Legal Tip: You cannot sign away your workers’ comp rights in Michigan

Why side agreements with an employer to give up workers’ comp benefits are not enforceable and how to protect legal rights.

It is sad when a business takes advantage of an employee hurt on-the-job. This occurs when bad information is given regarding their legal rights. We have seen employers lie about insurance coverage and refuse to make a claim.

Employees are told no workers’ comp insurance exists and given cash or some other form of compensation. Our experiences shows these minimal gestures are never enough and people need access to medical care and regular wage loss checks.

We have seen situations where the employee is required to sign an agreement giving up his or her workers’ comp benefits. A small amount of money is paid in the form of a buy-out. Medical bills are supposed to be paid under the table. These promises is rarely kept!

Michigan law does not allow a person to give up their workers’ comp benefits without approval of a magistrate at a redemption hearing. This means side agreements are not enforceable!

Employees should not be scared to make a claim or bullied into a side agreement. Any money paid by the employer will be considered as a credit against future workers’ comp payments. It is also possible to have a separate lawsuit with additional damages if a person is wrongful fired.

Having a lawyer involved from the onset will increase settlement value and ensure a fair resolution. Settlement documents should also be reviewed to make sure future medical care and other disability benefits are not put at risk.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.

Related information:

Redemption Order (Form WC-113)

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Paul Varuni.

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