What is a “specific immediate injury” and why should I care?

Workers compensation lawyer explains the importance of accurately describing your on-the-job injury and why this could make or break your case.

Today’s blog post is inspired by Michele Lewane, an excellent workers compensation lawyer. Michelle talks about what happens when people poorly report their injury. I think this is an important issue and want to offer my own 2 cents.

Here is what Michele has to say:

My office gets contacted at least once a day by someone who has poorly reported their injury (usually by mistake) and the insurance carrier has therefore denied their benefits. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN PICKING YOUR WORDS!!! Often times, people leave out details that end up hurting them in the long run; maybe because they did not want to take the time write down the whole scenario around the injury or maybe because they wrongly assume that it happened at work so they will be covered and there is no need for detail. For example, one gentleman wrote on his injury report that he injured his back lifting boxes at work and his claim was denied by the insurance company as being a repetitive injury (repetitive lifting injuries are not covered in Virginia!). However, when this gentleman spoke with my office he stated that he had lifted a box full of product and felt a pop in his back followed by immediate pain. These are two VERY different descriptions of injury that could provoke a different response from the insurance company or the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. Sadly, had this gentleman written out the whole description of how the injury really occurred, his claim may not have been denied in the first place. – Michele Lewane is an injury lawyer in Fairfax VA, she can be contacted for a free consultation at (877) 755-7744.

How this issue applies to Michigan law

Michigan workers compensation does cover both specific injuries and repetitive traumas. However, recent changes have made proving a case much more difficult. You must now show a significant change in preexisting pathology to qualify for benefits. This can be extremely difficult for neck and back cases unless you can pinpoint a specific injury date as the trigger.

Bottom line: Immediately report any injury that occurs at work. Make sure that you accurately describe what you were doing and how you got hurt. Do not give the insurance company a chance to dispute your benefits.

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 review a case.

Related information:

Injured On The Job: A Guide to Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law (Free Book)

02/01/2013
Injured On The Job: A Guide to Michigan Workers Compensation Law Injured On
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