Michigan workers’ comp lawyer explains what happens if an employer does not report an accident and how to protect legal rights.
Our attorneys have 100+ years of combined experience handling workers’ comp matters. Dealing with bad employers is something we do on a regular basis and we hate seeing people taken advance of financially. We have seen everything from uninsured employers to fraudulent business activities.
So, what happens if an employer does not report an accident? It is a huge problem that with see daily and it can result in permanent forfeiture of workers’ comp benefits. There are many reasons on why an employer does not report an accident. Below are some common situations that employees need to know about in order to protect their legal rights.
Employer refuses to make a workers’ comp claim
Most businesses in Michigan are required to purchase workers’ comp insurance. It protects employers and employees hurt on-the-job. Available benefits include medical treatment, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, if an employer does not report an accident in Michigan they may also refuse to submit claims under workers’ comp insurance because they are worried about higher premiums or have misrepresented the nature of their businesses and don’t want to get caught. Some have large deductibles and believe they can get away from paying by obstructing innocent employees.
Employees can short-circuit this obstruction by filing their own Employee’s Report of Claim (Form WC-117) with the Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency. Notice will be sent directly to the employer’s insurance company who will then begin investigating.
Company does not have workers’ comp insurance
If an employer does not report an accident in Michigan it may because they don’t have workers’ comp insurance. Employers who fail to purchase workers’ comp insurance lose immunity and can also be sued for their negligence. This allows an additional claim for pain and suffering damages.
Michigan law requires that employers pay for medical treatment and lost wages when an employee gets hurt on-the-job. These are guaranteed benefits regardless of whether the employer has workers’ comp insurance or not. Failure to purchase required workers’ comp insurance is a misdemeanor that can result in both civil and criminal penalties.
Wages paid by company are paid under the table
If an employer does not report an accident in Michigan, they might think they are protected by how they classify their employees or because they pages wages under the table.
In many instances, businesses misclassify their employees as independent contractors. Individuals are paid with an IRS Form 1099 regardless of their employment status. Some businesses keep employees off the books and just pay cash under the table. Employers cannot escape paying workers’ comp benefits simply because they broke state or federal law. Make sure to report all income to the IRS and keep tax returns as proof. Speak with a lawyer if benefits are not promptly paid.
Paying cash instead of workers’ comp
Watch out for employers who promise to pay medical and/or wage loss benefits instead of making a claim with their insurance company. These promises are rarely kept long and often come with strings attached. Never lie to a doctor about how the accident occurred because this can be used as evidence against a claim should the matter proceed to court. Workers’ comp is a lifetime benefit that should not be jeopardized for a small cash payment.
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) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.