What types of contact will you have with a magistrate in a Michigan workers’ compensation case?
Governor Rick Snyder appointed/reappointed 6 magistrates last week. This is big news because these individuals are responsible for deciding workers’ compensation cases.
It’s not often we get to quote Kenny Loggins but we found a way in today’s blog post. His theme song “I’m Alright” from the classic movie Caddyshack provides the inspiration.
You want to understand the issues in a workers’ compensation case? Pay attention to the magistrate.
We think facilitation is a great tool to resolve a workers’ compensation case. It is an informal hearing where both sides present arguments to a neutral magistrate. No formal decision will be reached but a dollar amount will be suggested for settlement. Neither side must accept the amount but it helps get both sides talking and narrows legal issues. This is also a great way to test proofs without the fear of losing at a formal trial.
Magistrates decide facts and law of each case. Their backgrounds shape how they view witness testimony and medical evidence. Some have represented insurance companies for years while others have represented injured employees. While not intentional, these past experiences can make a difference in a close case. Proceeding to trial is usually the option of last resort because somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose.
Settlements must be approved by a magistrate at a redemption hearing. The magistrate will be given a brief explanation as to why the case is being settled and medical records will be reviewed. The magistrate will want to hear the parties understand their legal rights and will make specific findings on the record.
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 j3net.