Michigan workers’ comp lawyer explains the dispute process and how to protect legal rights.
A workplace accident can turn a person’s life upside down. This is especially true if they unable to perform the essential functions of their job or require significant medical treatment. Supporting a family while on disability is a challenge but if workers’ comp benefits get cut-off, it becomes a financial disaster. Here is what happens if workers’ comp doesn’t pay and what to know to protect legal rights.
Workers’ comp is supposed to be a safety net for people who get hurt on-the-job and it pays regardless of fault. All medical treatment should be covered without any copayments or deductibles being owed. It pays 80% of lost wages based upon a person’s after-tax average weekly wage.
Unfortunately, insurance companies find all kinds of reasons to dispute workers’ comp claims. It can be based upon late reporting, preexisting medical conditions, or misconduct. Many employees find their claims disputed after attending the so-called “independent” medical examination. Some of our clients never get a reason and are told that a claim is simply “pending investigation.” So, what happens if workers’ comp doesn’t pay? Employees can expect to lose access to medical treatment and lost wages.
We strongly recommend challenging a disputed workers’ comp claim. An Application for Mediation or Hearing can be filed, and the matter goes to court. A magistrate will decide if additional medical and wage loss benefits should be paid. It is important to have a lawyer handle this process because the rules of evidence can be difficult. There is no attorney fee unless money is recovered, and it’s only a relatively small percentage of the total amount.
What happens if workers’ comp doesn’t pay in Michigan?
Insurance companies are allowed to dispute workers’ comp claims. Payment of medical and lost wages can be stopped. An employee must file for a hearing to challenge this decision. Health insurance can be used to pay disputed medical bills. A claim for unemployment or other disability benefits will be permitted.
What happens if workers’ comp doesn’t pay medical? Employees who find medical treatment disputed under workers’ comp can use their own private health insurance. This includes health insurance policies through an employer. Government programs like Medicaid or Medicare will also pay. Reimbursement will be required if money is recovered through a workers’ comp award or settlement. Our experience shows any reimbursement will be a small fraction of what is ultimately collected.
What happens if workers’ comp doesn’t pay lost wages? Employees can make a claim through unemployment if they are physically able to perform some past job but cannot find employment within their restrictions. It is also possible to make a claim through other insurance policies such as long-term disability. Reimbursement is typically required but an experienced lawyer can minimize what needs to be paid back.
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.