Why You Need a Lawyer
After an injury, workers often struggle with the decision to hire a lawyer. This dilemma arises from two competing interests: the need to maintain a good relationship with the employer versus the strong desire to protect family.
Here are the reasons why you should hire a lawyer:
Over the years, we have received calls from frustrated workers repeating the same story. After cooperating with the insurance company 100%, their benefits were unexpectedly terminated seemingly without justification. However, upon further inquiry, we found that many of the callers made mistakes in the early stages of their claims when they were unrepresented. Upon learning of their ill-advised actions, they often feel angry and frustrated for having believed they could handle a complicated legal matter on their own. From the inception of their case, these workers were called upon to make critical decisions and elected to do so without any legal assistance. Unfortunately, some of their decisions diminished the value of the claims handing the opposing party an unfair advantage. An experienced lawyer will devote a significant amount of time guiding their client through a maze of important decisions to insure maximal recovery.
While it is true that a worker can always run to a lawyer when things spiral out of control, why would anyone put their family through such an ordeal? A damaged worker’s compensation claim could result in the potential loss of tens of thousands of dollars. Moreover, the delay in seeking legal representation could push the case into protracted litigation. While a case is in litigation, the insurance company is generally not required to pay any benefit that is in dispute. Few workers possess sufficient savings to survive the cancellation of benefits for potentially several years. We continue to receive calls from desperate people in difficult predicaments hoping for an unrealistic quick fix. Sadly, some of the callers were forced to experience severe emotional and financial hardship.
The risk of errors can be greatly minimized by installing a legal representative at the beginning of the claim.
Credible medical evidence is the heart and soul of a strong worker’s compensation case. It will override almost any defense an insurance company can mount. Knowing how and when to obtain proper medical care will have a direct impact on the strength of a case. An experienced lawyer will help you disseminate information about your medical condition that is truthful and accurate. The attorney will also offer invaluable advice concerning the type of specialist required for your type of injury, when to change doctors, and whether to seek a second medical opinion.
Regrettably, many workers diminish the value of their claims by failing to provide their doctors with critical information concerning their jobs, changes in health, and violations of medical restrictions by the employer. Workers who fail to observe these recommendation will likely face adversity and long delays.
The insurance company is not a charitable institution, but rather, a for-profit business which adheres to strict cost-containment policies. To increase their profitability, they consult with hundreds of legal experts to gain in-depth knowledge about the laws in Illinois and will aggressively fight to pay you the least amount of money. Unless you have an experienced lawyer protecting your interests, there is nothing counterbalancing this formidable influence. For obvious reasons, insurance companies love to deal with unrepresented workers.
It is never advisable to advocate on your own behalf.
If a worker is unable to return to their former occupation due to some medical limitation, he/she may experience a significant reduction in wages thus triggering the need for vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation is complicated process that requires a worker to actively participate in a job search program designed to find suitable employment. There is perhaps no other area where the minefields are so numerous. Workers who participate in an insurance sponsored vocational program whose goals are neither fair, reasonable, or realistic are doomed to failure. An ill-designed program could potentially bar the right to enhanced benefits under the law.
An experienced lawyer will ensure that you participate in a vocational rehabilitation program which meets the criteria set forth by your physician.
Unrepresented workers generally have no experience to accurately evaluate and appraise the value of their claims. They rely on the insurance carrier to guide them through the process. Nor are they able to discern whether a key fact in their case allows them to demand an enhanced figure for settling. Workers who advocate without legal representation harm themselves and their families. The insurance carrier will most certainly exploit a worker's good but misguided intentions if they fail to secure legal advice.
The settlement process is more than just about money, it is the time when the parties formalize their promises to each other in binding contract forever. Workers who fail to protect themselves against claims by third parties (doctors, hospitals, Social Security, Medicare, etc.) could likely face future collections. Insurance companies love to limit their exposure employing sophisticated settlement language. Unless you have a lawyer reviewing the settlement terms, you leave yourself financially exposed beyond the date of settlement approval.
Having an experienced lawyer to guide you through the settlement process is crucial to your family's financial well-being.
Hiring a lawyer to represent you in your worker’s compensation claim will probably be one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make in your life. We hope you will take time to arm yourself with the necessary information to ensure the best possible results for you and your family.
The information contained in this website is intended as general information only and is not to be construed as rendering legal advice for any specific loss, issue, or concern.