Update: House Bill 5002 (workers compensation reform)

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You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and we pride ourselves on providing you with care, trust, and responsiveness.

Michigan workers compensation lawyer gives an update on how these legislative changes are affecting real people who are injured at work.

Governor Snyder signed House Bill 5002 on December 19, 2011. This legislation brings major changes to workers compensation.

Since this legislation was rushed through by special interest groups, it is no surprise that more people are finding their workers compensation benefits cut-off.

Here is what we are seeing happen to real people who are injured on-the-job.

Imaginary wages

The most controversial change to the workers compensation law was giving insurance companies the authority to offset wage loss benefits if they determine that a person is only partially disabled. This is based upon the disabled person’s “wage earning capacity” which is their ability to find other work.

The problem is that it does not matter whether a disabled person is actually working or earning other wages. The insurance company can say that a disabled person has a wage earning capacity solely based upon their own opinion. The burden is then on the disabled person to file a workers compensation case and prove entitlement to full wage loss benefits.

Just 17 days after House Bill 5002 was signed and we already have a client whose wage loss benefits were stopped based upon imaginary wages. The insurance company felt that she could do another job that would pay her the same money. Our client now finds herself in the position of being disabled from her job and not being able to find another. She has no wage loss benefits and her family is struggling.

Fired for fault

Another controversial change allows an insurance company to stop the payment of wage loss benefits if a person is terminated for their own “fault.” This means that workers compensation can be stopped simply because a person inadvertently violated a company rule or policy.

We have a client from Garden City, MI who got fired for getting hurt at work. His employer said that he was negligent in the operation of a machine and they would not bring him back with restrictions. The insurance company then cut-off his benefits saying that his wage loss was now attributable to him being fired. This is truly an absurd result considering that workers compensation is designed as a no-fault system.

28 days later …

House Bill 5002 also lengthens the amount of time that an employer or insurance company has to select your medical providers. A person must now wait 28 days from the start of medical care to choose his or her  own doctor or get a second opinion. This is a huge problem for people who are misdiagnosed and are not getting proper medical treatment.

Why you need a workers compensation lawyer in Michigan

All of these workers compensation changes were designed to help big corporations and insurance companies. You should always challenge an unfair decision that reduces or eliminates workers compensation benefits.

To speak with one of our workers compensation lawyers in Michigan, call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation. There is never a fee unless you receive additional workers compensation benefits or a settlement.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years.  Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

Video: Warning! New work comp law reduces benefits for injured workers in Michigan

Contact our Michigan workers comp lawyers

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, betsyweber.

03/01/2012

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Author Bio Jeffrey Kaufman

Author
Jeffrey E. Kaufman
Michigan Workers Comp Attorney

Jeffrey E. Kaufman has extensive experience in workers compensation cases and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits for his clients. He believes all injured workers deserve to be on equal footing with insurance companies and employers, and fights tenaciously so their rights are secured and protected.


“Jeff also helped me with getting my Blue Cross bills paid. I would absolutely recommend him and the whole firm. Jeff and the firm did everything they were supposed to do for me and my case.”
Ricardo Perfetto

Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews

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Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and our clients love how they’re treated with care, respect, and responsiveness. We will give you the time you need, we will explain your legal rights, and we will always treat you with respect.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Injured? It’s Time to Get Some Answers

Don’t let the insurance adjuster push you around. Request your free consultation today.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.