Why You Need An Attorney To Navigate Workers’ Comp
Now more than ever, it is important to hire an attorney for your workers’ compensation injury. Governor Rauner wants to reform the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, claiming that Illinois workers are paid too much money for their injuries, too many injuries are compensable, and the medical expenses are too high. Governor Rauner claims Illinois is losing manufacturing jobs because its workers are paid too much when they are injured on the job. All of this political activity in Springfield puts pressure on arbitrators to award less to injured workers and to deny certain claims. Without an attorney who knows the Illinois Workers’ Compensation system, an injured worker could become the unknowing victim of the political push.
In spite of the many rumors, there is not a ‘book’ which lists how much an injury is worth; there is a wide range of value for each type of injury. An injured worker who goes before the arbitrator has no one on his/her side. The arbitrator only has to ensure the amount of money the insurance company is offering isn’t too far out of line. Given the political voices in Springfield declaring that injured Illinois workers are paid too much, arbitrators are being tacitly encouraged to award less to injured workers than they might have done in the past. When an injured worker appears before an arbitrator without an attorney, the injured worker could be awarded fifty percent or less than what the injured worker could get with an attorney.
What can an attorney do? An attorney who knows the system can get an injured worker more than he/she could receive on their own. Common sense alone cannot serve someone who is trying to navigate the complex workers’ compensation system. In daily life, common sense and the law even seem to be at odds with each other. For example, the law dictates that we stop at a red traffic light, no matter the circumstances or time of day. When the red light occurs at a deserted intersection at 3 in the morning, ‘common sense’ would say it is perfectly safe to drive through the intersection. So why do we sit there and wait for the green light? Because we all know the law dictates stopping at a red light, no matter how safe it may appear to proceed through the intersection. Only an experienced attorney who understands complex workers’ compensation law can help you navigate a system that appears to defy common sense. Only an experienced workers’ compensation attorney knows what aspects of an injury to highlight when going before the arbitrator. Don’t leave such an important matter to your own common sense, seek the counsel of an experienced professional who can interpret the law and champion your cause for the best result.