Important events to watch out for and a general timeline for a Michigan workers’ comp case.
Employees who are hurt on-the-job are guaranteed medical treatment and lost wages under Michigan workers’ comp insurance. Payments should be automatic once the insurance company has notice of the claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies look for excuses to dispute claims. This leads to people not getting needed medical care or wage loss benefits. It is then up to the employee to file an Application for Mediation or Hearing and challenge the dispute. ? Here are some important events to watch out for and a general timeline.
How long does a workers’ comp case take in Michigan?
In Michigan, our experience shows it takes an average of 12 months to resolve a workers’ comp case. This includes pre-trial, control dates, and trial. Appeals can add a significant amount of time. It is possible to speed up this process through facilitation and settlement.
Filing the Application For Mediation
We tell our clients that it takes approximately 30-45 days after filing the Application for Mediation or Hearing to receive a notice of pre-trial from the Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency (WDCA). This is the first step in the litigation process, and it will show which magistrate has been assigned to the case. Nothing much happens at pre-trial other than a first control date will be assigned.
Control dates happen every 30-60 days. It gives each side a chance to meet and narrow some of the legal or factual issues. The magistrate is also going to want to make sure that the case is proceeding in a reasonable fashion and there are no immediate issues that must be resolved. Our experience shows that it takes several control dates before a magistrate will put the case on a trial docket.
It is typically required that each side participate in a facilitation before a priority trial date will be scheduled. This is when a different magistrate informally hears the facts and comes up with a dollar amount for settlement. Neither side must accept the recommendation, but it can help bridge the gap between parties. Most cases get resolved through facilitation.
In Michigan, it can take up to 12 months before a magistrate puts the workers’ comp case on a trial docket. This is when medical and vocational depositions should be completed. The magistrate will assign a priority trial date and conduct a formal hearing on the merits. A written decision is usually issued within several months of trial.
Employees who have their wage loss benefits stopped within the last 60 days can ask for an expedited trial. These are known as 60-day cases and take precedence over other matters. Be cautious when using this procedure as it is rare to have a case ready to go that fast.
Insurance companies also routinely appeal unfavorable decisions. This can add months or years to the timeline. This fact is why so many individuals want to settle their cases for a lump sum cash payment and not wait for the process to be completed.
Are there ways to speed up a workers’ comp court case in Michigan?
An experienced attorney will know how to speed up a workers’ comp court case. This includes taking early medical and vocational depositions when appropriate. Facilitation is also a great tool to bring each side closer to settlement. It is also possible to waive the 15-day appeal period to get settlement money quicker.
We are here to help get your work injury claim resolved as quickly as possible. Please call or email for a free consultation. There is no fee unless we are successful with your case.
Injured while on-the-job in Michigan? Contact our lawyers now
If you were injured while on the job in Michigan and have questions about your workers’ comp case, call now or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. Our attorneys are here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan work injury laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workers Compensation Lawyers never charge 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.