Michigan lawyer explains how to calculate a fair workers’ comp disability settlement and discusses the redemption hearing process.
Our job as lawyers is to make sure clients get a fair workers’ comp disability settlement. This can be difficult when insurance companies dispute valid claims and won’t pay. We see this frequently when clients are scheduled for an independent medical examination or post-injury wage earning capacity assessment. Here is some information about a workers’ comp disability settlement that everyone should know about.
Michigan Workers’ Comp Benefits
Michigan law protects employees hurt on-the-job. It guarantees payment of medical treatment, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ comp benefits are paid regardless of fault, continue indefinitely, and are income-tax free.
Problems occur when insurance companies start playing games. This is done to save money and it always occurs at our client’s expense. Workers’ comp benefits are frequently cut-off based upon biased medical or vocational opinions. It is up to the disabled employee to challenge a dispute in court.
Workers’ Comp Disability Settlement
Settlement is an attractive option for many of our clients. It allows them to trade workers’ comp benefits for a lump sum cash payment. This money can be used for any purpose. Some clients just want to find a new job, pay off debt, or get on social security disability.
Insurance companies are also motivated to settle workers’ comp claims and close files. The amount offered for a workers’ comp disability settlement will depend upon several important factors. It must be a good business decision for the insurance company, and they cannot be forced to settle.
Here are some general guidelines to use when calculating settlement amount. Take the weekly comp rate and multiple it by 52. This gives a yearly figure that can be used for negotiation purposes. For example, someone who is getting $600 per week under workers’ comp should receive $31,200 per year. Insurance companies will typically not pay more than five years in cash. The value of future medical treatment can also be used to increase settlement value.
Watch out for insurance companies who negotiate using low figures that are based upon post-injury wage earning capacity. These assessments are typically wrong and should be challenged. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can make sure the correct amount is paid.
A workers’ comp disability settlement must also be approved by a magistrate at a redemption hearing. A determination will be made whether settlement is appropriate based upon facts and medical evidence. Settlement cannot be approved unless it is six months past the date of injury.
Individuals are usually required to give live testimony if they do not have a lawyer representing their interests. There is also a 15-day appeal period before a check is mailed. This time-period can be shortened if all parties agree.
We never recommend settling a workers’ comp case without speaking with a lawyer. Insurance companies make low-ball settlement offers because they know people are in financial distress. We also see individuals who lose out on social security disability or Medicare because the paperwork was not done correctly.
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.