On-the-job injury, whether minor or serious, is a huge source of anxiety and discomfort for employees who depend on that paycheck to support themselves and their families.
Most people want to perform well at their jobs, and when they are injured or ill as a result of their hard work, it is a huge inconvenience and source of stress for them. On top of that, the Workers’ Compensation Claim process they must go through is often very overwhelming.
Michigan Workers’ Compensation laws are often complicated and have strict criteria as to what constitutes a work-related injury.
What is the Workers’ Compensation Law in Michigan?
Michigan law requires employers to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance which provides monetary and medical (including rehabilitation) benefits for employees who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their work and can no longer continue to work because of these injuries. In addition, the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act created a “no-fault” condition in that these benefits must be provided to the employee, no matter who is at fault for the injury. The employee then gives up the right to sue the employer while acknowledging that the benefits they are entitled to are limited.
In recent years, Michigan’s political environment has gone through many changes. As a result, the complexities of obtaining Workers’ Compensation benefits in Michigan is nearly impossible without legal assistance. It is often a great blow to the dignity of the injured employee who begins to feel less valued by their employer and fellow workers.
During this time, contacting an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney is crucial on your road to recovery and getting you the benefits you deserve.
What are the Specific Requirements and Conditions under the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law?
According to the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act, employers are required to pay injured workers for lost wages and to pay for medical care and possible rehabilitation. This is done through Workers’ Compensation insurance which employers are required by law to carry. Employers are covered under this law on the following conditions:
• They have three or more employees working them at any given time, or
• They employ one or more employees for 35 or more hours per week for 13 weeks or longer.
Due to the coverage of federal laws, federal government employees, employees of interstate railroads, seamen working on navigable waters, and workers who load or unload vessels are not covered by the Michigan Workers’ Disability and Compensation Act.
Also, people who are self-employed are not covered. The owner or sole proprietor of a business may have employees working for him or her who may be covered under this law.
However, the business owner is not classified as an “employee” and therefore not covered.
What Steps Must I Take if I am Injured on the Job in Michigan?
After you are injured, you must notify your supervisor and seek medical attention within 90 days of the injury. If the injury results in disability for one week or more, your employer will then submit a report to the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Bureau and file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier which begins the process in determining whether your claim will be accepted or denied.
If you directly file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Bureau instead of through your employer, this claim must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred.
If your claim is then denied or you have a dispute with the insurance company or employer, you can file an application for mediation or for a hearing with the bureau within two years of your injury.
What Will Happen to My Job if I File a Claim?
According to Workers’ Compensation laws in Michigan, your employer cannot retaliate against you if you file a claim. However, they are not required to keep a job open for you while you are recovering from injury. Also, if you are fired for a reason not having anything to do with your injury and this reason is verifiable, your benefits may be discontinued.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Be wary when some attorneys tell you that legal assistance is not necessary when filing a Workers’ Compensation claim unless you are denied, or your benefits are terminated. Many attorneys who do not specialize in Workers’ Compensation Law will not take the time to advise you, especially if they do not get paid for it.
Any attorney specializing in Workers’ Compensation Law knows how overwhelming and complex the claim process has become. If you try to go it alone without legal assistance and you don’t understand or follow the rules, it could result in the reduction or termination of your compensation benefits.
There are many Michigan Workers’ Compensation Lawyers who have decades of experience and are well-informed about the latest updates and changes to Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation laws and how they affect you. First, know your rights and responsibilities if you are injured at your workplace.
Next, and most importantly, obtain expert legal advice from a Michigan Workers’ Compensation Lawyer.
You deserve respect, quality care, and the tools to maintain your quality of life.