Missteps That May Hurt Your Chances of Recovering Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you are injured or contract an illness at work, you will be under considerable pressure from many sources. There may be financial stress due to lost wages, or your employer might expect you to return to work sooner than you are able.
Injured workers are focused on seeking medical care and need help navigating the claims process. Legal advice on reporting the injury to an employer and the consequences of failing to seek treatment can ease the burden during this challenging time.
The guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you through the complex process of receiving the compensation you deserve. Our legal team can assist you in understanding what benefits you’re entitled to if you lose your job.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
From the moment you start a job, your employer is responsible for providing you with workers’ compensation in case you are injured at work. The length of time you have been with the employer has no bearing on how much compensation you should receive for your injury.
Under workers’ compensation law, you have the right to financial support and medical benefits if you suffer a workplace injury or illness. This will cover expenses resulting from the injury or illness like medical bills and lost wages.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Comp?
If an employer in Michigan has 3 or more employees at any one time or pays one employee for 35 hours of work per week for 13 weeks, they must have workers’ compensation insurance.
Special provisions allow large construction projects to have single coverage for all employees on a specific site.
Injuries must have been sustained out of and in the course of employment at a worksite. Employees are excluded from making workers’ compensation claims if their injuries occurred:
- As a result of intentional and willful misconduct
- At a company picnic or office party
- Where the activity was social or recreational
- While traveling to or from work
However, if the employee’s job requires travel or injury occurs while performing a task for the employer, they will be covered.
What Steps Do You Need to Take After an Accident on the Job?
If you are injured in the workplace, you should report it to your employer or supervisor immediately, however trivial the injury may seem. You should also be seeking medical treatment as soon as possible.
There is an important deadline of 90 days to give the employer notice of an injury at work. Failing to meet the deadline could result in your claim being rejected.
You should also keep in mind that there is a deadline of 2 years to file a claim with your employer. Missing this deadline could have hurt your chances of recovering compensation.
What Missteps Will Hurt My Claim?
According to Michigan’s Bureau of Workers’ Disability Compensation overview, any of the following can hurt your chances of receiving workers’ compensation benefits:
- Failing to take a job that you are capable of performing offered by your employer or anyone else
- Failing to try a job that has been offered
- Failing to take a job because it hasn’t got the same skill or pay level
- Returning to work and then voluntarily leaving the job
- Failing to seek medical care, refusing medical treatment, or disobeying a doctor’s orders
What to Do if Your Claim is Denied or Challenged
If your insurance claim is denied or disputed, you may apply for mediation or a hearing with the bureau.
If the dispute is not resolved at the mediation, the case is assigned a trial date before a workers’ compensation judge.
You can choose to represent yourself during the process, but a workers’ compensation attorney can provide the necessary legal advice regarding meeting deadlines, gathering evidence, and communicating with the insurance company and their legal team on your behalf.
The experienced lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. offer compassionate legal counsel in Michigan. Our law offices are a place where you can seek advice under the privilege of an attorney-client relationship.
Call us today if you have questions about your situation or require more information about applying for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact our law firm at 866-MICH-LAW to arrange a no-obligation, 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.