Friday, March 30, 2012

FAQ Friday!!

FAQ Friday!!! 

I am an RN. A patient of mine fell out of bed. Two nursing assistants and I assisted the patient back into bed after she stated that she could stand. Two days later I started to have severe lower back pain.

Currently I am in physical therapy, I have had 3 steroid injections into my lower back which have not worked. I am in pain constantly everyday. Workman’s comp has refused to pay anything besides physical therapy. I had to use my own insurance to pay for the third injection that was part of a three shot series and part of a protocol for these shots.
Click here for the answer. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why Hire an Attorney? Part II - Dispute Claims

Excerpt from Mark Weissburg's book, How to Win a Workers Compensation Claim in Illinois

Despite the logic of being represented throughout a claim, there are those that won’t hire an attorney until after the claim becomes disputed and they need to go to trial. If your claim is disputed, this decision just became a whole lot easier for you. There is no way a non-lawyer can effectively represent themselves in court. I’ve seen people try, and the results would be laughable if they weren’t so sad. I’ve even seen lawyers who don’t normally practice Workers’ Compensation law give it a shot, only to find out the hard way that it just ain’t that easy. If you are not well versed in Workers’ Compensation law and the rules of evidence, as well as the many rules specific to this area of practice, you need someone who has all that experience to represent you.
Beyond the trial level there is a “review,” an appeal to circuit court, and an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court. It is even possible to continue on to the Illinois Supreme Court, although that is rare. Your lawyer will get the same contingency fee, even if all these layers of appeal are necessary. It’s the best deal in town. 

Have a question? Ask Mark today!

Monday, March 26, 2012

When you need an attorney - Part I

By Mark Weissburg, Partner at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates

One of the first things new client’s tell me when I meet them is, “I’m not the type of person to hire an attorney.” Actually, someone with a legal case is precisely the type of person who should and does hire an attorney. If you need brain surgery, see a brain surgeon. If you need a rocket built, consult your local neighborhood rocket scientist.

No, Workers’ Compensation law is not brain surgery, nor is it rocket science. But there are times when the expertise of someone who deals with this area of law day after day is going to save you a lot of grief. My hope is that many people can handle most of their claims quite competently with nothing more than my book, How to Win a Worker's Compensation Claim in Illinois, and a healthy dose of caution . But there will come a time in virtually every case when you will benefit from the advice of an experienced lawyer.

Why hire an attorney? Keep the train on the tracks with leverage
Having an attorney is the most certain way of keeping a case on the tracks. A good attorney will spot red flags and potential problems, and deal with them before they blossom into full-scale disasters. An attorney will make sure the adjuster has everything needed to keep the money flowing, including off work slips, updated records, Functional Capacity Exam results, and causation opinions. A good attorney will also keep the end game in mind, making sure your case is managed in a way that protects the value of the final settlement.

How does an attorney help keep an accepted claim from getting off track? With leverage. If you are not represented, you have no leverage, and the adjuster has total leverage. They decided when to send money, and how much to send. They decide what treatment they will authorize, and when. All you can do is call and leave messages on the adjuster’s voice mail. Then wait for a call back.

But an attorney can turn that situation around. Why? Because an attorney can motion up the case for trial. Once the case is motioned up for trial, the adjuster has to hand the claim over to their lawyer. Some insurance companies have in house attorneys, but many use outside firms, in which case they are paying by the hour. You don’t pay by the hour. Your attorney gets a contingency fee, which is generally 20% of the settlement. That fee doesn’t change whether your attorney goes to court once or a hundred times. Do you see how this changes things? The adjuster would rather not incur the expense of going to court all the time, but you don’t care. Suddenly, it becomes more expensive for the adjuster to do the wrong thing than the right thing. That’s the power of leverage, and that’s the power of having a skilled attorney in your corner. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Legal controversy has everyone talking.

Will there be an arrest after Florida boy, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed while walking home by an allegedly paranoid neighborhood watch volunteer?

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law allows for someone to shoot and kill if they feel threatened. In light of the shift in the law, it's not surprising that since the law went into effect, reports of justifiable homicides have tripled, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Is Florida to blame for this boy's untimely death? It's unfortunate that the police only get to hear one side of the story.

We want to know your thoughts on this case.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend!

In preparation for St. Patrick's Day, the fountains by our downtown Chicago office have turned green!
What are your plans for St. Paddy's day??