Michigan Chamber of Commerce: Who are these people kidding?

Michigan Chamber of Commerce endorses workers comp reform and blames plaintiff lawyers for higher costs.

The House Commerce Committee recently heard testimony about House Bill No. 5002. This is legislation that seeks to reform workers comp by making it harder for an injured worker to collect benefits.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce has characterized this legislation as an attempt to “modernize” the law. “For too long, the workers’ compensation law has changed depending upon what judge hears a case, creating inconsistency, confusion and high insurance premiums for job providers,” said Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy & Human Resources for the Michigan Chamber. “This disarray is exactly what plaintiffs and personal injury attorneys desire: higher confusion and higher costs to employers.”

What House Bill 5002 will really do to workers comp in Michigan

Allow an employer or insurance company to reduce workers comp benefits by a hypothetical wage earning capacity. This means that your wage loss benefits will be cut regardless of whether you can actually find a job. Instead of receiving 80% of your average weekly wage if you cannot work, you will get much less. Your employer will also have no incentive to bring you back to work with restrictions.

Allow an employer to deny workers comp benefits if you are fired. This means that your workers comp benefits can be stopped forever just because you broke a company rule or policy.

Creates a higher evidentiary standard when you have degenerative arthritis or a psychiatric disability. Most people have some arthritis as they get older and this does not mean that their work injury is any less legitimate. The fact that you were working without a problem until your injury should mean something.

Gives your employer the right to choose your medical providers for 90 days. It does not matter whether you are receiving appropriate medical care or not. You are stuck with their doctors.

Sticks you or your medical providers with attorney fees when medical bills are ordered paid under workers comp. Better you than your employer or the insurance company who wrongly denied the medical bills in the first place.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is not on your side

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce blames plaintiff attorneys for wanting to make the system more confusing and costly. They would like certainty in the law so they do not have to worry about what a judge might actually think about one of their members actions.

You should remember that you are the plaintiff. This is a direct assault on your workers comp benefits.

You can stop this legislation by making your voice heard with your state representatives. Tell them to protect your workers comp benefits.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our workers comp lawyers. We will do everything possible to help protect your legal rights.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

House Bill No. 5002

Michigan House of Representatives – Find A Representative by Address

10/01/2011
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