A work comp pretrial is when attorneys for the insurance company and injured worker meet with the Arbitrator and discuss your case.
The Arbitrator, who is an administrative law judge, has the final word in the value of your case at the trial level.
Both parties have to agree to the pretrial.
The Arbitrator’s decision is non-binding. This means that either side may reject the Arbitrator’s opinion.
Most pretrial’s focus on the value of the case.
In other words the Arbitrator will provide her opinion of how much the injured worker should receive based on the injury, the treatment received, and permanent restrictions, if any.
The advantage of a pretrial is that may help reach settlement quicker than a trial, or break an impasse between the parties.
It provides insight into what the Arbitrator will do at trial.
The disadvantage is that either party can refuse to follow the Arbitrator’s recommendation.
Then you are left with going to trial, but in most cases the parties will follow the Arbitrator’s direction.
The other disadvantage is if the Arbitrator believes the value is below the settlement offer. This means that you should weigh carefully what may happen and if you are willing to risk it.
Questions about settling your work injury case? Please feel free to contact Illinois Work Injury Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.