How misconceptions about workers’ compensation lead to discrimination against our clients.
Attorney Steve Gursten wrote an excellent blog post about jury bias and tort reform. He explains how insurance companies and corporate interests have spent tens of millions on propaganda to influence the public. This has resulted in misconceptions and half-truths regarding the civil justice system. Steve makes some great points and offers suggestions on how to fight the problem.
Insurance companies have also spent large sums of money trying to reform workers’ compensation. They would have you believe the system is in crisis despite Michigan premiums declining over 20% in the last 3 years.
These special interest groups have been using the same tired arguments about protecting job creators for years. Dont believe the hype! Here are 3 big lies people are led to believe about workers’ compensation.
1. Workers’ compensation is welfare funded by tax dollars
Workers compensation is a type of insurance that almost every employer in the State of Michigan is required to purchase. It is a compromise of interests designed to protect both employers and employees in the event of a work accident. Benefits are paid regardless of fault but are limited to wage loss, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. No taxpayer dollars are used.
2. People get rich from workers’ compensation
The amount of money a person will receive is approximately 60% of gross pay while unable to work. There are no increases for inflation and the 2014 maximum is $805 per week regardless of income. Settlements are based upon how many years a person is expected to be disabled and future medical costs. Pain and suffering is not available.
3. People are lazy and could work if they wanted
Most of our clients simply want to get better and return to work. It is hard supporting a family on just 60% of pay. Insurance companies can even use imaginary wages to offset these weekly payments. Refusing a job within your restrictions will result in automatic suspension of benefits. A good faith job search is also required.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a case. We have represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by KobraSoft.