injured at work, had neck surgery in nov., went back to work in Feb.
It is true that the vast majority of cases do settle and it is possible to settle your case today, provided that the Respondent is willing to offer a sum of money which you are willing to accept. It would be foolish to settle this on your own. Many people seek to settle these claims, by themselves, because they wrongly believe that they will be saving money. That's simply not true.
Insurance companies have actually begun discounting settlements and pro se cases (where people represent themselves) by 20% which is exactly what you would pay an attorney.
Beyond that, there may be reasons why you would not want to settle this case. If, for example, it is envisioned that you will require further surgery or ongoing care, you may be better off simply trying the case. If you decide to go to trial (and you win) the medical benefits remain open for the rest of your life. Additionally, the Arbitrator would award you a sum of money at least as great as any amount for which you could settle.
There are many other options which you should discuss and consider with a Worker's Compensation professional before you settle your case. Good luck.
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If you don't already have a lawyer, please get one immediately. This is s serious injury and you do not want to navigate the system without a lawyer.
If you have one, I'm sure this is something he or she can explain to you based on the facts of this case.
Cases rarely settle for fair value without a lawyer. Cases settle because the attorney forces the respondent to settle by being prepared for trial. You are at work and at MMI so your case can be settled but it will not settle unless someone makes it happen.
Talk to your attorney if you have one. If not, get one to maximize recovery and so you do not miss out on some benefits and rights due to you.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
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.
Nobody ever has to settle anything.
In an Illinois Workers Compensation Case, as in any type of case, settlement is voluntary. You can't force an insurance company to settle at any time if they do not want to settle. The only thing that you can make them do is show up to trial.
I hope that you have an attorney. If you do, and if the case has been properly filed, then your case is moving closer to a trial date every day. In most cases, the pressure of an impending trial date will eventually lead the insurance company to negotiate. However, if you are unrepresented, then there is no impending trial date, and no pressure on the insurance company at all. Commonly insurance companies will pay medical expenses and TTD (time off work) for unrepresented workers on a timely basis, but will be in no real hurry to pay PPD (the workers' disability settlement).
If you do have an attorney, then please understand that it may take some time before he can effectlvely apply pressure. If you do not have an attorney, then you should call me or one of the other excellent workers compensation attorneys listed on this site for a free consultation.
Steven A. Sigmond
Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond
345 N. Canal #1208
Chicago, IL 60606
This answer is general information and should not be considered "legal advice." Proper legal advice can only be obtained after hiring an attorney and providing full information regarding your case.