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I have a worker's compensation case that is always postponed every time arbitration is scheduled to be heard for 2 years now.

Hoffman Estates, IL |

According to the lawyer handling my case, the other party is not willing to settle due to their claim that there was an underlying cause (osteoarthritis} of the injury. My orthopedic doctor is willing to testify to the fact that the knee injury (torn medial and lateral menisci of the knee) was not at all related to osteoarthritis. It looks like my lawyer is not pursuing a trial due to the fact that it is just a very small amount of a claim but can I demand a trial if you think I have a chance of getting an award.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    Cases before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission are "above the line" after they are 3 years old. Then, they either must go to trial or be dismissed, or, if there is continuing medical treatment can be postponed at the arbitrator's option.

    In your case, you have a smallish knee case with a major triable issue on causation. Your attorney can either wait to try it in 3 years or he/she can do the following: obtain your doctor's deposition to be used as testimony at trial, and find a way to petition under Section 19(b) claiming that you are being denied medical or other beneifts. This would generally not determine permanency, and would not mean you did not have to try the case on permanency at a later date.

    Either way, talk to your lawyer and have him or her explain all this to you, rather than some stranger on the computer. It is his or her job to explain to you what's happening and why. If you don't get a response, schedule a meeting.

    Good luck.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


  2. We don't have any facts so we cannot tell you whether you will prevail. If your doctor is willing to testify to causation, there is no reason NOT to go forward. Understand that there are significant expenses involved and you are unlikely to actually receive money until about six months after the trial, ASSUMING that you win AND it is NOT appealed. You really need to sit down with your attorney instead of guessing his motives or strategy.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Links: CJCandiano@CandianoLaw.com http://www.CandianoLaw.com


  3. Take the matter up with your attorney. He or she knows the case and the circumstances, and we do not.


  4. Unfortunately for injured workers, cases never seem to go as fast as they ought to go. The process can be very frustrating.

    Every case has strengths and weaknesses. Only your lawyer can objectively tell you whether pursuing the claim is worthwhile. You need ask your lawyer what a "win" would look like for you and whether its worth the time, effort and energy. As others have indicated, you need to rely on the advice of your counsel.


  5. I agree that you should be talking to your lawyer. There is no way for any of us to determine whether or not your lawyer has been diligent in pursuing your case or has placed it on the back burner without knowing a lot more. I can however tell you from experience that if the respondent doesn't want a trial it is very easy for them to delay things. Even once you've had your "day in court," it's a long wait for a final decision. This process is a good one, but very far from perfect. I wish you luck with your claim.

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