Workers Comp Settlements

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies do not want you to understand the law and the process of injury settlements.

The reason is that they can save themselves lots of money if you walk away from what is owed to you pursuant to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

Insurance companies will tell you that you are not due a settlement.

Insurance companies will tell you that your settlement value is low.

Insurance companies will tell you that you may lose your job if you file a Work Comp claim.

These things are not true.

Almost any work injury will result in some type of settlement.

Be careful of low ball offers.

The value of a work comp settlement is based on your medical treatment, your permanent restrictions, your age, your average weekly wage, and your work history.

You must tell your doctor about the problems and symptoms you have as a result of your injury. This will show up in your medical records and help your case.

In Illinois it is against the law to fire someone or discriminate against them for filing a workers’ compensation case.

You should check with an experienced Illinois Workers’ Compensation lawyer before you settle your work injury case.

It does not cost anything to check with an attorney.

All attorney fees are based on a contingent fee. This means that a lawyer must recover money for you before a fee may be charged.
The fee is limited to 20 percent of the settlement.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation cases depend heavily on your medical records.

The Arbitrator spends a lot of time reviewing your records to find out about your work injury, your medical treatment and your problems and limitations.

It makes sense that what you tell the doctor will show up in your medical notes.

The Arbitrator bases part of her decision regarding the value of your case on what are your limitations and restrictions.

For instance, how long are you able to stand and walk during an 8 hour day is a crucial part of many Workers’ Compensation cases.

Lifting abilities, range of motion, and pain are also crucial.

This means that it is very important for you tell the doctor your symptoms and how your work injury affects you.

You should do this every time you go to the doctor.

Some examples:

My hands go numb and tingle almost every day. Especially when I use them a lot.

I cannot pick up small items to handle, hold or finger things.

My legs are painful and I get pins and needle like feelings when I stand more than 20 minutes.

I have to sit and rest for an hour after this.

My pain medications make me tired. I need to take a nap for 1 hour each afternoon.

My legs swell throughout the day. I have to spend much of the day elevating my legs waist height.

Remember, telling your doctor your major problems and how they limit you can make the difference between the correct settlement amount and a disappointing award or settlement.

Questions about your Workers’ Compensation case? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

How do you know whether your Illinois Workers’ Compensation settlement offer from the insurance company is fair?

The only way to know is to check with an experience Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney.

The insurance company is certainly not going to tell you that they have low balled you.

They will not tell you that your medical bills are not all paid.

They will not look out for your interests regarding future medical needs.

It will not cost you anything to have an Illinois Work Comp lawyer review the offer.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorneys work on a contingent fee basis.

They can only charge you a fee on any amounts they recover for you above the written offer you were presented with from the insurance company.

The attorney will review your injury, the treatment you received, your restrictions, and your average weekly wage the year before your injury.

Having an attorney review your offer will give you peace of mind that you are doing the right thing in settling your case, and that you are not leaving any money on the table.

Questions about your work injury and what to do? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

In Illinois Workers’ Compensation cases the amount of money you make at your job makes a difference.

Your settlement or award amount depends on your wage.

The reason is that the formula used is your wage times 60 percent times a certain number of weeks for the settlement. And 66 percent times your wage for your off work pay.

The law provides that your average weekly wage is based on the 52 weeks before your injury.

If you miss days or weeks because of illness or other reasons, then these partial weeks should not be used to count toward your average weekly wage.

If you work a second job and the employer where you were injured knows of the second job, then you can add the second job to boost your average weekly wage at the job where you were injured.

If you make more money after your injury date you cannot add this your weekly wage.

The other important reason to make sure that your wage is as high is possible is that if you can no longer work at your old job, then you may eligible for a wage differential. The higher the wage difference the better for you.

Questions about your Illinois Work Comp case? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

What should you do if you get a Workers’ Compensation Settlement offer, or if the insurance company does not make you an offer?

The most important thing to know is that pursuant to Illinois Law you are entitled to a settlement if you are injured on the job.

The settlement may vary from a small amount to a very large sum, but you are entitled to something.

Once you receive an offer you should check with an experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney.

A lawyer can explain the value of your case and whether the insurance company is making a fair offer.

Some Work Comp insurance companies will tell that your case is not worth anything, or they will fail to make any offer and hope you go away.

If this happens you need to hire a lawyer and go after your settlement.

The advantage to hiring a Work Comp lawyer is that it does not cost you anything until you make a recovery.

The fee is 20 percent of your recovery.

You need to protect yourself because insurance companies are taking advantage of people who do not understand the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law.

Make sure that you check with an experienced Illinois Work Lawyer to protect your rights and get the settlement you deserve.

Questions about your work injury case? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Back injuries on the job are common and dangerous.

The problem is that they become chronic and sometimes need surgery.

Any time surgery is involved there can be numerous complications. Ranging from scar tissue, to hardware that needs to be removed, and chronic pain.

Most work injuries that involve the back are straight forward.

Such as, lifting that caused a herniated disc, or a fall that injured the back, or something that struck your spine.

However, there are some back injuries that do not surface until some days or months later because of repetitive lifting or other activities.

Or you may notice some muscle pain that later develops into more serious pain that is difficult to trace to your work.

The most important thing to do is to go the doctor as soon as you notice problems with the back.

You should also explain to the doctor the connection between your work activities and your back pain.

You should also be cautious in settling your back injury claim too soon.

Back problems tend to come back later on, especially if you have had surgery.

If you settle your case, then you are on your own for any future treatment or surgeries.

You may need open medical to protect yourself down the road with a back injury.

Questions about your Work Comp injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Illinois law sets forth specific numbers of weeks for amputations of fingers, hands, arms and legs.

However, the value of your case may not stop there.

Limitations and restrictions that result from your amputation may also be factored into the final value of your settlement or award.

Loss of fingers may result in problems using your hand. Many jobs require frequent use of your hands. This may result in a job loss or a job change.

Of course, a loss of a limb may be very limiting.

Without an arm there are very few jobs you can perform.

The loss a leg will confine you to a sit down job at best.

These type of injuries will most likely result in wage loss situations or permanent total disability.

You may have to be involved in extensive job searches to establish your wage loss or that you can no longer work but it will dramatically improve your settlement value.

The other thing to remember is that it may be worth filing for Social Security Disability if you can no longer work due to your amputation.

Social Security Disability also depends on your age, your education, and your past work history.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

In Illinois Workers’ Compensation cases the object is to get your money and get your medical bills paid.

The only way to get your settlement is to ask for it.

Some insurance companies will ignore you and hope you go away.

The only way to get more money for your settlement is ask for it.

Keep asking.

The worst that can happen is the insurance company says no.

The truth about the way insurance companies do business is that want to avoid you and hope you go away.

This saves them a lot of money.

Many insurance companies will not pay the medical bills and hope the providers stop asking for payment.

Many insurance companies will want to pay you the lowest amount possible to settle your case.

You need some leverage to increase the offer from the insurance company.

This may include records from your doctor showing the need for more treatment or restrictions.

It may include comparisons of similar cases that show that the value of your case is worth more than you are being offered.

Eventually, you may need to show that you are willing to go to trial to fight for increased money.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

Restrictions can add value to your Workers’ Compensation case.

The restrictions must be caused by your Work Comp injury.

The restrictions must also be imposed by your doctor.

It is not enough for you to testify that your injury causes you to miss work or that you are limited in your lifting ability.

The doctor must actually put the restriction in your medical records.

The same goes for missing work. It is not enough to say that you were sick because of your injury. You will need an off work slip from your doctor.

Your restrictions may or may not affect your abilities at work.

For instance, you may have a restriction of needing to limit your lifting to 30 pounds.

This limitation would certainly restrict you at home, but if you work a sit down job it will not limit you at work.

This restriction will increase the value of your case, however it will not result in any kind of wage differential case.

If your job involved lifting boxes weighing from 20 to 50 pounds, then the 30 pound restriction will keep you from doing your old job.

This would result in the need for a job change and possibly a wage difference case if the new job pays you less than your old job.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

In Illinois there is no strict payment schedule for work injuries.

It is based on past awards the judges (arbitrators) and commissioners have made for similar injuries.

For instance, if you have a herniated disc in your back and you have a wage of $500 per week the value of the case is calculated as follows:

Backs are worth a total of 500 weeks. 10 percent of the back for the herniated disc equals 50 weeks. You multiply 50 weeks times 60 percent of the weekly wage of $500. 60 percent is used because the Workers’ Compensation law provides this is the percentage used for permanent partial disability or the settlement. This results in a value of $15,000. This is just an example of how the numbers work out and not a hard and fast rule of what the value of the case may actually turn out to be.

For injuries after August 31, 2011, the value of most cases will go down because of a change in the law but not by a dramatic amount.

Be careful because some insurance companies are claiming that your case has very low value or no value.

This is not true for most cases.

Do you have to take the insurance company offer?

No, if you have concerns about the work comp offer you should contact an experienced Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.

Attorney fees are based on a percentage of what you recover at the end of the case. This is a great advantage to you and the amount of the written offer is not subject to fees.

Questions about your work injury case? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

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