That is probably the most frequently asked question we hear from new Workers’ Compensation clients when we first meet with them in our office. It is a fair and reasonable inquiry. Probably, 95 times out of 100, the most honest and intelligent answer we can give at that time is, “I don’t know, yet.”
In Illinois, a Workers’ Compensation case’s value for the permanent injury is based upon a number of factors. It is rarely as simple as saying you had a certain type of injury, therefore you get this amount of money. What are the details of the treatment involved? Are there any permanent restrictions? What ongoing difficulties, complaints, loss of motion, and objective findings are documented in the doctors’ or physical therapists’ notes? How much were you earning when you were injured? Has your earning potential been impacted? What is the likelihood of future treatment? These are just some of the factors that are involved.
With the changes in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act that went into effect on September 1, 2011, these factors are even more important in determining the value of a claim. After a full analysis of all of this information, only then can the question of value be accurately assessed.
You are not hiring an attorney to guess and make things up. You are hiring an attorney to investigate all of the relevant factors, apply that information to Illinois Workers’ Compensation law, and then come to an evaluation of your case. Therefore, when you ask at our first meeting, “How much is my Workers’ Compensation case worth?,” the most intelligent and most professional answer you could receive is most likely, “I don’t know, yet.”