How minor issues can turn into major problems if attention is not paid to your workers’ comp claim.
Attorneys are taught to spot issues in law school. This is an important skill that can make or break a workers’ comp case. Understanding Michigan law and how it applies to a set of facts is crucial to getting the best possible result.
We think knowledge is power and believe everyone should be able to spot workers’ comp issues. This can reduce the chances of trouble in the future.
Here are some of the most common workers’ comp issues we see in our cases. Make sure to speak with an experienced lawyer about your individual situation as every case is different.
Problems with claims adjuster
Many of our clients tell us that claims adjusters change personality over time. They are very friendly at the beginning and then suddenly become obnoxious. This usually occurs when the claim takes longer than expected to be closed. Watch out for claims adjusters who do not return telephone calls or develop a bad attitude.
Independent medical examination (IME)
Insurance companies have a list of approved doctors who are used regularly. These doctors earn a living writing biased medical opinions and testifying against claimants. It is common for a doctor performing an IME to say that a condition is not work-related or that a person can go back to work unrestricted. These doctors are not independent!
Michigan workers’ comp law was changed to allow insurance companies a credit for “wage earning capacity.” Vocational experts are hired to look at transferable skills and potential jobs. Phantom wages are then subtracted from the weekly rate. Beware the vocational counselor because they do not always have best interests at heart.
Return to work offer
Employers do not have to pay wage loss benefits if they offer a job within restrictions. Our experience shows these jobs never last and restrictions are violated. Harassment is common and the goal is to get a person to quit so they forfeit workers’ comp benefits.
Nurse case manager
Watch out for nurses who are sent by the insurance company. Some of them only care about controlling medical costs and getting rid of restrictions. Watch out for a nurse case manager who insist on attending every medical appointment and speaks to the doctor about ending restrictions early.
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.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Benson Kua.