Michigan attorney explains that though you can’t sue workers’ comp for negligence because workers’ comp is considered the “exclusive remedy” for injured employees, there is a potential exception to the general rule.
Can you sue workers’ comp for negligence in Michigan? This is an easy question with a complicated legal answer. The short answer is ‘no’ but there is one important exception that everyone should know about. Here is some information about Michigan workers’ comp law and uninsured employers.
Michigan adopted its first workers’ comp law in 1912. It was designed as a grand bargain between labor and business. Employees hurt on-the-job are guaranteed benefits regardless of their fault. Employers get protection from civil lawsuits even when they are negligent.
Workman’s compensation is the exclusive remedy when an employee gets hurt at work. It pays medical bills including mileage and travel expenses, attendant care for help with activities of daily living, and home or vehicle medications.
Workman’s compensation also pays lost wages equal to 80% of the employee’s after-tax average weekly. This calculation includes money for overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs. Payment continues for the entire length of disability.
Vocational rehabilitation is available when an employee must be retrained for a new career. It is possible to get workers’ comp to pay for education and other classes. Books and tools would be included.
Can you sue workers’ comp for negligence in Michigan?
In Michigan, you can’t sue workers’ comp for negligence but there is an exception to file a lawsuit against your employer if they are uninsured. Please remember that every situation is different, so it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney about your specific facts.
Michigan law requires employers to have workers’ comp insurance. This protects both parties if someone gets hurt on-the-job. Even having 1 employee for 35 hours or more per week triggers this requirement.
Employers who do not have workers’ comp insurance are still required to pay medical, wage loss, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. Watch out for employers who say they don’t have insurance and tell you it is tough luck. Officers and directors of the company can be held personally liable for payment.
Employees who find themselves without workers’ comp benefits can file an Application for Mediation or Hearing. This starts a formal process where a magistrate will decide if benefits should be paid. We recommend hiring a lawyer to help with this process.
Though you can’t sue workers’ comp for negligence in Michigan, you can file a lawsuit against the employer if they are uninsured. Employers lose the protection of the exclusive remedy provision when they don’t have workers’ comp insurance and then can be sued for their negligence. It does not matter if they actually pay benefits as required by law.
Michigan law permits a liability action if an employer does not have required workers’ compensation coverage. An employee must show that his employer was negligent. Lookout out for situations where safety guards were removed from machines, ladders or tools were defective, safety training was not provided. This opens the door for pain and suffering damages.
Injured on the job? Call our attorneys now!
If you are injured at work in Michigan and wondering if you can sue workers’ comp in negligence call us now, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping people injured on the job for more than 40 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.
Our 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 40 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.