Work injury attorney explains available benefits and what to do if the insurance company refuses to pay.
Michigan adopted its first law related to work injury in 1912. It was a grand bargain between labor and business interests. Workers’ comp benefits are now the “exclusive remedy” when an employee gets hurt on-the-job. A frequently asked question is can I sue my workers’ comp insurance company if they won’t pay? The answer is ‘no’, but you can file an Application for Mediation or Hearing to get what is deserved.
We only represent employees who are hurt on-the-job. These individuals are entitled to benefits regardless of their fault. It pays for medical treatment and lost wages. Benefits are often disputed for various reasons.
Can I sue my workers’ comp insurance company for negligence?
Employees are supposed to be paid benefits regardless of fault. In exchange for these automatic payments, they cannot sue their workers’ comp insurance company for negligence or collect pain and suffering. If benefits are disputed by the insurer, an employee can file an Application for Mediation or Hearing.
What are the available benefits in Michigan for employees hurt on-the-job?
Employees hurt on-the-job are supposed to get 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. This is based upon the highest 39 paid weeks out of the 52 weeks before the accident. This calculation includes money paid for overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs that cannot be performed. Watch out for insurers who estimate the weekly rate because it is usually too low.
Medical treatment is also covered. This means no copayments or deductibles should ever be owed.
Employees can qualify for attendant care if they need help with activities of daily living. This is when family members get paid up to 56 hours per week to help around the house. The hourly rate should be based upon what a professional would charge so don’t let the insurer off the hook for a few bucks per hour.
Mileage to and from doctor appointments should also be paid. Employees who have mobility issues can ask for modifications to make their vehicle wheelchair accessible or add hand controls. Insurers are also responsible for home modifications when appropriate.
Can I sue my workers’ comp insurance company over biased medical report from the independent medical examiner?
Insurers use any excuse not to pay benefits to employees hurt on-the-job. The most common involve so called “independent” medical examinations. These doctors are handpicked by insurers because they know what to expect and it is a cut-off. Biased medical reports are generated saying a person is fully recovered and can go back to work. It does not even matter what the treating doctor believes. Can I sue my workers’ comp insurance company when this happens? Yes, but only to seek workers’ comp benefits.
Insurers also use vocational counselors to say a disabled employee has a post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC). These are jobs that are potentially available but have not actually been offered. Phantom wages are then used to reduce weekly checks. Can I sue my workers’ comp insurance company in this situation? The answer is to file an Application for Mediation or Hearing and force them to pay what is fair.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented hurt and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.