After suffering a work-related injury, filing a Michigan workers’ compensation claim may not always be straightforward. People often wonder why they got denied even when they believe their claim is valid.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we explain the most common errors injured employees make when pursuing benefits. Whether starting a claim or trying to appeal a denied application, you may benefit from an experienced lawyer.
Contact our law offices to learn more about how we may be able to provide legal help with your claim. There is no cost or obligation for this service.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
After a work injury, there are steps to take that are essential to your health and your claim. Too often, we see employees who are initially denied benefits – even if technically they may have a valid claim. Sometimes it is because they do not understand their rights as an injured employee in Michigan. More often, the denial may be due to these completely avoidable mistakes:
Neglecting to Report a Work Injury
Not reporting a work injury right after it happens can make it too easy for your employer and/or workers’ comp insurance carrier to argue that you could have gotten injured anywhere. It is in your best interest to report the injury before you leave the premises. If you require emergency medical attention, you should contact your employer as soon as you are stabilized. If there were any witnesses to your accident, be sure to get their names and contact details as well.
Failing to Get Timely Medical Care
It can be difficult to think what actions you should take following a work-related accident, but seeking medical care should be a top priority for two very good reasons:
- Protect your health - Without seeking medical care, you could be putting yourself at risk. Not all injuries are noticeable right away. Sometimes, people may not realize that they suffered a serious injury, such as internal bleeding, organ damage, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries or fractures.
- Protect your workers’ comp claim: When you are examined, your doctor will create a medical record of your injury. This record helps to provide credible evidence for a workers’ comp claim and links the injury to your work accident.
Not Providing Enough Information About a Work Injury to Your Doctor
Describe how the accident happened in detail and be sure to include what part, or parts, of your body may have been impacted.
For example, if you were on a ladder that someone knocked over, causing you to fall, you should describe to the doctor how you fell. Did you land on your head? Be specific.
Finally, be sure to inform your doctor about any symptoms you are having, such as dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, headaches, or neck or back pain. Sometimes minor symptoms are masking more serious, sometimes life-threatening, injuries.
Failing to Get a Detailed Doctor’s Note Describing Your Work Restrictions
After your medical examination, your doctor may recommend resting at home to recover. If you are given permission to work, but with restrictions, you should get a detailed doctor’s note describing the type of work you can do, as well as the number of hours per day or week that you may be able to tolerate while recovering.
Not Searching For Light Duty Work that Fits Your Limitations
If you can do light duty work, then you must make a reasonable effort to search for one. Not doing this could give your employer the opportunity to reduce your weekly wage loss benefits.
When Michigan’s Favored Work Doctrine May Apply
If your doctor says you can go back to work with restrictions, your employer may offer a light duty job that fits within the limits of what your physician prescribed. The offer must meet Michigan state law’s description of a reasonable offer – also called favored work. If you do not accept a reasonable offer, then your workers’ compensation benefits could be suspended.
What is a Reasonable Offer Under the Law?
A reasonable offer must pose no threat to your health or safety under the capacity described by your treating physician. Additionally, it must located within a reasonable distance of your home.
The Benefit You May Gain From Legal Help
Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced Grand Rapids workers' comp lawyer may benefit your claim by helping to protect your legal interests, make sure you miss no deadlines and have someone on your side throughout the application process.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we have represented injured victims in Michigan for nearly 30 years. We have a proven track record of recovering millions in compensation for our clients, including a $1,148,320 settlement for a floor installer who injured his right knee at age 36.
Not sure if your claim is valid? We can help you with that, and at no cost or obligation to you. Call or text our firm anytime, day or night, and ask to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our qualified lawyers. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front or in attorney fees unless we obtain benefits for you.
Legal help when you need it. Call (800) 762-8623