It depends if your personal injury lawyer also handles workers compensation cases.
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If you hurt yourself at work, you should have a workers' compensation case.
The only PI or third-party case you could have if someone other than your employer owned or managed the property or somehow caused the problem causing you to fall.
While there are many factors in the consideration of your question, the essential issue is whether you can pursue the PI claim and, if so, whether that makes sense, as whatever recovery you receive on the comp will have to repaid from the PI.
This is something you should ask your lawyer about. Ask him or her what the workers' compensation lien considerations may be with respect to the PI case and whether it still makes sense to pursue both.
As to a lump sum settlement, that is also dependent mostly on the severity of your injury.
I do suggest you discuss all of this with your lawyer and if he or she cannot explain it adequately, find someone who can.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
This answer is provided for informational and advertising purpose and is intended not to be construed as legal advice. Further, please note that this practitioner is licensed in the State of Illinois and only answers questions involving incidents and the law of that jurisdiction.
In California, when an employee is injured in the course and scope of employment, the exclusive remedy against the employer is Workers' Compensation. It appears that the same principle applies in Illinois, as indicated by the other attorney's comments.
As for falling at work, if this was caused by someone other than your employer or co-workers, you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim. You will need to determine what caused you to fall, i.e., torn carpet, water on the floor due to a leak in the roof, etc.
Once you determine what caused you to fall, you will then need to ascertain who is the responsible party, such as the owner of the building (who is not your employer), or a repair company that did an improper roof repair, just to name a few examples.
As for a lump sum vs. weekly payments, it sounds as if this attorney has in fact filed a work comp claim and is seeking to settle your case via compromise & release (this is a global settlement and includes a buyout of your future medicals and all other benefits) where you receive a lump sum payment vs. a stipulation with request for award (where you retain the right to seek medical benefits at the expense of the employer and are paid every two weeks up to a certain amount based upon your level of permanent disability/whole person impairment.
If the payments are better for your financial situation, then you should insist on this type of settlement. Remember, your attorney is supposed to educate you as to what your options are, but you have the ultimate decision!
Please be advised that the advice provided does not create any attorney/client relationship; that due to the various state laws that the information provided is a general overview of work comp law, which might not be applicable to you, based upon the laws of your state. We will not file anything on your behalf nor protect any statute of limitations which might arise and recommend that you IMMEDIATELY consult legal counsel for advice.
Well, your lawyer gets a larger fee sooner if you take a lump sum settlement, closing your case, rather than taking weekly checks and leaving the medical open in case you need it. You have to ask yourself---is he giving you advice based on what is in your best interests? Or not?
Work comp law and personal injury law are two completely different areas of the law. The only thing that overlaps is the fact that someone got hurt.
You should speak with your attorney to better understand his reasoning, but typically you would receive benefits for your lost time and coverage of your medical bills pending your reaching your maximum recovery and negotiating a settlement on the permanency. If there is a challenge to your claim, then the attorney may be considering a different approach. You need to have good communication with your attorney. If you remain uncomfortable after speaking with the attorney, then you should consider a consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. I would not work with you on this, but I do have a good referral relationship with an attorney who handles cases in your area.
The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to adequately advise you. The response provided is intended to be informative, but not final. You are advised to arrange a consultation at which all facts and documents can be explored and terms for representation agreed. An attorney-client relationship must be formally established.
If your doctor says you cannot work, you are entitled to money every week (TTD) IN ADDITION to a settlement at the end of your case. If your attorney does not understand this, find one who does.
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