What an erosion of medical and wage loss benefits means for the future of workers compensation in Michigan.
A Miami judge has ruled that Florida’s workers compensation law is unconstitutional. He found that successive state legislatures had so diminished medical care and wage loss benefits that the statute now violates employees “fundamental” rights. This issue will most likely be decided by the Florida Supreme Court.
Attorneys in Michigan have been openly discussing this same reality for years. Michigan’s law has become so unfair that it violates due process and equal protection. Could Michigan be the next state to find its workers compensation law unconstitutional?
Michigan adopted its first workers compensation law in 1912. It was designed as a grand bargain between employers and employees. Workers compensation pays reasonable and necessary medical treatment for on-the-job injuries. It also provides lost wages if a person cannot work. Pain and suffering is not available.
Special interest groups constantly advocate for workers compensation reform. This is done under the appearance of protecting job creators. Each state in a fierce competition to lower its workers compensation costs for businesses. This has created a race to the bottom situation.
Legislative reforms in 2011 allow insurance companies to use imaginary wages to say a person is employable. Some claimants are even told they can earn more money after an injury. Benefits have been cut to the point that the system is no longer reasonable or fair. Try supporting your family on $7 per week.
The burden of proof has become so extreme that many people have no remedy at all. This is especially true for individuals with preexisting arthritis.
Fixing the problem
Insurance companies and large corporations want protection from civil lawsuits but don’t want to pay any workers compensation benefits. The balance between employer and employee interests has tipped too far.
Contact your elected representatives and tell them to protect workers compensation. Special interest groups should never come before Michigan citizens.
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 (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by umjanedoan.