Customized Legal Services for the Injured

Everyone is different so why not make sure that your lawyer takes care of you in a way that is personal to your needs.

Want a lawyer who will come to see you- We do that

Want email or text answers to your questions- We do that

Want a lawyer who will work together with you as your partner to get a fair settlement- We do that

What else do you need- We do that too

Make sure to contact Dirk May and Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371 to get personalized legal services for your injury claim.

Illinois Workers’ Comp Thoughts

This is a composite of different discussions and experiences I have had with insurance company staff, attorneys and people who have had sought workers’ compensation in Illinois.

This fictional interview takes poetic license to give you an idea of what happens at an insurance company when a work injury occurs.

What is your job?

I am a claims adjuster for a major insurance company. I handle work comp claims from time of injury until settlement.

How many claimants would estimate show up without a lawyer?

Quite a few do not have a lawyer.

What do you notice about claimants who do not have a lawyer?

They do not understand the process and why their bills are not being paid, or why they are denied, or the rights they have under the Illinois law.

What would you advise them if your boss would not find out?

Make sure you report your injury right away and go to the doctor immediately and tell them you were hurt at work.
This makes your case much smoother. You are also entitled to a settlement at the end of the case. If you are hurt make sure that you get all your medical treatment before you settle your case. Once you settle. It is all over and you have to pay for any future medical treatment.

Why do you think some people go into something so important as a work injury case without a lawyer?

They think that they have to pay a lot of money to get a lawyer to represent them.
They do not understand that the lawyers only get paid if they win, and the State limits how much the lawyer charges.
They do not understand that the insurance company has lawyers helping us every day.

Make sure that you do not make these mistakes in your Work Injury case. Feel free to call Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

Social Security Disability- Behind the Scenes

This is a composite of different discussions and experiences I have had with Social Security staff, attorneys and people who have had sought disability.

This fictional interview takes poetic license to give you an idea of what happens at a Social Security Disability hearing site.

What is your job?

I give the claimants the computer disc with their disability information just before the hearing, and get their paperwork completed.
I also help the Judge gather the information for the hearing and do whatever else the Judge may need to help the hearing run smoothly.

How many claimants would estimate show up without a lawyer?

I would guess about 35 percent of the people do not have a lawyer.

What do you notice about claimants who do not have a lawyer?

They really do not understand what is going to happen at the hearing. I have to walk them through the paperwork and how to open the electronic file.
And they do not know what is going to happen in the hearing.

What have you seen in the hearing?

The people without a lawyer do not know how to explain to the Judge why they are disabled under our rules.
They have no idea how to respond to the vocational expert when they testify the person can do a job.

Why do you think some people go into something so important as a Social Security Disability hearing without a lawyer?

They think that they have to pay a lot of money to get a lawyer to represent them.
They do not understand that the lawyers only get paid if they win, and the government limits how much the lawyer charges.

Make sure that you are well prepared for your Social Security Disability case. Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation- Where Do I Start?

Workers’ Compensation is a complicated law so you must know what to expect and what to do next.

The first thing you must do is report your accident to your employer and complete an accident report. Make copies of everything.

Next you should go to the doctor and explain that your injuries are work related.

You should let the Work Comp insurance company know what is going on with your medical treatment and give them any off work slips you have. You should also give off work slips to your employer.

When your medical treatment is finished you should let the insurance company know and ask them for a list of medical bills paid. You should confirm with your doctors that all medical bills are paid.

Finally, you are entitled to a settlement at the end of the case.

Some insurance companies will not tell you about the settlement or offer you a low amount.

Make sure that you check with an experienced Illinois Workers’ Compensation lawyer to find out if you are getting a fair settlement.

It does not cost you anything to use a Work Comp attorney until the end of the case. All fees are contingent on you winning your case. Fees are limited to 20 percent of the recovery.

Questions about your work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Work Comp Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

More Social Security Disability Tips

I go to a lot of Social Security Disability hearings representing people mainly in Illinois and this gives me a chance to see other people who are also there for a hearing. It always surprises me to see so many people who go in without a lawyer.

These people have no idea what is going to happen in the hearing and they are trusting that the Administrative Law Judge and vocational expert will look out for their best interests.

The Judge must tell the claimant at the beginning of the hearing that they are entitled to a lawyer to represent them, and if they proceed without a lawyer then the Judge will issue a binding decision.

You always have the right to appeal from the Judge’s decision, however the evidence you present at the hearing will limit your arguments on appeal.

I have seen some of the decisions Judge’s make when a person does not have a lawyer. Most Judge’s try to be fair, but they cannot see all the things that are in your favor and they are not as invested in your case as you are.

You also need to know what questions will be asked in the hearing and how to answer them properly in light of the Social Security rules.

You need to know what you have to prove to win your case.

It makes sense to have an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer help you because they can prepare you to do everything possible to present a strong case.

The lawyer will only get paid if you win and get paid back benefits. This means both you and the lawyer want to win.

Questions about how to help your disability case? Feel free to call Illinois Social Security Disability Attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

When Does It Make Sense to Settle Your Work Comp Case?

The most important aspect of your Illinois Workers’ Compensation Case is knowing when to settle your case.

Like the old song goes “you gotta know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em”.

Or as it was said in an Indiana Jones movie “choose wisely”.

I have seen people make bad choices because they were either greedy or they thought someone owed them something, or because they felt like they were being treated unfairly.

There is another old saying “hogs get slaughtered; pigs get fed”.

Another thing to remember: the law is not perfect. It is not made to resolve every injury perfectly. There were a number of trade offs made in passing the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The result is an imperfect law with imperfect remedies for imperfect people.

I once had a law school professor who emphasized with a passion that the law is not fair.

If you are looking for fairness you will not find it in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

You must make the best settlement possible considering the law and the facts in your case.

Do not make a risky bet a perceived high dollar outcome and let a good settlement in hand get away.

Going to trial in a high risk case to get lots of money is foolish and usually results in bitter disappointment when you receive a minimal value or zero verdict.

You should consult with an experienced Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney to discuss your case. Feel free to contact attorney Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

When Should I Get a Work Comp Lawyer?

The best time to get a Workers’ Compensation lawyer involved in your work injury case is early in the process.

It helps you because there are many things the lawyer can do to strengthen and protect your case from the onset of your work accident.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation lawyers cannot charge any retainer or hourly fees. So it is to your advantage to hire a lawyer early in the process. The lawyer can only charge 20 percent of the amount they collect for you.

The lawyer will guide you in reporting your injury as quickly as possible to your employer.

You will also be reminded to seek medical treatment right away and provide a clear and complete description of your injuries and your work accident to your doctors.

The lawyer will also tell you to continue with consistent medical treatment until you reach maximum medical improvement.

Your Work Comp lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement for you or help you prepare for a trial before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Arbitrator.

The quickest way to reach the best settlement for you is to have a lawyer who is ready to push the case forward through taking depositions of your doctor and who is ready to show the insurance company that you are prepared to go to trial.

Questions about your Work injury? Feel free to contact Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Dirk May with Williams and Swee at 309-827-4371.

Be Aware of New Social Security Disability Rules

I believe recent rule changes for Social Security Disability hearings make it more difficult for people who do not have a lawyer.

The rules provide that all evidence must be submitted 5 business days before the hearing or the Judge may exclude it.

There are some exceptions, however you must submit a letter before the 5 business days explaining why you do not have the records requested.

It really is a trap for the unwary and is especially burdensome for the unrepresented.

I do this type of work all the time and is difficult to keep up with the records and notify Social Security regarding status of the records.

People who are not represented through a lawyer have to make sure that they get all the records and submit them more than 5 business days before the hearing takes place.

Most people do not understand the rules, or how to get their records, or what is important to SSA.

You do not have to pay a lawyer upfront to represent you in a Social Security Disability case.

The attorney is only paid if you win the case; the fee is limited to 20 percent of the back benefits and capped.

There is no reason to go into these complicated cases against the government unrepresented.

If you are truly disabled, why lose a case only because you were not able to get important medical records.

Questions about the Social Security Disability process? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Disability Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.

 

Settlement near in civil suit over death of Michael Brown | Law and order | stltoday.com

The family’s suit claimed former police officer Darren Wilson used excessive force during the 2014 fatal shooting.

Source: Settlement near in civil suit over death of Michael Brown | Law and order | stltoday.com

Click above.

Shows that police officer’s acts may be subject to civil law suit for damages. The family must prove that police acted unreasonably and used excessive force.

Who loses disability insurance when it’s harder to apply? | Equitable Growth

Recent research finds that merely making it more difficult to apply for disability insurance pushes away the people who need help the most.

Source: Who loses disability insurance when it’s harder to apply? | Equitable Growth

Click above to read.

The trend is to make people apply online. This reduces costs for Social Security and saves time for SSA employees. The application, however is not easy for people to complete. Make sure that you seek assistance from an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney.

Answers sought after 78-year-old found dead in nursing home courtyard | News-Gazette.com

The long-term resident was found in an outdoor courtyard Saturday afternoon when the high temperature reached 87 degrees. Coroner Duane Northrup said she may have been outside for as long as three hours.

Source: Answers sought after 78-year-old found dead in nursing home courtyard | News-Gazette.com

Click above to read.

Nursing facilities have a duty to care for the safety of its residents and to protect them from harm. Investigating the cause of death is important because if it is unrelated to being exposed to high temperatures, then no damages will be available. If a vulnerable resident was exposed to temperature extremes and this contributed to her death then a claim for wrongful death may  be pursued.

Get Help with Social Security Disability Before, During and After

It pays to get help at every stage of your Social Security Disability case.

An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you put your best application together and make sure that you explain fully to Social Security why you are disabled.

Get help when you apply online. This is important because SSA looks at every answer you give during the application process.

Get help with every form that SSA sends to you. This is important because every question is asked for a reason and you need to understand why SSA is asking the question.

Get help with appealing every denial. You need to file timely appeals and provide the correct information or you may need to start over.

Get help getting ready for your hearing. You need to know what questions the Judge will ask you and why.

Get help following the rules. New Social Security  rules make it harder for a person to get all the necessary medical records before the Judge.

Get help if you are denied at a hearing. It is important to never give up and to keep trying.

Questions about your disability case? Feel free to contact Illinois Social Security Lawyer Dirk May at 309-827-4371.