All employees deserve to feel safe from harm while at work. Nevertheless, people suffer debilitating injuries on the job. Michigan’s workers’ compensation system offers financial relief for the consequences of a workplace injury, including wage replacement and payment for medical and rehabilitation expenses. An experienced attorney can help you understand how workers’ compensation works and advise you on how to proceed with your claim.
He did a stand-up job in settling my worker’s comp. claim for 3 times the amount the insurance company was initially offering.
– D. Laskowski
If you have suffered an occupational illness or an injury at work and your employer has disputed your compensation claim, the experienced Michigan workers’ compensation attorneys at Jay Trucks & Associates will fight for your rights. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
What Injuries Qualify Under Workers’ Compensation?
Most injuries and illnesses resulting from your work will qualify for workers’ compensation, including accidents and diseases due to workplace materials, equipment, and activities.
Many assume that an injury must arise at a workplace, such as a factory or an office building, to qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits. However, all injuries that occur during work-related activities are eligible, including accidents when an employee travels for work or makes deliveries to a customer.
Illnesses that occur due to chemical or toxic exposure also qualify for coverage. Such conditions are generally preventable if the employer provides the correct personal protection equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, or protective clothing. When a business fails to make these provisions and an employee’s health suffers as a result, workers’ comp can cover losses associated with the exposure.
Which Injuries Do Not Qualify for Workers’ Comp?
Not all illnesses or injuries at work will qualify you for workers’ comp benefits. Your ailment must have come about as a direct result of work-related activity to qualify.
As such, you might not qualify for workers’ comp benefits for:
- Psychiatric disorders of a purely subjective nature
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries that occur due to fighting or horseplay
- Injuries that happen while you are traveling to or from work (Injuries that you sustain during a work trip do qualify)
- Injuries you sustain during the commission of a crime, while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while you are violating company policy
Free Consultation. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
How Accidents Happen on the Job
On-the-job injuries do not occur only on construction sites or at factories with heavy machinery. Michiganders in all professions can suffer injuries while at work.
Our Saginaw workers’ compensation attorneys often work with clients who have sustained injuries due to:
- Trip-and-fall injuries
- Overexertion from lifting or carrying equipment or goods
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Accidents with dangerous tools
- Falling objects, such as debris, goods, or equipment
- Crashes with vehicles or machinery, such as trucks or forklifts
- Workplace fires
Common Workplace Injuries
Workplace incidents from the above causes can result in debilitating injuries, such as:
- Injuries to the wrists, arms, or shoulders
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Knee injuries
- Herniated or bulging spinal discs
- Broken or fractured bones
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Diseases from toxic exposure, such as mesothelioma and silicosis
- Burn injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Severed limbs
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Many of these consequences require long-term intensive medical intervention that can come at an overwhelming financial cost. Furthermore, some of these injuries may temporarily or permanently prevent you from returning to work. Workers’ compensation insurance can help alleviate much of the financial stress resulting from these injuries. Speak to one of the qualified Michigan workers’ comp attorneys at Jay Trucks & Associates for assistance with your claim.
What Should I Do After Suffering an Injury at Work?
After seeking immediate medical treatment, your next priority should be to inform your employer that you have suffered an injury on the job. This information can initiate your workers’ comp claim. It can also reduce the chances that your employer can deny that you injured yourself at work.
What Benefits Do Workers’ Comp Programs Offer?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that offers wage replacement, medical benefits, and rehabilitation expenses for employees who suffer an injury or contract an illness while engaged in employment activity.
Most Michigan workers qualify for these benefits, with some exceptions:
- Federal government employees (who might qualify for coverage under the Federal Employment Compensation Act)
- Some agricultural workers
- Employees who work for very small companies
- Independent contractors
Michigan state law requires employers and their insurers to cover all reasonable and necessary medical expenses for an employee’s work-related injuries and illnesses.
This can include the cost of:
- Ambulance and hospital services
- Physical therapy
Under Michigan law, the employer may direct the injured employee’s medical care for the first 28 days following an injury. Many large companies employ medical professionals to treat their injured workers for the first four weeks. If the employee requires care beyond these 28 days, they may opt to see a physician of their choosing.
You can claim reimbursement if you need to pay any out-of-pocket expenses during your treatment.
How Much Do I Get Paid for Lost Wages?
The state does not obligate employers to pay wage compensation for injuries that last one week or less. You must first wait seven days after a workplace injury to qualify for wage loss benefits. On the eighth day, you will be eligible to receive compensation for your lost wages. If you must miss work for 14 days or more, you will also qualify to receive retrospective wages from your first week off.
Whether you are partially or fully disabled as a result of your injuries, you may receive 80 percent of the after-tax value of your lost wages. This amount will correspond to your average weekly wage, based on the highest 39 weeks of wages you earned over the 52 weeks prior to the injury. The state caps payments at 90 percent of the state average weekly wage at the time of the accident. At Jay Trucks & Associates, our experienced Michigan workers’ comp lawyers can help you determine the amount you are eligible to claim.
You will be eligible to receive these benefits as long as you remain disabled. For some workers, this entitlement can last the rest of their lives. Your benefits will reduce after you turn 65, and once again after you turn 75.
While these mandates are clear under state law, employers and their insurers often look for reasons to stop paying an injured employee’s wage loss benefits. In such circumstances, you should seek the assistance of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney.
What Happens if My Disabilities Prevent Me from Ever Returning to Work?
Michigan state law includes provisions for employees who suffer total and permanent disability from workplace injuries.
Those who qualify must have suffered:
- Total and permanent loss of sight in both of their eyes
- Loss of both feet at or above the ankles
- Loss of both legs
- Loss of both hands at or above the wrists
- Loss of both arms
- Loss of any two of the above members or faculties in combination (e.g., loss of sight in one eye and loss of one hand above the wrist)
- Incurable insanity or imbecility
Workers with permanent disabilities can get the same wage compensation benefits as other employees who suffer injuries on the job. They are also eligible to capitalize on changes in the minimum and maximum benefit rates.
While such disabilities are tragic, many employers may attempt to dispute their permanence. Alternatively, they might argue that the disability was not the result of a workplace injury. The skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Jay Trucks & Associates can fight for your employee rights if your employer refuses to accept responsibility.
Phone: (800) 762-8623. You can also complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
Can My Boss Fire Me While I Am on Workers’ Compensation?
Michigan law does not prevent your employer from firing you while you are on workers’ compensation leave. Nevertheless, your employer cannot terminate you or threaten to terminate you because of your workers’ compensation application or because you receive workers’ comp benefits. This type of retaliation is illegal. If it occurs, you have the right to seek additional compensation.
What if My Employer Does Not Carry Insurance?
Michigan requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, including:
- If they are a private employer that regularly employs 1 or more employees 35 hours a week or more for at least 13 weeks in the preceding 52 weeks
- If they are a private employer that regularly employs 3 or more employees concurrently, full- or part-time
- If they are an agricultural employer that employs 3 or more employees 35 hours a week or more for at least 13 consecutive weeks
- Households that employ any domestic servants 35 hours a week or more for at least 13 weeks in the preceding 52 weeks
- All public employers
Some businesses fail to comply with these requirements. If you have suffered a work-related injury and your employer did not have insurance, you can file a lawsuit directly against your employer.
Does Workers’ Comp Offer Compensation for Pain and Suffering?
Michigan law does not require workers’ compensation insurance to compensate an injured employee for pain and suffering. This type of compensation is available only in personal injury suits, which workers cannot file against their employers in most circumstances.
However, if your on-the-job injury happened because of another company’s negligence or the actions of another employer’s worker, you may be eligible to file a personal injury suit against them. You might qualify for compensation for your pain and suffering in such a case. An experienced injury attorney can review your situation to determine your options.
What Happens if My Employer or Their Insurer Denies My Claim?
As a covered employee who suffered a workplace injury, you have the right to expect that your workers’ comp funds will pay for your medical bills and lost earnings. If your employer or their insurer denied your claim, you likely feel overwhelmed or frightened, even angry. However, you should know that you still have options.
Our qualified Michigan workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand what steps you can take to file an appeal with the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency.
Why Do I Need a Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
A work-related injury or illness can leave you unable to work and in need of medical care. Rather than face the bureaucracy of the workers’ comp system and your employer’s insurance provider on your own, you can turn to an attorney for help. An experienced lawyer can advise you on your rights, file the necessary paperwork, gather supporting documentation, and represent you at appeals if necessary. That way, you have peace of mind knowing your case is in professional hands.
At Jay Trucks & Associates, we offer free consultations to all prospective clients, so there is no financial risk in speaking with an attorney about your case.
What Happens if I Lose My Benefits?
Many injured employees face a sudden cutoff of their benefits. Alternatively, their employer will send them to a company physician or clinic for a medical examination. While the employer will frame this as an “independent” exam, these doctors may have instructions to recommend that the employer reduce or terminate the worker’s benefits. The doctors will then send a report to the claims adjuster, prompting a change in the worker’s eligibility status. This can happen even if the worker’s own physician considers them completely disabled.
Appealing these decisions involves attending a hearing with the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency. While some employees attempt to handle the appeal on their own, insurance company lawyers can fight aggressively to support your employer’s decision to terminate your benefit payments.
When facing such overwhelming legal power, you need a qualified Michigan workers’ comp attorney to fight for your best interests. An experienced lawyer can help you recover unpaid benefits and reinstate the ongoing benefits you deserve.
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Michigan law stipulates that workers’ comp lawyers who work on contingency only receive fees when they have successfully reached a settlement on behalf of their clients. The legal fees will be a predetermined percentage of the settlement amount you receive at the end of your case.
Contact a Qualified Saginaw Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Help
Getting sick or injured while at work can be both painful and traumatizing. Many people have understandable worries about their financial security after suffering a workplace injury. Medical care is expensive, and missed time at work means reduced paychecks. A workers’ compensation claim can help you reduce your financial stress.
While many try to file these claims on their own, the process may prove complicated and overwhelming while you deal with the aftermath of your injury. The experienced Saginaw workers’ compensation attorneys at Jay Trucks & Associates can handle all the legal complexities of your case so that you can focus on your healing and recovery. Employers and insurers do not always treat their injured employees fairly. A skilled and knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer will take steps to hold them accountable for what they owe you.
Call Jay Trucks & Associates today at (800) 762-8623 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.
Contact us for a free consultation. (800) 762-8623