Michigan workers’ comp attorney discusses lawsuits and why going to court is not always the best option when a fair settlement offer is made.
Employees who are denied work injury benefits can file an Application for Mediation or Hearing. This starts a formal process wherein the State of Michigan becomes involved in the dispute. A magistrate will be assigned to the claim and will be tasked with deciding if benefits should be paid. There are many steps in this process including pretrial, scheduling conference, control dates, facilitation, and court. Most work injury claims are eventually settled for a lump sum cash payment. Why is my workers’ comp case going to trial if most cases are eventually settled? Keep reading to find out some possible answers.
How often do workers’ comp cases go to trial in Michigan?
Our experience shows that most Michigan workers’ comp cases are settled and don’t go to trial. Not many people want to risk losing and getting nothing. Insurance companies are also concerned about being forced to pay indefinitely. Settlement means neither side wins nor loses at court. The key is finding a compromise that both sides can accept.
Your case will go to court if either a legal or factual issues cannot be resolved. We recommend the facilitation process to help narrow legal issues and test facts before going to court.
What percent of workers’ comp cases go to trial?
A very small percentage of workers’ comp cases proceed to trial. Statistics published by the Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency show 57 total dispositions for 2019 (2020 omitted because of COVID-19). This is contrasted by a total of 5,558 new cases in 2019.
If your case is going to court then there must be some issue that cannot be resolved. It is also possible that some party is being unreasonable and refusing to negotiate in good-faith. It is sometimes cheaper for insurance companies to lose at court and pay voluntarily rather than write a large settlement check.
What happens at a workers’ comp trial?
A workers’ comp trial is a formal hearing where a magistrate will decide legal and factual issues. Witness testimony will be taken under oath and is recorded. Other evidence submitted at court includes medical and vocational evidence including depositions. Trial can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple days.
A magistrate can only award benefits. There is no compensation for pain and suffering. Most open awards are appealed by insurance companies. This process can take several years, and cases frequently get remanded for additional evidence or analysis.
Disabled employees only receive 70% of wage loss benefits while an open award is appealed. All current medical should be paid. Employees who lose at court will not receive any medical or wage loss benefits.
Injured at work? Contact our work injury lawyers for a free consultation
To speak with an experienced work injury lawyer about your workplace accident claim, call us now, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan workers comp laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
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.