Common Workers’ Compensation Myths
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
An injury can result in lost wages and cause you to develop a short or long-term disability. If the injury occurred while you were on the clock, you would likely be eligible for workers’ compensation. Every state has different workers’ compensation laws and regulations, some of which directly contradict each other. This confusion has resulted in several common Workers’ Compensation Myths that might discourage someone from submitting a claim.
If you’re unsure whether or not you should apply for workers’ comp, consult an experienced and dedicated personal injury law firm before making your final decision.
Workers’ Compensation in Michigan
Employees are required to have insurance through a workers’ compensation insurer in Michigan. If your injury happened on the job, their insurance should cover your medical costs and wage losses after seven days.
However, you won’t automatically receive workers’ compensation. To ensure that your workers’ comp claim is successful, avoid these common mistakes.
Some of these common Workers’ Compensation Myths might cause you to miss deadlines, use the wrong doctor, or even not apply for workers’ compensation benefits to which you’re rightly entitled.
My employer will report my injury
You are responsible for reporting your injury as soon as possible to your employer. A failure to do so will weaken or negate any workers’ compensation claims.
After reporting your injury to your employer, make sure you see a doctor that they approve. In Michigan, your employer can choose your doctor for the first 30 days of treatment, after which you can change practices if you like.
You’re also responsible for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer will not do this for you. Work with a lawyer to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.
You should also keep a detailed record of your injury, doctor visits, and costs, and any days you are unable to work due to your injury.
I caused my accident, so I can’t apply for workers’ comp
In Michigan, an employer is responsible and liable for all your work injuries, even ones that were an accident or due to light horseplay.
As long as the injury occurred at work, you’ll likely receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your injury occurs as a result of ‘intentional and willful misconduct,’ you may be ineligible.
Be prepared to discuss whether your injury or illness occurred at work. Be honest with your workers’ comp attorneys about your injury’s circumstances and work with them to determine if you should submit a claim.
Workers’ comp covers 100% of my salary
If you are unable to work, you can apply for wage-loss benefits. However, you can only receive wage-loss benefits if you cannot work for more than seven days. From the eighth day, you will begin to receive around 80% of your usual salary.
Claimants need to know that workers’ comp benefits will not cover 100% of their salary. For many families on a tight budget, receiving less money significantly impacts their monthly budget.
As soon as you’re injured, start budgeting for a smaller salary, in case your injury prevents you from returning to work quickly.
Workers’ comp covers me on my commute
You are not covered while traveling to and from work. Workers’ Comp only applies if your injury occurs at your workplace, even if you haven’t clocked in yet.
However, if your job requires you to travel, you’re likely covered by your employer’s insurance company while on the road. Unlike work in the office, an insurance company may deny any injury claims made for injuries sustained during travel if you ‘deviated from the business travel.’
Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover part-time workers
According to Michigan state laws, an employer must have workers’ compensation insurance if they have one or more employees who work at least 35 hours per week or have at least three employees, even if they are part-time.
If you’re not a full-time employee but are injured on the job, you are likely eligible for some workers’ compensation.
Illnesses aren’t covered
Types of injury include occupational diseases. Like injuries, illnesses that you contract specifically because of the nature of your work, are covered.
However, general illnesses aren’t covered. Your injury lawyer can help you to prove if you contracted the disease because of work.
Michigan has updated workers’ compensation concerning COVID-19. You might be eligible for workers’ comp benefits if you contract the novel coronavirus while at work.
Because this situation is new and continuously developing, consult with a lawyer if you’ve been affected by COVID-19.
I have as long as I want to file a claim
In Michigan, you need to file your claim within two years of the injury or illness. However, you must notify your employer within 90 days.
It’s best to start the process as early as possible, particularly if you cannot work. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can start receiving benefits.
Seek Legal Advice
Workers’ compensation is there for your benefit, but it can be confusing to navigate the claims system yourself.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has years of experience helping injured workers receive their benefits. Our lawyers can help determine if you’re eligible, and help you throughout the process.
If you believe you’re entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, call our law firm at 866-MICH-LAW today to set up your free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.