28 Jun, 2024

What to Consider When Hiring a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Bloomington, IL?

Author Todd A. Strong

You must do your due diligence and consider various factors to better the chances of hiring the best workers’ comp lawyer for your case. Your research should focus on finding a lawyer with the right qualifications and experience, a reputation in the legal scene, and a clear and affordable fee structure. The lawyer should have the necessary skill set to develop a solid legal strategy for your case, skillfully handle settlement negotiations, and offer guidance throughout the compensation process.

Strong Law Offices Bloomington has a demonstrated history of offering effective representation to employees with work injuries or illnesses. Call 309-393-2928 to find out the legal strategy our experienced workers’ comp lawyers will use to maximize your financial recovery.

Workers' comp lawyer sitting at table and giving paper sheet to worker with broken arm in the office.
Workers' comp lawyer sitting at table and giving paper sheet to worker with broken arm in the office.

Factors to Consider When Hiring a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Bloomington, IL

Illinois hospital handled 509 amputations, 3,144 traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and 891 poisoning-related workplace exposures in 2021. These injuries and illnesses are costly to treat and keep affected workers away from their jobs during recovery.

You may qualify for workers’ comp benefits if you have job-related injuries or illnesses. Workers’ compensation insurance companies rarely offer enough compensation to cover all your resulting expenses. They may even deny your claim for unjustifiable reasons. Fortunately, an experienced workers’ comp lawyer can stand up to these insurance companies and get you reasonable compensation.

Selecting the right person for your case from the many licensed lawyers in Bloomington, Illinois, can be quite a headache. Consider the following factors to narrow your search to one work injury lawyer who inspires confidence and trust in you:

Qualifications and Experience

Focus on finding a lawyer with the right qualifications and experience to resolve your case. Ensure the lawyer has knowledge and training in Illinois workers’ compensation laws and has worked on cases like yours.

An experienced lawyer will devise strategies for moving your case through the system, negotiating with the insurer, and communicating and protecting your rights. The lawyer will also offer you well-researched and thoughtful legal advice to ensure you make informed decisions throughout the process.

A seasoned lawyer knows how the amount of workers’ compensation benefits is determined and will ensure your claim captures all your recoverable damages. The lawyer will rely on connections developed over time to bolster your case. The lawyer may, for example, hire a medical professional to testify on how your work injuries or illnesses restrict you from working and impact your daily life.

But how do you tell if your prospective workers’ comp lawyer has the required qualifications? You can do that by searching for that lawyer on your local bar association site and carefully reviewing his or her biography. You can also visit the lawyer’s website and confirm the number of cases resolved. Most law firm websites have dedicated sections on their websites containing details of cases resolved through a settlement or trial process.

Another effective way to gauge the level of qualification and experience of your would-be lawyer is to request an initial consultation. You can then use that chance to assess whether the lawyer has what it takes to secure a favorable outcome from your case. This assessment may involve asking questions and reviewing the lawyer’s portfolio.

Reputation and References

Focus on finding a lawyer who has established himself or herself as an authority in the legal landscape. The same applies to a lawyer with multiple referrals from past clients. Ratings and reviews can provide useful insights into a lawyer’s reputation and capabilities.

Sites like Better Business Bureau and your local bar association may help you determine whether your prospective lawyer is facing complaints or disciplinary actions. The lawyer’s website, blog, and official social media accounts may also contain testimonials from previous clients. Be sure to review those testimonials.

Positive testimonials regarding experience, mastery of law, and communication demonstrate dedication toward meeting the client’s unique needs. Hiring a lawyer with such reviews can give you comfort and peace of mind because your case will be in the hands of someone competent.

Fees and Payment Structure

Fees and payment structure are crucial considerations when hiring a workers’ comp lawyer. It is crucial to know how much you will pay for legal services and what the fee structure will look like.

Most workers’ compensation lawyers in Illinois offer their services on a contingency fee arrangement. This arrangement enables you to receive legal services without making any upfront payment. The lawyer gets paid from the proceeds of a successful workers’ comp case. You will not pay your lawyer anything if you lose the case. So, payment of attorney’s fees depends on the outcome of your case.

Some lawyers may charge per hour or ask you to deposit a retainer fee in advance. Regardless of the fee structure used, request a list of all costs and how the lawyer accounts for them in the fee structure. Investigation and evidence collection fees, deposition fees, and court-related charges are some common expenses in workers’ comp cases.

When selecting a work injury lawyer in Bloomington, Illinois, you should focus on identifying a lawyer who is honest about the legal fees and case-related expenses. Review the billing structure to ensure it captures everything you have agreed upon with your lawyer. Seek clarifications if you spot unclear details in the fee structure.

When Should You Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?

The best time to seek the intervention of a workers’ comp lawyer is immediately after encountering an obstacle in your case. Some circumstances under which it’s necessary to start working with a lawyer include:

You Have Received an Unreasonably Low Settlement Offer

Get a work injury lawyer involved if the insurance company offers you a settlement that cannot pay the full extent of your medical expenses or lost wages. Your lawyer will assess that offer, compile additional evidence, and respond with a settlement figure that truly reflects your losses. Your lawyer will discuss workers’ compensation investigations and what they look for to ensure you know the steps to take and mistakes to avoid during the claims process.

Your Claim Has Been Denied

Employers and their insurers know that most injured workers give up once their claims get denied. So, they often deny workers’ comp claims without valid reasons because they expect only a few claimants to challenge their decision. Do not fall into their trap. Instead, hire a lawyer to help determine if you have valid grounds for appeal and if so, handle the process on your behalf.

You Have Developed Long-Term Effects That Impact Your Ability to Work

Work-related injuries or illnesses may leave you with long-term effects that keep you from returning to your previous job, restrict your working capacity, or completely prevent you from working. Such cases are high stakes and insurers will try everything possible to deny you the compensation entitled to you.

You need a skilled lawyer on your side to secure the best settlement possible if your case involves life-threatening or permanent injuries. Your lawyer will support your claim with strong evidence and convincing legal arguments. The lawyer will also be prepared to go to trial if settlement talks are unfruitful.

You Collect or Intend to Apply for Other Government Benefits

You may lose money if you pursue workers’ compensation benefits while receiving other government benefits like Social Security disability payments. Fortunately, a skilled lawyer will take the time to create a settlement agreement that significantly lowers the amount lost in the offset or removes the offset altogether.

You Have Grounds for a Third-Party Claim

Workers’ comp laws bar you from filing a civil suit against your employer for job-related injuries. You may, however, have grounds for a third-party claim if another person or entity who was not your employer caused your work-related injury.

A third-party claim may arise if you are a worker who drives as part of your job duties, and you sustain injuries in a car accident caused by another driver. You may also sue a manufacturer if your work injuries resulted from defective machinery, equipment, or tools.

A knowledgeable lawyer understands what a third-party claim in workers’ compensation cases is and can determine if you qualify to file one. The lawyer can also assemble evidence to support your third-party claim and increase the recovery amount in your case.

At Strong Law Offices, our workers’ compensation lawyers have the experience, skills, and resources to help you receive financial compensation. Contact us to set up a free consultation and learn how our lawyers will handle your case.

About The Author

author-bio-image
Personal Injury Lawyer Todd A. Strong Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.
Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State, 1994
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1994
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2022
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2023
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About The Author

author-bio-image
Personal Injury Lawyer Todd A. Strong Illinois workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer Todd A. Strong is the founder of Strong Law Offices in Peoria, Illinois. Todd brings considerable legal knowledge, experience, and skill to the table to ensure injured victims throughout the state are treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.
Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State, 1994
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1994
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2022
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2023