Michigan lawyer explains what is workers’ compensation and how does it work for employees who are hurt on-the-job.
Many people ask “what is workers’ compensation and how does it work in Michigan?” It is a type of insurance that covers employees who get hurt on-the-job. It was designed as a compromise between labor and business. Employees hurt on-the-job are guaranteed medical treatment and lost wages regardless of fault. Employers are protected from civil lawsuits based upon their negligence. Michigan adopted its first workers’ comp law in 1912.
All employers who have at least 1 employee working 35 hours or more per week are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who fail to purchase workers’ comp insurance are still responsible for payment of benefits. Officers and directors of the company can be held personally liable. Employers can also face civil and criminal penalties for not having workers’ comp insurance.
An employee must report an injury within 90 days and make a claim within 2 years. Payments should begin automatically after the insurance company processes the claim. There is no statute of limitations so an employee can seek workers’ comp benefits in the future if notice and claim were previously made.
Workers’ comp pays medical bills, mileage reimbursement, attendant care, home modification, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. Many disabled employees choose to settle their claims for a lump sum cash payment. This money is income tax free and can be used for any purpose.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation covers employees who are hurt at work. It pays medical bills without co-payments or deductibles being owed. It also pays lost wages equal to 80% of an employee’s after-tax average weekly wage. It includes money for overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs.
Workers’ compensation is a safety net for any employee who gets hurt at work. It covers medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault.
How does workers’ compensation work in Michigan?
To get workers’ compensation in Michigan an employee hurt at work must notify the employer within 90 days. A claim must be made within 2 years. These requirements are met when an employee asks for workers’ comp benefits. Payment should continue for as long as medical treatment is needed and/or the employee is disabled from working.
Entitlement to medical treatment begins immediately. However, an employee must wait 28 days to choose his or her own doctor. Michigan law requires payment of wage loss to begin on the 14th day. Checks are typically considered late when they are 30 days past due. Our experience shows that poor claims handling is the primary cause of late checks.
What types of injuries and illnesses are covered?
Employees can fall into 1 of 2 categories under workers’ comp. First, employees who have a sudden accident should be covered. An example is when a heavy object is dropped on their foot. Second, employees who develop an occupational illness such as carpal tunnel syndrome or asthma should also be covered.
Occupational disease cases can be difficult to prove if other life factors play a role. Watch out for insurance companies who use the independent medical examination (IME) to say problems are simply age-related.
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.