Michigan attorney explains available benefits when suing workers’ comp for a back injury.
Research shows that nearly 1 in 4 Americans suffer from back pain. This is a huge number of people and many can trace its origins to their jobs. We regularly see employees who suffer from acute and chronic low back pain. Here is some information about suing workers’ comp for a back injury that every employee should know.
Most workplace back injuries occur from lifting, pulling, or pushing heavy items. It is common for employees to have immediate symptoms while bending or twisting. Common diagnoses include lumbar back strain, herniated disc, fractured vertebrae, and pinched nerve. Employees who develop nerve problems can have symptoms that travel down their leg including pain, numbness, and tingling. Treatments includes prescription medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery.
Michigan law protects employees hurt on-the-job through workers’ comp insurance. It is purchased by the employer and coverage is mandatory. Employees who are denied can file an Application for Mediation or Hearing suing workers’ comp insurance for their back injury.
Workers’ comp is supposed to cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment without co payments or deductibles. This includes emergency room visits, doctor appointments, medication, physical therapy, injections, surgery, attendant care, medical equipment, home modifications, vehicle modifications, and mileage. Employees can select their own doctors after 28 days from the start of medical care. Watch out for the independent medical examination (IME) as this can be used to dispute payment of medical benefits.
Lost Wages When Suing Workers’ Comp For A Back Injury
When suing workers’ comp for a back injury employees who are unable to work are entitled to lost wages. The amount paid should equal 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. This will be based upon the highest 39 paid weeks during the 52 weeks before getting hurt.
Overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs should be included in the calculation. Payments under workers’ comp are income tax free. Insurance companies pay less using post injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC). Make sure to challenge any reduction based upon “phantom wages” from a nonexistent job.
Many disabled employees are unable to easily transition to light duty work. Workers’ comp pays for retraining and education when needed. Insurance companies can use vocational rehabilitation as an excuse to send people on hopeless job searches. When suing workers’ comp for a back injury, make sure to have someone on your side who can advocate for a vocational rehabilitation plan that makes things better not worse.
It is possible to trade workers’ comp benefits for a lump sum cash payment. The amount will depend upon length of disability and medical needs. Many of our clients want to settle and move on with their lives. This allows them freedom to get medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation without interference. Settlement money can be used for paying off debt, starting a new business, or retirement. Make sure to speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer about potential options.
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.