Pekin, IL asked in Personal Injury and Workers' Compensation for Illinois

Q: I am so confused ...what do i do now that my condition has worsened to death sentence?After the closing of 1st claim

first claim was closed when i was told by my attorney after telling him I was diagnosed cancer it would be left open ....i am seriously so upset that i was told i have no case even w the getting stage4b lung cancer all the sudden 6 -12 months before may 2022 scan and had breakout at work sept 2021.

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: You also posted this question in Avvo. Unfortunately, neither posting contains the information necessary to provide a definitive answer to your question. You do not tell us about your Worker's Compensation claim other than you had one and you are represented by an attorney. You do not tell us the date of injury you do not tell us whether it was filed under the Worker's Compensation Act or the Occupational Diseases Act and you do not tell us of the disposition of the case beyond mentioning and your AVVO posting that the claim was "left open." A case is either settled or left open, it cannot be both. Settlement is not the only way to resolve a Worker's Compensation claim. If your attorneys arrive at a number and you settle the case, the workers' compensation insurance company's obligation ends the moment that they write the check. Alternatively, if the Arbitrator decides how much the case is worth, your medical benefits stay open for the rest of your life.

Most Worker's Compensation attorneys do not explain this. Instead, they urge you to "settle." In full candor, the attorney should explain that he/she doesn't get paid until you get paid. Assume that your case is worth about $50,000. Your attorney is faced with the decision of settling the case and taking a $10,000 fee plus costs, within 30 days OR preparing for trial. To prepare the case for trial, your attorney will probably want to depose your doctor. That will take 2 to 3 months and that will require that your attorney to prepare for the deposition, actually take the deposition, and advance additional costs in excess of $2000. When the transcripts are received, the respondent will probably decide to depose its expert. That will take another two or three months and your attorney will have to prepare for that deposition and attend that deposition. Then, your attorney will have to advance an additional $300-$500 to secure a transcript of the deposition. Long story short, we can usually settle a Worker's Compensation claim for about the same money that an arbitrator would award in a trial. No Worker's Compensation attorney prefers to go to trial because a settlement pays both the client and the attorney within 30 days and a settlement saves the client at least $2500 per doctor that is deposed on the client's behalf and at least $500 per doctor that is deposed on respondent's behalf. In addition to those deductions, payment is delayed by at least one year. If the respondent seeks the first level of appeal which is called "review," that requires the attorney to write a second brief, to prepare oral argument, and to wait an additional year for his fee. Remember that the attorney fee under Worker's Compensation is set by statute so the attorney fee in our example is $10,000 if the case is settled and he is paid within 30 days. In our example, if the case goes to trial and then to review, your attorney has to pay $2500-$3000 for deposition costs; he must prepare for at least two depositions; he must take at least one deposition; he must prepare two briefs; he must prepare oral argument; and he must wait two years to earn the same $10,000 fee. Worker's Compensation and personal injury attorneys generally offer initial consultations by telephone or in-person without any charge. Good luck.

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