Do I qualify for workers compensation in Michigan?
Workmans comp lawyer answers frequently asked questions on who can receive work comp
Many people ask our Michigan workmans comp lawyers if they qualify for workers compensation. Below is some information that can help you figure out whether this system will work for you.
To speak with one of our workmans comp lawyers now, call (855) 221-2667. You can also fill out our free consultation form. The call and the advice are absolutely free.
- Who qualifies for workers compensation?
- What is covered by workers comp?
- What kind of injuries are covered?
- Can I receive lost wages?
- Can I receive medical treatment?
- What if I need help around the house?
- What if I’m told my injury is not work-related?
- Are preexisting conditions covered under work comp?
Q. Who qualifies for workers compensation?
A. You must be an employee to qualify for workers compensation. Some employers will attempt to classify you as an independent contractor to avoid paying any work comp benefits.
Watch out for employers who try to have you sign an agreement that you are not an employee or that waive your workers compensation rights.
You might also find yourself being paid with a Form 1099 instead of a W-2. This is not correct if you are an employee. You should be considered an employee if you work for pay and you do not maintain a separate business or hold yourself out to render the same services to the general public.
Q. What is covered by workers comp?
A. Any injury or illness arising in the course and scope of your employment is covered by workers compensation. The workers compensation system is designed to provide benefits regardless of fault. You qualify by showing that you cannot work or that you need medical treatment.
You need only to provide proper notice and claim to receive benefits. Here are three steps to take after you have been hurt at work.
Q. What kind of injuries are covered?
A. Most injuries at work are caused by a sudden accident or a repetitive activity. Dropping a heavy box on your foot would be considered a sudden accident. Using your hands everyday would be considered a repetitive activity that can cause injury over time. Both of these types of injuries are covered under workers compensation.
Even old injuries and preexisting conditions can be covered.
Q. Can I receive lost wages?
A. To establish entitlement to wage loss benefits, you must demonstrate that a work-related injury has caused a reduction of your maximum wage-earning capacity. This means that you must show how a work injury has stopped you from earning your full wages in work suitable to your qualifications and training.
You must also consider other jobs that would pay you wages. If you can only perform a less paying job because of your injury, workers compensation should pay differential wage loss benefits.
Because of recent changes to the workers compensation law, insurance companies are reducing lost wage benefits based upon your ability to work in another job. This is called your wage earning capacity. It does not matter if you are earning actual wages or not. This is not always fair and you should contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer if this occurs.
Q. Can I receive medical treatment?
A. Any reasonable and necessary medical treatment should be covered under workers compensation. You have the right to select your own doctor and pursue whatever medical treatment is appropriate. You cannot be forced to undergo surgery or any other invasive medical procedure. Here’s some helpful information on medical care and your workers comp lawsuit.
Q. What if I need help around the house?
A. If you need help with activities of daily living, you can receive attendant care benefits under work comp. This could include wound care, help with mobility, bathing, using the bathroom, eating, dressing and taking medications. Either a skilled nurse or attendant will be hired by the insurance company, or you can request to have your relatives perform up to 56 hours of attendant care per week at the same rate of pay. Attendant care benefits are also referred to as nursing services.
Q. What if I’m told my injury is not work-related?
A. Some employers and insurance companies will tell you that your injury is “not work related” or simply “part of the aging process.” Insurance companies will often disregard the facts surrounding your injury.
This is especially true if they see incidental findings of arthritis. Just because you have some arthritis does not mean that you did not suffer a legitimate injury. You should have an experienced workers compensation lawyer review your situation anytime you suffer an injury at work. Call us at (855) 221-2667 for free advice now.
Q. Are preexisting conditions covered under work comp?
A. Preexisting conditions that are significantly aggravated by your employment can also be covered under workers compensation. This is true even if you have an old injury, whether work related or not.
These types of injuries are frequently disputed by employers and insurance companies. It’s in your best interest to seek legal representation if your claim is disputed or denied. You must have a doctor testify that the underlying preexisting pathology has changed because of your work injury.
Read about how a workers compensation attorney can help you.
Help from our Michigan workmans comp lawyers
To speak with a Michigan workmans comp lawyer now, call us at (855) 221-2667. We can explain all of your legal rights and answer your questions.
You can also fill out our free consultation form.