Answers to some of the most frequent workers comp questions asked in 2014.
We have seen significant changes to Michigan workers comp in the last several years. This has resulted in additional litigation costs and less benefits. The more things change, the more things remain the same. Here are the top questions for 2014 that our clients want to know about their legal rights.
1. How much does workers comp pay?
Workers comp pays 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage. This should be approximately 60% of gross pay. The maximum weekly rate for 2014 is $805.
Insurance companies can also subtract your estimated “wage earning capacity” if you are found to be just partially disabled. Weekly benefits are reduced simply because the insurance company says you can work somewhere else. It’s not fair and must be challenged if it occurs.
2. Do I have to look for work?
Disabled employees have an affirmative duty to seek work reasonably available within their restrictions. Performing a good-faith job search also shows that made-up positions don’t really exist. It is critical evidence that a magistrate can use to award full weekly benefits. We recommend that our clients create a job search log and write down several applications each week.
3. Can I choose my own doctor?
You must wait 28 days to choose a doctor. We recommend you do this to avoid a potential conflict of interest with the insurance company. You need a doctor on your side if benefits are every disputed. Choosing a doctor is as simple as notifying the insurance company.
4. Who pays medical bills?
Workers comp is supposed to cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment that is related. Most health insurance companies will agree to pay if a claim is denied. You must reimburse the health insurance carrier if successful with a case.
5. How much is the average settlement?
You can trade future benefits for a lump sum cash payment. This allows freedom to do medical and vocational rehabilitation on your own terms. The settlement amount will depend upon future medical and length of disability. Statistics published by the State of Michigan show the average settlement in 2013 was $62,198.08.
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 photosteve101.