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What you need to know:
Workers' Compensation is the system we use to provide wage replacement, medical and rehabilitation benefits when a worker is injured while at work.
Why hire us if you are injured at work?
Over 75 years of combined experience applying Michigan Law to get our clients the maximum compensation they deserve.
We have an excellent reputation through the Michigan Legal Community and among insurance companies, adjusters, judges and opposing defense lawyers who know that we will do whatever is necessary to protect and advance our client's interest.
Our years of experience limiting our law firm to the presentation of only seriously injured persons allows us to obtain the best results for our clients in the fastest manner possible.
You are charged NO FEE unless you receive recovery of compensation and damages.
Frequently Asked Workers' Compensation Questions
When and where are workers covered?
To be compensable the injury must happen at work. Workers' Compensation is designed to cover only injuries which "arise out of and in the course of the employment."
Is everything that happens at work covered?
The Courts have recognized that a certain amount of "horse play" is to be expected on most jobs and that if a worker is injured as a result of such "horse play," that injury is compensable. However there are limits to that situation. You should contact us if you have any concerns about whether your injury is work related.
Can a worker sue for damages other than Workers' Compensation?
An individual injured at work can only receive Workers' Compensation Benefits and cannot sue for other damages. There are a few exceptions to this rule and you should contact an attorney to review your options.
Must an injured worker accept the employer's job offer to return to work?
If the employer or anyone else offers an injured worker a job which he or she can do, the worker must accept the job or face the loss of benefits.
What if the job pays less?
If the job that is offered is a lower paying job, the worker will continue to receive workers' compensation benefits based upon the difference in wages. You should consult us to make sure you receive the appropriate difference in wages if you are offered a job that pays less than the job you were working when you got injured.
What if the worker does not think he or she can do the job that is offered?
This is a question that can only be answered in individual cases and often requires the expert opinion of a doctor. You should never do a job that will cause injury or harm. However, you are almost always better off to try a job that is offered. If you refuse to try the job, the employer is likely to challenge your right to continuing benefits. You should call and discuss the situation with us so we can give you some direction to best protect your right to continuing benefits.
Are gradual injuries and occupational diseases covered?
We often get a question from someone who does not have a single event at work cause an injury, but the injury comes on gradually from work related activities. If that is the case with you, for example if your back gradually becomes painful as a result of lifting over and over, day after day, you can still be entitled to Workers' Compensation Benefits. This is a complicated area of the law and you should discuss this matter with us for direction on how to best protect your legal rights.
How are wage loss benefits calculated?
Once you have been off work for seven days, you should receive wage loss benefits. In most cases the worker receives 80% of the after tax value of his or her wage loss.
How is a person's average weekly wage determined?
The basic method of calculation provides that the average weekly wage is based on the highest 39 of the last 52 weeks before the injury. If the worker works less than 39 weeks during the year prior to the injury, the total earnings for that time are divided by the number of weeks actually worked. Thus, if the worker worked for only 30 weeks during the year before the injury and earned a total of $9,000.00, the average weekly wage would be $300.00 ($9,000.00 divided by 30).
Must a worker pay income tax on Workers' Compensation Benefits?
Generally the answer is "no." Workers' Compensation Benefits are not subject to either State or federal income tax.
The insurance company wants me to settle my Workers' Compensation claim for a lump sum. Should I?
It is never a good idea for you to negotiate with an experienced insurance company representative when it comes to settling your Workers' Compensation claim. There are certain elements that go into the evaluation of what your claim may be worth in settlement. These elements can be complicated, technical, and often will not be disclosed to you by the insurance company representative. Also, it may not be good timing to settle your Workers' Compensation claim depending upon the current status of your medical treatment, your access to private medial insurance, and your marketability to find other employment after you settle.
Do I have to see a doctor chosen by the employer or its insurance company?
During the first 10 days of treatment, the employer has the right to choose the doctor. After that the worker is free to change doctors. The worker, however, must notify the employer of this change. All of your medical expenses related to your injury should be paid by the worker's compensation insurance carrier.