If an employee is injured while working in Michigan, the state’s workers’ compensation system helps to cover medical and wage benefits. However, workers’ compensation laws can be complex. Many injured workers may find difficulties in filing a claim on their own, successfully resolving a dispute with their employer about their claim or having to file an appeal when an initial request for workers’ compensation is denied.
... I felt that I was treated with dignity and respect instead of just being another person. I would recommend this law firm to anyone struggling with worker’s compensation issues.
At Jay Trucks & Associates, we have experience handing a wide variety of workers’ compensation claims and are prepared to put our knowledge and resources to use for you. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for injured workers, including $480,000 for a pipefitter who sustained a severe head injury, $228,000 for a 43 year old male that suffered a right upper extremity injury and a $208,000 recovery for a 53 year old truck driver that suffered a neck and back injury.
Get in touch today to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation to hire us. If you do, there are no upfront attorney fees. You only pay us at the end of the legal process if we obtain compensation for you.
No Upfront Fees. Call (800) 762-8623.
Who Does the Workers’ Compensation Program Cover?
Michigan employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have more than three employees working at any given time or one employee working no less than 35 hours in a week. Workers’ compensation helps to cover medical, wage loss and other benefits to workers injured or killed in the course of employment. This is outlined in greater detail in the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act.
Generally, anyone who performs services for pay is considered an employee. Independent contractors are not classified as employees and therefore are unable to qualify for workers’ compensation. In any case, it is important to seek legal representation after a workplace accident because you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor.
Workers’ compensation is also a no-fault system. Fault is not a factor in determining whether an injured worker is eligible to receive benefits, even if the he or she is partially to blame for what happened. Being approved for workers’ compensation does mean that you will not be able to sue your employer.
Options for Workers Injured Offsite
Injuries sustained while commuting to and from work are usually not covered by the workers’ compensation system. This could include injuries that occur during a recreational or social activity (holiday party, company picnic, etc.). It must be for a business-related purpose, such as traveling for a business trip or business meeting.
Each situation is different, which is why it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced Lansing workers’ compensation attorney from our firm. We are available to take your call anytime, day or night.
Types of Workers Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation helps pay for hospital and other medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary to identify and treat a workplace injury or illness. Medical benefits generally cover the following:
- Emergency services
- Doctor visits
- Adaptive devices (wheelchairs, special vehicles, etc.)
- Dental care
You may be asked to see your employer’s preferred doctor for the first 28 days of treatment. Afterward, you will have the ability to choose your own doctor once you have informed your employer and its insurer.
Partial Disability Benefits
These benefits are issued in the event an injury or illness that prevents you from doing your past work. Wage loss benefits account for 80 percent of the difference between your current earnings and what you earned prior to being injured. The maximum weekly benefit for 2020 is $934 and benefits are usually payed for the duration of your disability.
Michigan has a schedule to determine how long wage loss benefits should be paid to workers with certain injuries. For instance, benefits for the loss of a thumb is the highest at 65 weeks while the loss of a pinkie finger can be paid out for a maximum of 16 weeks.
Total Disability Benefits
These benefits are issued in the event you become permanently disabled (partially or totally) because of a workplace injury or illness. You may be able to obtain 80 percent of your average weekly wages you earned before the injury. The maximum is 90 percent of Michigan’s average weekly wage for a total disability.
However, state law does limit permanent and total disability to one or more of the following conditions:
- Loss of sight of both eyes
- Loss of both legs
- Loss of both feet at or above the ankle
- Loss of both arms
- Loss of both hands at or above the wrist
- Loss of any combination of limbs
- Permanent and complete paralysis of both legs or arms, or one leg and one arm
- Incurable insanity
The purpose of this benefit is to help injured workers find new employment or pay for training when they are unable to work in the same field as before. Vocational rehabilitation services cannot be provided for more than 52 weeks, unless under special conditions.
When a worker dies from a work-related injury or illness, these benefits can issued to surviving family members. Up to $6,000 in funeral and burial expenses can be paid by the deceased worker’s employer. Death benefits are also about 80 percent of the worker’s average weekly wages for a maximum of 500 weeks after the date of death. The minimum weekly death benefit is $518.55 for 2020.
Contact our Lansing workers’ compensation lawyers for a free consultation. (800) 762-8623.
How Should I Report an Injury at Work?
It is important that you report an injury at work as soon as you can in order to start the claims process with Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA). Under state law, you have 90 days to give notice of a work-related injury or illness to your employer. Waiting could give your employer and its insurer reason to question the validity of your injury. The last thing you want is a dispute or denial of your claim for benefits.
Your employer must then file an Employers’ Basic Report of Injury form (WC-100) if you will be missing more than one work week. The workers’ compensation insurance company will conduct an investigation into your claim. If an employer is unwilling to file the form for any reason, you may file an Employee’s Report of Claim (WC-117).
In most instances, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
When Will Benefits Be Paid Out?
Benefits must be paid out promptly after being approved for workers’ compensation. The first payment is to be issued on the 14th day after your employer has notice or knowledge of a disability or death and is paid in weekly installments.
Medical bills or travel allowances not paid within a 30-day period of becoming due are subject to a late penalty fee to the employer for every day after this period.
What to Do After a Benefits Claim Has Been Denied
You have the right to appeal if your claim for benefits has been denied. The most common reasons include:
- Your injury was not reported on time
- Lack of sufficient medical records
- A discrepancy between the accident report and medical records
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when injured
- Your condition does not meet state guidelines
- You filed a claim after leaving the job
An application must be filed for mediation where a mediator will be assigned to help you and your employer or its insurer reach a resolution. If a dispute is not resolved during mediation, you will be granted a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. Having a qualified lawyer to represent you during this process could be beneficial. He or she could help you meet filing deadlines, gather evidence and protect your legal rights.
Our Lansing workers’ compensation lawyers are well-versed in this process.
Reach Out to a Lansing Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In over three decades, Jay Trucks & Associates has helped many injured workers obtain compensation for their injuries. We have successfully recovered more than $500 million for our personal injury clients.
Learn more about your potential benefits by during a free, no-obligation consultation. We do not charge any legal fees up front. We only receive payment for our services if we help obtain compensation on your behalf.
Our firm is available 24/7 to take your call. (800) 762-8623.