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Reached mmi, how long before a settlement is reached in Illinois?

Wheaton, IL |
Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

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.

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: ccandiano@themargolisfirm.com http://www.themargolisfirm.com

Asker

Posted

How long is the process with an attorney?

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Charles Joseph Michael Candiano

Posted

It depends. Generally, your doctor's notes will include some permanent restrictions or the PT notes may memorialize diminished ability to flex your neck or turn your head. The first step is for your attorney to file an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Commission. Your attorney would then review your wages and make sure you were paid as the statute requires. The attorney would simultaneously order your medical records. (2-6weeks) Your attorney would review them and then issue a comprehensive demand. (2 weeks) Your employer's adjuster will decide to settle the case or to assign the case to an attorney. (2-8weeks) If the adjuster and your attorney can agree on an amount, your attorney can prepare Settlement Contracts and send them to the adjuster to sign. (1 week) The contracts must then be submitted to the Commission for approval. (1-2 weeks) Your attorney would then submit the approved contracts for payment. (2-6 weeks) IF THE ADJUSTER assigns the case to an attorney, there is an additional 2-6 weeks for the attorney to review the file and make recommendations to the adjuster. If there is no agreement or you decide you want to go to trial (e.g. you want open medical benefits for life), the insurance attorney will need to decide whether he will allow your doctor's reports to come in or whether your attorney needs to depose your doctor. He will also need to decide whether he wants you to go for an initial or subsequent IME (Independent Medical Examination). IME only, add 4-12 weeks. IME and depositions, add 3-4 months. Then, the matter must be set for trial. This can only be done every 3rd month, starting with the month you filed your case. If you file the case in June, you can only have a full trial in September, December, March, or June (this assumes the Arbitrator assigned to the case is not on vacation). I tell you all of this to explain that there is NO SHORT ANSWER to your question and any attorney who tells you differently is simply wrong. The truth is that there are too many variables to be more specific. You have a right to know where you are in the process at any given time and your attorney should be wiling and able to provide that information.

Posted

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
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.

Posted

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
(312) 258-8188
Steve@Siglaw.com

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.