What Workers Compensation Rights Do I have Under Michigan Law?October 16, 2018
Under Michigan Law, workers suffering from a work-related injury are entitled to receive wage replacement, medical coverage, and rehabilitation benefits. The State of Michigan does not provide this compensation; it falls instead to the worker’s employer, or, more often, the employer’s private insurance policy.
Injured workers’ entitlement to wage-loss benefits was granted in lieu of the option to sue employers, meaning injured workers may no longer take their employers to court for pain and suffering damages. Compensation can only be claimed in the form of wage-loss benefits.
After a week’s waiting period, injured workers are entitled to receive 80 percent of their after-tax wages for as long as their disability prevents them from working. If wage-loss continues for at least 14 more days after the wait period, workers become entitled to that first week’s wages as well.
Medical benefits should be provided from the day of injury as long as the treatment is necessary, assuming the worker’s claim is not in dispute. After 28 days of treatment, workers may choose to switch to a doctor other than the one their employer originally provided.
Because an injured worker’s claim can be contested and denied, and because the State of Michigan does not provide compensation itself, workers seeking wage-loss benefits may find themselves entangled in claim disputes with private insurance companies.
There is also the question of how much compensation a worker should receive, based on their federal income tax filing status, or the severity, cause and duration of their injury. The process of making, supporting and defending a claim for wage-loss benefits can become complicated, and so a strong need exists for Workers Compensation Attorneys.
Workers Compensation Attorneys can advise injured workers without involving or notifying their employers at all. A Workers Comp Attorney can ensure that the proper weekly wage is compensated to the injured worker and that workers are able to understand and receive all the benefits due to them, including proper treatment and rehabilitation.
For example, if a worker’s benefits are suspended for the duration of their disability, that worker is due the equivalent value of those benefits in addition to their compensated wages. A Workers Compensation Attorney would be able to negotiate these terms and determine exactly how much an injured worker is entitled to.
An injured worker is in a vulnerable position, as their financial well-being often depends on the fair play of private, for-profit insurance companies. A Workers Compensation Attorney gives injured workers a much stronger standing, with greater ability to argue against the dismissal or termination of their claims for wage-loss benefits, and more agency in the pursuit and protection of their rights.