Michigan lawyer explains a cumulative trauma workers’ comp settlement and how occupational diseases are covered.
We get lots of telephone calls and emails from individuals who are not sure if they have a work injury claim. Many of them have been working for years and have developed wear and tear injuries. They are confused about legal rights and if medical and/or wage loss benefits will be paid. Here is what employees need to know about a cumulative trauma workers’ comp settlement.
Michigan law protects employees who are hurt on-the-job. It pays for medical treatment and lost wages regardless of fault. It does not matter how the injury occurred so long as it was in the course and scope of employment. Benefits can be paid for life.
About occupational diseases
Most people know that a specific injury will be covered under a work injury claim. This is when a sudden traumatic event occurs like getting a hand crushed between two items. But what about cumulative trauma disorder when wear and tear injuries that develop over months or years? Those types of injuries are also covered and will typically be called occupational diseases.
Occupational diseases include carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, rotator cuff tearing, spinal disc disease, sciatica, lumbago, asbestosis, mesothelioma, lead poisoning, skin disorders, asthma, and hearing loss. An employee affected by an occupational disease could develop chronic pain symptoms in their hands, wrists, arms, knees, shoulders, back, or neck. Some people develop trouble breathing problems or allergies.
These cases can be more challenging
Winning a cumulative trauma workers’ comp settlement is more challenging. This is especially true if an employee has a preexisting condition. An underlying change of pathology will typically need to be shown to win a case a trial. Watch out for insurance company doctors who blame all symptoms on arthritis or some other degenerative medical condition. A settlement amount is always going to depend upon what the medical evidence shows.
Employees who develop wear and tear injuries might not be able to continue working in their present jobs. They should be covered under workman’s compensation and receive benefits. Insurance companies know how difficult it is to prove an occupational disease and will usually dispute these work injury claims. Most people live paycheck-to-paycheck and cannot afford to be without income. This is a reason why winning a work injury claim can be so important to them.
Average cumulative trauma workers’ comp settlement
There isn’t a specified average amount received for a cumulative trauma workers’ comp settlement in Michigan. Data from the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency shows the average settlement amount for a work-related injury in 2020 was just $59,235.42.
Many people who suffer from this type of trauma get more when evidence shows need for medical treatment and time off work. We recommend hiring an experienced workman’s comp attorney if an employee finds themselves unable to perform their job to ensure they receive the maximum payout amount for their injuries.
An employee who finds their work injury claim disputed should get legal assistance. It is possible to file an Application for Mediation or Hearing to challenge the dispute. A magistrate will be assigned to the case and review all the medical evidence. Witness testimony can be presented to explain how the job caused a wear and tear injury. Most of these cases result in cumulative trauma workers’ comp settlement. This money can be used for medical treatment and allows an employee to move on from his or her job.
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.