Michigan lawyer exposes secrets that workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan don’t want you to know and explains how to protect legal rights.
Employees hurt on-the-job in Michigan are entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. This includes lost wages, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. Unfortunately, workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan look for any excuse to dispute payment. Here are secrets you need to know and how to protect legal rights.
1. Lost wages are frequently underpaid
Disabled employees should receive 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. This is based upon the highest 39 paid weeks during the 52 weeks before getting hurt. Overtime, tips, bonuses, premium pay, second jobs, and the value of discontinued fringe benefits should be included in this calculation. Watch out for workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan who estimate these amounts based upon rate of pay and hours. Wage records from the employer should be obtained to verify the correct amount is being paid.
2. Defense attorneys review claims early
Many of our clients are shocked to learn that a defense attorney has already reviewed their claim. This happens even when no dispute currently exists. Workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan develop strategies to minimizing payment of benefits. It is a good idea to have an attorney on your side from the start of any claim.
3. Some medical conditions are frequently disputed
Workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan regularly dispute benefits when arthritis or degeneration is mentioned. This is considered a magic bullet that can be used to place blame on a preexisting condition. Almost everyone has some arthritis, and this does not make a claim invalid. It is important to have a doctor on your side who will support medical causation and disability.
4. You can pick a doctor after 28 days
Medical care is one of the most important benefits. Choose your own doctor after 28 days from the start of medical care. Workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan want to pick doctors so they can control medical treatment and work restrictions. Avoid this conflict of interest by choosing your own doctor.
5. Family members can get paid for helping around the house
Family members can receive up to 56 hours per week for providing attendant care. This is to assist with activities of daily living. Examples include helping with mobility, bathing, feeding, dressing, wound care, and taking medications. Sometimes a relative is paid just to sit with you. A family member should be given the same hourly rate as a professional.
6. You will be sent to a biased medical examination
Watch out if you are scheduled for an independent medical examination (IME). These doctors are not hired to give a second opinion or help with medical treatment. They are used to cut-off workers’ comp benefits. Many of these doctors make careers out of testing against injured workers. It is important to challenge a biased medical opinion in court.
7. You will be followed by a private investigator
Insurance companies hire private investigators to follow people. They are looking for any evidence that a claim is fraudulent. Even simple activities like grocery shopping or running errands will be taken out-of-context and used against you. We tell our clients to be cautious of their surroundings and never do activities beyond restrictions. It is also critical to shut-down social media accounts so items posted cannot be used against you.
8. Nurse case managers are not on your side
It is common for nurse case managers to be sent to medical appointments by workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan. These nurses are not on your side and will attempt to manipulate treatment and work restrictions. We recommend keeping them out of the examination room and making sure they are not permitted to speak with the doctor alone.
9. Vocational rehabilitation can be used against your best interest
Workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan reduce payment of lost wages based upon wage earning capacity. A vocational counselor will be hired to perform a transferable skills analysis and labor market survey. Jobs will be identified that are theoretically available and phantom wages will be used as an offset. This is called post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) and it is never a fair assessment. It is important to remember that vocational rehabilitation is more than just a one-time evaluation. Make sure to call a lawyer if weekly checks get reduced. It is also possible to get payment for job retraining and/or college credits.
10. Workers’ comp benefits can be traded for a lump sum cash payment
Many of our clients want to do their own medical and vocational rehabilitation without interference from workers’ comp insurance companies in Michigan. Others simply want to settle their claim and get a new job somewhere else. Workers’ comp benefits can be traded for a lump sum cash settlement. This money is tax free and can be used for any purpose.
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 (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.