What should claimants know about their legal rights under workers’ compensation in Michigan?
Today’s blog post is going to be a Q & A with Alex Berman. He is the senior partner and founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. Alex has represented injured workers exclusively for more than 40 years and has recovered millions of dollars for his clients.
While interviewing new clients almost daily, there are several issues that make him wonder why they did not reach out sooner. Alex says the main reason injured workers call is because insurance adjusters either lie or mislead people about their legal rights. This becomes more obvious as the claim progresses.
Statements from insurance adjusters give the impression that workers’ compensation benefits could be jeopardized, and it causes our clients to panic. None of the items mentioned below gives the insurance company the right to stop payment. In such cases, it is wise to hire a competent workers’ compensation lawyer.
Q. What are the most common lies told by insurance adjusters?
Lie: You never have the right to choose your own doctor.
Michigan law provides that an injured worker can select his or her doctor after 28 days. They simply need to inform the insurance company of their selection and provide contact information.
Lie: If you pick your own doctor, even after the 28 days, you will have to pay for it out-of-pocket.
The truth is that all reasonable and necessary medical treatment should be covered 100% under workers’ compensation. There are never any co-pays or deductibles owed. This includes second opinions.
Lie: If a doctor recommends surgery, you must follow through or you will lose workers’ compensation benefits.
Michigan law does NOT give an insurance company the power to direct medical care. Injured workers can refuse surgery if it has significant risk. Surgeries that require anesthesia are usually serious enough to prevent the insurance company from cutting-off benefits if refused.
Q. What are some misleading statements from insurance adjusters?
Misleading statement: Workers’ compensation benefits can be stopped if you hire an attorney.
Insurance companies do not want injured workers knowing their legal rights. They make up all kinds of excuses to convince a person that a lawyer is unnecessary. Watch out for insurance adjusters who get a bad attitude if you suggest getting legal representation.
Misleading statement: If you stop seeing their doctors then medical will be more difficult to approve.
Medical treatment is a legal right and should be approved in a reasonable amount of time. Doctor payments are based upon a state-wide fee schedule.
Misleading statement: If you stop doing a job beyond your restrictions then wage loss is cut-off.
Disabled employees should receive 80% of their after-tax average weekly wage. The insurance company must pay weekly benefits if an employer won’t accommodate restrictions. These benefits continue so long as light duty work is not available.
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) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.