November 2008


May you experience peace and enjoy your family and friends for a few days.

Sometimes our circumstances overwhelm us, but we still need to find things to be thankful for.

May God open our eyes to the many blessings he pours out.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I was at another Illinois Workers Compensation Docket this week and heard some Insurance Company lawyers laughing about injured workers without lawyers who received low settlements. 

The problem is that the Insurance Company Adjusters want to settle the case for a low amount as possible. They have nothing to lose if the injured worker agrees to a low settlement. The only person who can stop a Workers Compensation Settlement is the Arbitrator. However, the Arbitrator can be distracted at the time she is reviewing the contract, or may not read all of the medical records presented, or may not be presented with the proper records. The worst thing that can happen with a low offer is that the Arbitrator will tell the insurance company lawyer to go back and get more money.

I feel bad for those people who have accepted an unfair Work Comp settlement. An attorney cannot take a fee on a written offer that has been made to you, the lawyer can only take a fee on the increased amount he recovers for you.

If you have questions about your Illinois Workers Compensation offer please call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

What if you do not like the Insurance Company offer?

Tell them you do not think it is fair, but make sure you give solid reasons. They may just listen to you. 

Remember, they are discounting the offer some what. Especially if you do not have a lawyer. The attorney fee is 20% so they figure you are saving 20% upfront.

If you have a lower wage this will make the value lower. The wage is based on the 52 weeks before your injury. 

The insurance company’s motivation is too close out any additional medical treatment. That is usually the biggest part of most claims. If you can point to future medical you may need, then they may increase their offer.

Any questions about Illinois Workmans Comp offers call Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371 for a no obligation discussion.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has issued statistics for fiscal year 2007. 

The number of cases filed for FY 07- 56,685

                                                FY 06-56,911

                                                FY 05-58,715

                                                FY 04-62,267

As you can see the number of cases filed are decreasing.

In FY 2007 the most injured body part was the back- 16% of filings; hand 12%; arm 10%.

Over the last 5 years 85% to 88% of workers compensation cases have been settled. That is right, the vast number of cases are settled without a trial. 

If a case does go to trial, on average 50% are appealed to the Commission level. That takes another 1 to 2 years to complete. Once a Commission decision is made, then 25% to 31% of these decisions are appealed to Circuit Court.

Women file 33% of the Workers Comp claims.

Illinois Workers Compensation cases take time and money is tight, so there is a whole industry that has developed to loan injured workers money. Many clients will ask me what I think about getting a loan on their future settlement.

When you get the money it seems like a good idea, but remember you have to pay it back. The interest rates are extremely high. The lenders know you are in a bad spot, the loan is high risk ( it takes time to get your money and no case is guaranteed) and there are not many options. 

If at all possible I would avoid these loans. If you absolutely must take out a loan, keep the amount as low as you can. Nothing is more disappointing than getting your settlement check and having to pay out a large chunk of it to repay a loan that is long gone.