When an employee gets injured on the job, he or she may assume Michigan’s workers’ compensation benefits will take care of them. However, the workers’ compensation process is often more time-consuming and complicated than many injured workers expect.
Hire a Clare workers’ compensation lawyer today. Jay Truck and Associates. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Todd Trucks did a great job and was a good friend to me throughout my worker’s compensation claim….
– R. Deming
Jay Trucks and Associates’ licensed Clare workers’ compensation lawyers have a proven track record of recovering workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers, including $480,000 recovered for a pipefitter who suffered a severe closed head injury in a work accident and a $450,000 recovery for a 51-year-old worker who sustained an eye injury.
For more than three decades, our firm has obtained more than $500 million in compensation on behalf of our clients in Clare and throughout Michigan.
If you have suffered a work-related injury and want to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, you should speak with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about Michigan workers’ compensation law.
Contact Jay Truck and Associates law firm for a free consultation with one of our workers’ compensation lawyers. The consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation to take legal action. We do not get paid unless our clients are paid. We do not require upfront costs is no risk to you in calling us.
Jay Truck and Associates. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Who is Covered by Michigan Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Employers who have three or more employees or at least one employee working 35 hours or more each week must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage provides compensation to employees who suffer a personal injury “arising out of and in the course of employment,” according to the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Act.
The act provides that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so it does not matter who caused the injury. You may be responsible for it, but you should receive benefits, such as for lost wages or medical costs if you can prove the injury is directly related to your job.
What About Occupational Diseases?
A personal injury can also be a disease or disability that is a result of conditions specific to your job, also known as an occupational disease. This definition excludes diseases the public is generally exposed to outside of the workplace, like the flu.
For example, all employers in Michigan contribute to a special fund to provide compensation to employees who suffer certain dust-related diseases or injuries while doing certain types of work in the logging industry. For example, this fund provides special protection for foundry workers who develop an occupational illness called silicosis.
If you have a dust-related disease, you should meet with an experienced Clare workers’ compensation lawyer to learn more about the workers’ compensation benefits you may be eligible to receive.
What About Preexisting Injuries?
You may also be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits if a preexisting injury or illness becomes aggravated or accelerated by your employment. Examples of preexisting conditions that could be accelerated by employment include mental disabilities, arthritis, and heart conditions.
However, there are specific requirements for obtaining coverage, such as proving your condition was significantly aggravated. If you are pursuing compensation for a mental disability, you must show it is a result of events that occurred during your employment. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help with Clare workers’ compensation claims.
We Only Get Paid When We Win. (800) 762-8623
Who is Not Covered?
Workers’ compensation benefits cover most Michigan workers. Workers not covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Federal employees, such as postal workers
- Farmers or agriculture workers
- Employees of businesses with fewer than three employees
- An independent contractor
Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation
The workers’ compensation system covers employees only. If you are an independent contractor, you are not covered. However, there are circumstances in which an independent contractor may qualify for workers’ compensation.
Employers often classify a worker as an independent contractor when they should classify them as an employee. Employers do this to avoid the expense of workers’ compensation insurance for employees. But some factors can determine whether an independent contractor is, in fact, a regular employee eligible for workers’ compensation.
Some of the factors to consider include:
- Did your employer determine your hours?
- Did your employer decide how you should complete your work?
- Who supplied the tools and equipment used to complete your work?
- How were you paid when you finished your work?
If you have reason to believe you are in this situation, call our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in Clare for a free consultation. We are ready to review how your employer controls the work you do to determine if you should be considered an employee.
What if I Was Injured Offsite?
Michigan’s workers’ compensation system generally does not cover injuries that occur while you are commuting to or from work. However, if you are injured during required travel, such as during a business trip, you are likely covered unless you deviated from the business purpose of your trip.
Offsite activities that are directly related to your work may also be covered. But if an injury occurs during an event or situation whose primary purpose is social or recreational, the injury is not covered. That means injuries at holiday parties or company picnics are probably not covered.
Understanding what workers’ compensation claims do and do not cover can be complex and confusing. It is generally best to talk to a qualified workers’ compensation attorney about your specific case to determine if you have a valid workers’ comp claim.
Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Benefits for Injured Workers
If you suffer a qualifying injury, Michigan law says you are eligible for coverage for all medical treatment and care that is reasonable and necessary for your work-related injuries. Reasonable and necessary medical care may include things such as:
- Treatment at a hospital or emergency room
- Dental care
- Artificial limbs
- Hearing aids
If your injury or disability lasts at least seven days, you are eligible for disability benefits to replace lost wages.
you can still work in some capacity while recovering, you may be eligible for compensation equaling 80 percent of the difference between your current earning capacity and your earning capacity before the accident.
Michigan has a schedule to determine how long wage loss benefits should be paid when workers suffer certain injuries. For example, the schedule for the loss of fingers is as follows:
- Thumb – 65 weeks
- Index finger – 38 weeks
- Middle finger – 33 weeks
- Ring finger – 22 weeks
- Pinkie finger – 16 weeks
When an injury is so severe it prevents you from working in any capacity, either temporarily, or for the rest of your life, you may be eligible for total disability benefits. However, state law limits permanent and total disability in disabled workers to one or more of the following conditions:
- Loss of sight in both eyes
- Loss of both legs
- Loss of feet above the ankle
- Loss of both arms
- Loss of both hands at or above the wrist
- Loss of any combination of the limbs/functions in the bullets above
- Permanent, complete paralysis in both legs or arms, or one leg and one arm
- Incurable insanity
In these situations, workers are eligible for 80 percent of their average weekly wages from before their injury. Total disability is subject to a limit of 90 percent of the state’s average weekly wages.
These benefits are paid out for the duration of your disability. If your disability continues for 800 weeks, a determination will be made about whether you are still permanently and totally disabled (Michigan Compiled Laws 418.351).
If you lost a loved one or family member because of a work injury, and you or others were wholly dependent on his or her earnings for support, you may be eligible for weekly payments of 80 percent of your loved one’s average weekly wages, subject to a maximum of 90 percent of the state average weekly wage. These benefits are paid for a maximum of 500 weeks from the date of death.
At the end of the 500 weeks, if anyone wholly or partially dependent on the deceased is under 21 years of age, a workers’ compensation magistrate has the authority to order the employer to continue to provide workers’ compensation benefits until the dependent turns 21.
Employers must also provide compensation for reasonable expenses for the funeral and burial, not to exceed $6,000, or the actual cost, whichever amount is less.
If you are no longer able to perform work in the field in which you have experience and have been trained, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services that are reasonable and necessary to allow you to return to useful employment. This may include retraining and job placement.
Workers’ comp cannot provide these services for more than 52 weeks except in special situations.
Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Reporting a Work Injury
Injured employees must report an injury to their employer within 90 days of it occurring, or 90 days from the date when they knew or should have known about the injury. However, it is generally best to report an injury or disability as soon as possible to get the workers’ compensation process started. If you wait, your employer may question whether your injury is connected to your job.
There is an exception to this 90-day deadline for physical or mental incapacity. Employees must report an injury within two years of the date they are no longer physically or mentally incapacitated.
Your employer should have a procedure for reporting a work injury if your business office is closed.
Once notified of an injury, your employer must file Form WC-100 if it looks like the injury will last more than a week. Once your employer files the form, the insurance company begins an investigation.
If for some reason your employer does not file a workers’ compensation claim, you can do so yourself. File Form WC-117 so your employer’s insurance company will be notified.
You must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the date of the injury.
Can I Be Treated by My Regular Doctor?
For the first four weeks (28 days) of your medical treatment, your employer chooses your doctor. Once those 28 days pass, you can get an independent medical examination by asking your employer and its insurance company in writing.
Michigan law does not require injured workers to obtain authorization from the insurance company or employer to receive treatment, provided treatment is reasonably necessary.
Have questions? We have answers. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
When Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Paid Out?
When workers’ compensation claims are filed, the law requires prompt, regular payment of benefits employees are eligible to receive. They must cover medical bills for any reasonable, necessary medical treatment for a workplace injury.
The wage loss benefits are paid on the 14th day you are disabled. Benefit checks are late if they are not received within 30 days of the due date. If your check for lost wages isn’t received within this time, you should follow up to see the reason for the delay.
What Happens if My Claim is Denied?
Your employer or their insurance company may deny your workers’ compensation claim and may argue that your injury is not related to your work duties. In either case, you can appeal that decision by submitting Form WC-104C. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with this process.
You will go through mediation if your claim fits the following criteria:
- You are seeking medical benefits only
- You do not have legal representation
- The Workers’ Compensation Agency determines mediation may resolve the dispute
- You are only seeking vocational rehabilitation
- Your employer lacks workers’ compensation insurance
Otherwise, your case will be sent to the magistrate’s docket and the relevant parties will be served with notice of the date, time, and location of a pre-trial meeting.
Our attorneys are workers’ compensation experts who have worked with dozens of injured workers. They have detailed knowledge of this process and what it often takes to overturn a decision when an employer denies a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation cases can be long and tedious, which is why it is wise to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. We can help you reach a fair settlement in your workers’ compensation case.
Call a Licensed Clare Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Has your claim been denied?
Are you involved in a dispute with your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company?
Our experienced attorneys may be able to assist you in pursuing benefits for your workers’ compensation injury or illness. Schedule your free consultation today to find out how we may be able to assist you. There is no obligation to take legal action and there are no legal fees unless we recover compensation.
In 30 years of serving Michigan residents, we have been able to recover more than $500 million in compensation, including millions for injured workers. In one case, we recovered $300,000 for a mechanic who suffered a lower back injury.
If you are in Clare or anywhere in northern Michigan, call Jay Trucks & Associates’ Clare workers’ compensation lawyers at (800) 762-8623. We require no upfront costs and there is no obligation to use our legal services.
Jay Trucks & Associates –
Michigan’s Lawyers For The Injured
Clare Workers Compensation FAQs
How long does workers’ comp take in Michigan?
Employers have 30 days after you file your workers’ compensation claim to decide whether to accept or deny your claim. If your claim is accepted, and your work injury results in seven days or more of disability, your first check is payable on the 14th day of your lost wages. However, your wage loss benefits check is not considered late until 30 days after its due date.
How long does workers’ comp pay in Michigan?
Your workers’ compensation benefits continue as long as you experience a loss of wages. If you suffered serious injury or permanent disability, you could be receiving workers’ compensation benefits for the rest of your life if your workplace injury meets certain criteria, such as loss of sight, loss of certain limbs, permanent paralysis, or incurable insanity.
If your injury meets those criteria, you are eligible for 80 percent of your average weekly wage from before the injury. Total disability is subject to a limit of 90 percent of the state’s average weekly wage. These benefits are paid out for the duration of your disability. If your disability continues for 800 weeks, a determination will be made about whether you are still permanently and totally disabled.
If you are still able to work in some capacity while recovering from your work-related injury, you may be eligible for compensation equaling 80 percent of the difference between your current earning capacity and your earning capacity before the accident. Michigan law limits how long you receive payment.
Can you be fired while on workers’ comp in Michigan?
Unfortunately, yes. Under Michigan law, employers can fire workers who are on workers’ compensation. However, employers cannot terminate workers because they applied for or received workers’ compensation benefits.
How does workers’ compensation work in Michigan?
Employers with three or more employees or just one employee who works at least 35 hours a week must purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy. Most purchase these through a private insurance company. Under Michigan’s Workers Compensation Act, this coverage provides compensation to employees who suffer a work-related injury or occupational illness.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning coverage is provided regardless of who caused the injury—the employee, the employer, or another party. Workers’ compensation can cover the cost of medical bills and medical treatment as well as wage loss benefits for employees who suffer from workplace injuries.
What if I got medical treatment before I filed a claim?
If you seek medical care before you file a claim for workers comp benefits, tell your doctor that you suspect your injury or illness is work-related. Your health insurance provider should not be billed for reasonable and necessary medical care caused by a workplace injury provided your workers’ comp claim is approved. Be aware that your doctor may require authorization through the Michigan Civil Service Commission before they will evaluate you.
Should I seek a lump sum for my claim?
The insurance company may offer you a lump-sum settlement for your workers’ compensation injury. While this can be tempting in your time of need, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine if the insurer is offering you a fair settlement that serves your most pressing needs. Each worker’s situation is unique. Accepting a lump-sum payment may serve you better so you can access compensations sooner and avoid the hassle of court hearings. But there are some drawbacks. For example, accepting a settlement may exempt you from seeking future medical expenses.