“My Illinois work comp attorney is pressuring me to sign a settlement contract, but I’m not sure. It seems like not enough money for my work injuries, pain and suffering. Can I get a second opinion before signing it?”
Short answer: Yes. You can contact another attorney to privately get a second opinion before you sign your settlement contract. You should not sign something if you are not sure or do not understand it.
Full answer: Yes, you can contact another attorney about your injury case settlement offer, but as a workers’ comp and personal injury attorney of 47 years, I honestly and strongly advise you to be careful about this process and how you go about it.
First, it is ok and within your rights to seek another attorney’s opinion about your settlement offer, and if your attorney is offended at this or becomes angry and pressures you more, then that may be a red flag that your attorney is under pressure for money, and might be in need of fast cash more than wanting to calmly discuss the offer and openly allow you to seek another opinion, as you look out for your best interests and options for you and your future.
Second, in work comp in Illinois, there is not any money in “pain and suffering,” but there is money in the medical documentation showing permanent or partial disability, or basically medical issues you had to deal with due to your work injuries, whether they are temporary or permanent on different levels.
Third, and most important, the main danger I must warn you about is this: There are many attorneys out there who will tell you anything you want to hear to just get a chance to steal your workmans’ comp case and get some money out of it, even if it may not be in your best interests overall, such as if the chance of increasing your settlement is low or he or she does not know enough medical details about your case. If for example, you decide to fire your attorney and hire a new one who promises you a higher settlement, then the process of just getting everything going again can take some time. The attorneys might fight about file costs, delaying the process of getting the new attorney officially on the case, and the first might not share your medical records with the second, forcing the second attorney to issue more subpoenas to medical providers, which can take 30 to 60 days (or more) to respond and give your records to your attorney, which are needed to properly work on your case.
In a nutshell: Yes, you are free to seek a second opinion about your settlement offer on a workers’ comp case, but I strongly advise that you be careful if you decide to do this. First, I suggest you meet with your attorney and ask questions until you fully understand the offer, and then take time to think about it before signing anything. If you decide to seek a second opinion, I suggest that you do your research, and find experienced and trusted workers’ comp attorneys to provide opinions for you. Personally, I am an honest attorney and have turned down many cases and told injured workers to stay with their attorneys, but I am always willing to provide a free private consultation to an injured worker seeking help. Whatever you do, be patient, take your time, and do not allow anyone (attorney or work comp insurance adjuster) to pressure you to sign something if you are not ready or do not fully understand it. Workers’ comp and personal injury attorney Peter D. Corti is always one option for you, for a free confidential consultation at phone # (312)-782-8372, or contact me by using the contact form (click here to contact). I am not seeking to steal cases or to hurt injured workers, but I would rather you call me instead of an attorney who is not honest and who will tell you what you want to hear, even if it is against your best interests. I am a straight shooter and will give you an honest and experienced answer. I am willing to listen and help you in any honest way that I can. Whatever path you take, I wish you the best. We at Peter D. Corti Law Group, PC, are a workers’ comp and personal injury law firm based in Chicago, and we can handle cases connected to the state Illinois.