. Some cases are settled in weeks, months or even years. On average, most cases are resolved within 12 – 18 months.
29. Insurance companies are not mandated to make a settlement offer, but you can ensure a settlement by formally filing a case and getting ready for trial.
30. Illinois workers compensation laws change constantly due to law interpretation by judges. This is why it is your best interest to hire a lawyer for your claim.
31. Switching attorneys is allowed.
32. Workman compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee unless your case wins.
33. The best chance for success with your case is to hire an attorney who only handles work injury cases.

If you have any questions or want a referral to a top work comp attorney in Illinois, call us at 312-346-5320.