Dealing in workers' compensation is the success story of a local attorney. He has an apartment building of his own and drives a really expensive car, so he calls himself successful. What he gets from workers' compensation cases is an indication of this. The Associated Press and Better Government Assn., on its two month investigation picked a schedule of hearings before the Illinois Industrial Commission in Springfield at random.

On those two days, he handled around 134 cases. From 34 cases that were handled and closed on those days, he earned about $19,238 94. Another legal expert earned $17,619 55 in legal fees for 12 cases.

Lawyers who practice workers' compensation would be glad to know that attorney's fees have soared in recent years just like business costs and payouts of workers' compensation benefits. Big earnings are made by lawyers who practice workers' compensation full time. Often the loads are big. Every settlement handled by the lawyer would often entail a lawyer's fee of 20%. Arbitration can be avoided most of the time in these cases.

One might see the one fourth page advertisement of one lawyer in the local telephone directory which lets people know of his availability. This man's success, according to him, is due to the hard work he has put in the last 12 years. He talks to around 50 to 80 people. This job requires a lot from you, he said. There are those whom he talks to who are unable to buy food for their families.

I work hard because I don't work for anyone else but myself. According to him, it's a bit saddening when those who have a fixed fee working for the state or an insurance company don't do as much as he does. I have been approached by people who want to know whether workers' compensation lawyers are simply con artists. Such an approach is not smart. He explains that he is not a fraud.

Attorneys want something for themselves in addition to helping their clients get what they can. Among the questions people ask us include whether or not we're getting paid much and if we rip off companies. Well, obviously my job is to get all I can, and my job is to represent my people to the fullest. People would, in some cases, get more than what they ought to. A company should not change its position.

Companies often wait before paying medical expenses of an injured worker. Other problems needed to be addressed, such as the amount of disability of the worker and the medical treatment he needed. Doctors would want to be on the safe side and not give any treatment unless they know for sure they are being paid. Doctors would refuse giving treatment to patients unless they know for sure that the insurance company is paying them.

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