Magistrate Disposition Statistics (Q3 2019)

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Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency releases magistrate disposition statistics covering period January 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019.

MAGISTRATE DISPOSITION STATISTICS

The Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency has now released magistrate disposition statistics as of September 30, 2019. This shows 5 new open awards, 4 closed periods, 7 denials, and 7 miscellaneous dispositions in Q3. Not much of an increase during the last 3 months.

By way of background on the magistrate disposition statistics mentioned above, an open award is when the magistrate orders the employer/insurance carrier to pay continuing wage loss and medical benefits for an indefinite time. A closed award is when a magistrate orders payment of wage loss and/or medical benefits for a limited time period. A denial results in no payment of any wage loss or medical benefits whatsoever. Miscellaneous dispositions involve a variety of issues that may or may not impact payment of benefits.

We believe these magistrate disposition statistics for 2019 in Q3 are artificially low because of the chilling effect that 2011 reforms have had on cases. Plaintiffs are finding a tough road when it comes to proving entitlement to wage loss benefits. Insurance companies are now permitted to use post-injury wage earning capacity (PIWEC) to offset weekly checks. This is based upon jobs that a vocational expert says are available and not on actual employment. Plaintiffs only had 17 open awards in 2018, 10 in 2017, and 18 in 2016. This is contrasted by 5,551 new cases in 2018, 5,940 in 2017, and 6,240 in 2016.

Settlement is usually a more attractive option for injured employees who find their claims disputed. This is when potential wage loss and medical benefits are traded for lump sum cash payment. A magistrate will want to hear a brief explanation of the reasons why a case is being settled and then make a finding that it serves the purpose of the act, is just and proper, and is in the best interests of the injured employee. Medical evidence will also typically be reviewed. The average redemption amount in 2018 was $57,859.15.

We believe magistrate disposition statistics are helpful when evaluating a case for settlement or trial. Use the chart reproduced below to see how many open/closed/denied/miscellaneous awards have been given by individual magistrates so far in 2019.

Knowing your magistrate and what he or she thinks about a specific legal issue is key to ensuring a good decision is made. These magistrate disposition statistics can also be used during facilitation to argue for a higher settlement amount. For example, knowing how many job applications per week is considered a “good faith” search is critical.

It is a smart idea to have any workers’ comp case evaluated by an experienced attorney. They can tell you about the assigned magistrate and evaluate chances for success at trial. The initial telephone consultation is free, and they are handled on a no win/no fee contingency. Michigan law caps attorney fees to 15% of the first $25,000.00 and 10% on the remainder for a disputed case. Injured workers who settle claims while being voluntarily paid can only be charged a flat 10% attorney fee. Nothing will be charged if additional benefits are not obtained.

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.

Related information:

PIWEC Calculation

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Author Bio Jeffrey Kaufman

Author
Jeffrey E. Kaufman
Michigan Workers Comp Attorney

Jeffrey E. Kaufman has extensive experience in workers compensation cases and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits for his clients. He believes all injured workers deserve to be on equal footing with insurance companies and employers, and fights tenaciously so their rights are secured and protected.


“Jeff also helped me with getting my Blue Cross bills paid. I would absolutely recommend him and the whole firm. Jeff and the firm did everything they were supposed to do for me and my case.”
Ricardo Perfetto

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Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and our clients love how they’re treated with care, respect, and responsiveness. We will give you the time you need, we will explain your legal rights, and we will always treat you with respect.

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Injured? It’s Time to Get Some Answers

Don’t let the insurance adjuster push you around. Request your free consultation today.

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This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.