Michigan lawyer discuses workplace injury and how to protect legal rights.
Employees hurt on-the-job have significant legal protections. Many of our clients have heard about workers’ comp but they don’t quite know what it pays. Here is some information about a workplace injury and potential workers’ comp benefits. Please remember that every case is different, so it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer about your own individual situation.
Michigan law requires private employers to have workers’ comp insurance. Employees are covered under workers’ comp insurance immediately and it does not matter if they were at fault. It pays medical bills, a percentage of lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. In exchange for these workers’ comp benefits, employees lose the right to sue for pain and suffering. Workers’ comp benefits continue for an employee’s lifetime but are subject to a 1 and 2 year back rule.
Reporting a workplace injury
Employees must give notice of workplace injury within 90 days from the time it occurs. Notice can be oral so just telling a manager or supervisor is usually enough. However, it is a good idea to fill out a written accident report. This can be used as proof in the event of a workers’ comp dispute.
Never wait until the following day to report an accident because this is a red flag for employers.
Claim must also be made within 2 years of the accident. It requires nothing more than asking for medical treatment or paid time off under workers’ comp. You cannot be fired in retaliation for making a workers’ comp claim. We still recommend making a claim in writing so proof exists should a dispute occur. This can be done by sending an email, text message, or letter.
Watch out for employers who refuse to accept a claim and make up excuses. Our experience shows that bad employers will refuse to accept notice and/or claim with the hope of stopping workers’ comp benefits before they are even started. It is critical to speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer to ensure benefits are protected.
Filing a lawsuit
Sometimes employers or their insurance companies dispute payment of workplace injury claims. This is done for various reasons including late reporting, no claim filed, coworker statements, and conflicting medical evidence.
Watch out for the independent medical examination (IME) and post-injury wage earning capacity assessment (PIWEC). Both are designed to reduce or stop payment of workers’ comp benefits.
Employees who find their workers’ comp claims disputed can file an Application for Mediation or Hearing. This starts a formal process where a magistrate decides if additional workers’ comp benefits need to be paid. Medical and vocational evidence can be presented showing continuing need. Testimony can also be presented that notice and claim were made timely. Most of these disputed claims end up with a lump sum cash payment.
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.