When workers get hurt on the job, they have a short window to report the incident to their employers. After being notified, your employer also has a deadline for filing your claim for workers’ compensation.
What happens if your employer refuses to file your workers’ comp claim? Can employers do that? What are your legal options if this happens?
At Jay Trucks, we are dedicated to helping the injured get the workers’ compensation benefits they need. We have extensive experience helping injured workers and a history of proven results.
Contact our firm today to learn if you have legal options in a no-risk, no cost initial case review. There are no upfront costs if we represent you and no fees to pay unless we win your case.
Set up your FREE Case Review today. (989) 244-0394
Do All Employers Have to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Yes. In Michigan, the law requires nearly all employers with one or more employees to provide workers’ compensation coverage. Your employer may provide benefits through a private insurance company, self-insured coverage or through a group fund.
Once employers receive notice of a work injury, they must complete form WC-100 for that employee. The form cannot be handwritten. It must be completed online and then submitted to the Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency and the employer’s insurance carrier. Benefits begin once the employee’s covered injury or occupational illness last seven days or longer.
Injured employees may be able to sue employers who fail to provide workers’ compensation coverage. If you are unsure whether your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you can use the state’s online tool to find out.
Can My Employer Refuse to File My Workers’ Comp Claim?
There are some reasons your boss could legitimately refuse to file your workers’ comp claim, such as if you:
- Failed to report your injury to your employer within the required 90-day window
- Did not include relevant details your employer needed to report the claim
- Suffered only a minor injury that did not require you to miss any work hours
- Sustained an injury or illness that is not work-related
- Reported a false claim for an injury that did not happen or happened elsewhere
- Purposely caused yourself injury
- Were injured as the result of horseplay
Even if the reason for your employer refusing to file your claim seems valid, he or she could be in the wrong. An attorney may still be able to help prove your work injury is valid.
For instance, if you reported a repetitive stress injury and your employer refuses to file a claim saying it is not work-related. However, there are some injuries that do not happen in a single incident that could still be work related. As long as your work duties caused you to suffer this injury, your claim may still be legitimate.
That said, occupational injuries, like carpal tunnel or other repetitive stress injuries, are harder to prove. Claims for these injuries could benefit from the help of a qualified attorney.
What if Your Employer Refuses to Report Your Injury?
Employers are required to file their employee’s workers’ comp claims in a timely manner. However, when employers refuse to file a workers’ comp claim, it could be they have concerns about their insurance premiums going up. Other employers, however, may have more concerning reasons for not reporting your injury. For instance, if an employer has committed some type of business premium fraud and wants to avoid getting caught. Employers who misrepresent their business in some way know they could face serious trouble with the law.
If your employer refuses to file your workers’ comp claim, you still have options. You can file your claim on your own using Michigan’s Employee Report of Claim Form – WC-117. Filing this form triggers an automatic notification from the State of Michigan to your employer’s insurance carrier.
If your employer makes it difficult to file a claim early on, we strongly recommend you contact a licensed attorney for help right away. He or she can help to protect your rights and interests.
Are There Deadlines for Reporting Your Michigan Workers’ Comp Claim?
In Michigan, employees have 90 days to report a single work-related injury. Employees with an occupational injury or illness also have 90 days from their diagnosis to notify their employer.
Despite this deadline, waiting even one day may send a red flag to the insurance company. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you always tell your employer the same day. Any delays in notifying your employer could make it harder to get your claim approved.
Do I Need to Report My Injury in Writing?
While you may report your injury verbally to your employer, we do not recommend it. The reason for this is simple. If you later need evidence that you notified your employer, you have no tangible proof. However, if you notify your employer by email or some other written method, you have physical evidence that proves it.
How You Can Help to Protect Your Workers’ Comp Claim
It is not necessary to establish fault for a workers’ comp claim. However, employees must be able to prove that their injury was work-related. This is true even for an occupational injury or disease.
These steps can help to protect and strengthen your claim:
- Document the accident: Record the details about what happened, including the date, time and the moments leading up to the injury.
- Document your occupational disease or injury symptoms: Begin documenting as soon as you are aware of symptoms. Note when they occur and how they affect you. You should also seek immediate medical care to get a diagnosis.
- Seek medical care immediately: Any time gap between your accident and seeking treatment could make it harder to prove your injury was work-related.
- Discuss injuries with the doctor: Be sure to inform the treating physician your injury happened at work as this will also be noted in your medical records.
- Notify your employer: Emailing your employer makes it easy to show the date and time you did this.
- Keep accurate records: Keep an accurate file of anything to do with your accident and injury. This includes communication you receive from your employer and insurance carrier.
If your claim is denied, there is an appeals process you can pursue. If you take this legal route to try to overturn the decision, you should seek legal help immediately. The window to start an appeal is extremely short, and the legal process is complicated.
Seek Legal Help for Your Workers’ Comp Claim
If your employer refuses to file your claim, or is causing other delays, it may be time to call a lawyer.
At Jay Trucks, our Grand Rapids workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to help you with your claim. We have a strong track record and have recovered millions in compensation for our injured clients.
Call our law offices 24/7 to arrange for your free, no-risk consultation. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay while we work on your claim. We only get paid if we are successful with your claim.
Proven Results. (989) 244-0394