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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More About How Jeep & Hauck Can Help You

  • FAQ

    • Why choose Jeep & Hauck? ​
      There are hundreds of so-called trial lawyers advertising on the internet.  Most are “referral services,” meaning that they’ll send your case on to another lawyer in exchange for a fee.  Very seldom do any of these services know anything about the judges in your jurisdiction, the local legal customs, or the ins-and-outs of handling a real-life case.  Many websites are for large legal factories that will shuffle your case to junior associates who are overworked and under-supervised. 

      We’re not out-of-town lawyers with large expensive Chicago offices.  We won’t disappear when your case is done.  You can meet with us in our local offices as needed.  We know our communities and can help you find the best doctors.  We live where we practice and interact in the community where you live.  Read our biographies to find out more about who we are as people and as lawyers.   You’ll be dealing with and represented by the lawyers at Jeep & Hauck and we’ll have a personal relationship.  And our support staff is the best in the business.  We offer full Spanish language translation through our gifted legal assistant who has more than ten years of experience helping injured Spanish-speaking workers.  (Under Illinois law immigrants who are not yet citizens ARE ELIGIBLE for full benefits if injured on the job.)
    • How do I know if I have a case?
      If you were injured on or near the job, doing something related to your work, then you probably have a Workers’ Compensation case.  If you were injured because of the negligence of another person, then you probably have a personal injury case. 

      BUT it is important to note that it is possible to have MORE THAN ONE CASE connected to your injury.  You may have a workplace injury that resulted from the negligence of someone outside of your work.  (Think of a delivery driver whose truck is rear-ended by another motorist.)  You then have a Workers’ Compensation case AND an auto crash personal injury case. 

      Many injured public employees (police and firefighters) are injured on the job and have a Workers’ Compensation case BUT also have a claim for a line-of-duty disability pension.  Most firms can only handle one part of that case and then refer out the other part.  Jeep & Hauck will handle all aspects of that claim and carefully coordinate the outcome to your best financial advantage.  This is not something you should handle without the best legal help because it is very easy to lose a lot of money if not done properly. 

      Similarly, the careful coordination of Social Security and Medicare benefits with your personal injury settlement or Workers’ Compensation settlement is critically important.  The failure to do this properly can result in the loss of lifetime benefits. 

      Since 1979 we’ve become expert at dovetailing and maximizing the outcome of complicated cases to the advantage of our clients. Things can get very complicated, very quickly.  We are one of the few firms in the area capable of handling all aspects of your claim.
    • When should I call Jeep & Hauck?
      The insurance company who wants to talk to you or take a recorded statement is usually not YOUR company.  They are trying to avoid paying what is owed to you.  It is best to call us immediately following the injury and before talking to anyone else.  Whatever you say, or sign, or agree to, can and probably will be used against you later.  Don’t delay reaching out to us.

      This cannot be overemphasized:  Don’t post anything on social media concerning your case.  It will definitely be something the insurance companies will find and use against you later.

      Additionally, you have the absolute legal right to choose your own physicians if you’ve suffered a workplace accident.  It isn’t mandatory that you see the “company doctor.”  The company doctor is being paid to provide you with minimal care.  We have an amazing network of highly skilled specialists who work with us daily.  We’ll help you get the medical attention you need to get as well as possible as quickly as possible. 

      No one gains by keeping you off work one day longer than needed, but you certainly don’t gain by being forced back to work when you need adequate time to heal.  Let us help you to get the time and care needed to heal and successfully return to work.
    • What should I do if contacted by the insurance company, lawyer for workers' compensation insurance, or the people responsible?
      No matter how sympathetic or nice they sound, it is their job to avoid providing you the benefits which are owed to you. Tell whoever wants to talk to you that you want to talk to your lawyer first before saying anything and give us a call immediately. We’ll give you unbiased and truthful advice.
    • Do I really need a lawyer for a workers' compensation case?
      During our hundreds of trips to courthouses in Chicago and northern Illinois we’ve seen cases in which injured workers have settled their cases without the assistance of a lawyer. These are called “pro se” cases at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Almost without exception, the insurance company takes advantage of the unschooled and inexperienced worker. We know that we fight for every dime and are ready to go to trial if our client doesn’t receive full benefits. Does it make sense to think that the insurance company would pay what they truly owe when there is no threat of a trial for full benefits or the threat of penalties for mistreatment of an injured worker? We know how to conduct the battle and yet we still fight for everything. Why would they pay you what is due to you when you don’t know where the fight takes place or how to conduct a trial if they aren’t being fair?
    • What is the process?
      Our goal is to obtain benefits at the lowest cost as quickly as possible. We employ a “case management” system to guide your case through the legal process. Our staff members, Kathy Lapham, Ann Gustafson, and Christina Frias play active roles in gathering information (including medical records and billing) organizing it, and relaying information to the lawyers and insurance adjusters involved in the case. We believe that you have the right to hear back from one of our lawyers or one of our case managers within 24 hours if you call or send an email to us. We try to respond on the same day whenever possible. We don’t always meet our goal, but we try hard to keep you fully informed. Christina provides Spanish translation. It is important that you provide all the information to us and we’ve learned that reliance on a team approach to the handling of your case is the key to success.
    • What if I can't afford to pay a lawyer?
      ​You can easily afford the best: Jeep & Hauck will make no charges on your Workers’ Compensation case or personal injury case unless we win. This is called a “contingent fee.” The more you win, the better we are paid. Our success will be your success!
    • How long will this take?
      The same question comes up in our law school classes.  Professor Jeep tells his students: “The medical treatment drives the timing of the legal action.”  No case should be considered for closure until the injured person is “medically stable.” We sometimes refer to that as “maximum medical improvement” or “MMI.”  It can take weeks to be healed and released or in some tragic cases it takes many years.  We represent a quadriplegic gentleman whose case can never be completely closed because we have secured over $150,000 per year in medical benefits which must remain open for the rest of his life.  These benefits included a medical van, round-the-clock nursing care, and remodeling of the house to allow him the greatest mobility and freedom of movement possible.

      In short, each case has its own unique characteristics and needs.  We don’t want to keep the case open one moment longer than needed but won’t move to close it until the time is right.
    • What's my case worth?
      No one can provide this estimate with any degree of certainty until treatment is concluded and the injured person’s condition is completely known.  There are huge variables.  A totally disabling injury for a person who works as a truck mechanic might be a gross inconvenience for a trial lawyer.  We speak from experience.  See our biographies. 

      ​The Workers’ Compensation Act contains a complicated and slightly crazy system of evaluating permanent but partial disabilities.  It is far better to discuss individual cases with one of our lawyers than to make guesses at the early stage of a case.

      But remember, the oldest trick in the book is to promise a potential client “millions” to get him to sign a representation contract and then to tell him later that the case “didn’t work out as expected.”  We won’t make false promises.  Beware of that tactic if you are looking for a lawyer.  Also remember, “our success is your success.”  We want to get as much as possible for you.

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    Fortunately, I met with both Mr. Jeep and Mr. Hauck and instantly knew that I made the right decision. They not only said that I had a case but also laid out the entire process ahead of time. Not only was it not the “shady” process that I thoug
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