Can I Get a Settlement from Workers’ Compensation If I Go Back to Work?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
When injured in a workplace accident, you may face pressure to return to work before receiving compensation, whether due to financial need or demands from your employer.
Returning to the job too quickly might affect your chances of receiving workers’ compensation or filing a successful personal injury claim. When you sustain workplace injuries, consult a workers’ compensation attorney who has experience handling these cases before returning to work to increase your chances of receiving sufficient compensation.
How to Know if You Should Return to Work
You have the right to sufficient and reasonable medical care for as long as you need it under Michigan’s workers’ compensation laws. During the first 28 days following the injury, your employer dictates your medical treatment, including the choice of your primary doctor.
Before returning to work, injured employees should obtain clearance from a doctor so your employer knows you can perform the necessary tasks. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer at our law firm can help you make an informed decision on returning to work before settling. You should never perform any work if doing so will cause harm or injury or aggravate an existing injury.
How Coming Back to Work Can Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Employers do not have any obligation to rehire you under Michigan law. However, if you receive an offer of reasonable employment to return to work that you can perform without worsening your injury, then you must accept it to continue to receive benefits. You are not owed any additional workers’ compensation if your medical expenses and loss of wages have been paid.
If you return to work for a short time and then leave, your eligibility to continue claiming workers’ compensation benefits depends on if you performed the job in a wage-earning capacity.
Is it Possible to Get a Settlement if You Work With Restrictions?
As you receive medical treatments, your doctor will monitor if the injury has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is when your condition can no longer be improved. If MMI is achieved, but there are still limitations on your ability to return to work due to you being partially disabled, a doctor can give you permission for partially restricted activities at work.
Injured workers also try to negotiate for a lump sum settlement after reaching MMI to get the best settlement to aid in recovery. When considering a return to work, speak to a workers’ compensation attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., to ensure you are protecting your rights and not compromising your health or financial future.
Getting a Settlement from Workers’ Compensation
The lengthy process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, including medical evaluations, delayed benefits, and long-term recovery, can be difficult for many to go through as they deal with their injuries. Workers and employers often have to go through their nearest Bureau of Workers’ Disability office for mediation if there are any issues with their workers’ compensation claim.
The Workers Compensation Act of Michigan also stipulates that if you receive any other employer-paid benefits, such as sick or accident benefits or pension benefits, any after-tax value will be included in the calculation of your final workers’ compensation rate. Your employer only pays 50% of your social security benefits, reducing your old-age retirement benefits by half. However, your social security disability benefits can be reduced if you are receiving workers’ compensation.
You might also choose to negotiate for the redemption of your benefits with your employer and its insurer. In this circumstance, you give up future workers’ compensation benefits that include coverage of lost wages and medical treatment for one lump sum settlement.
A magistrate approves the settlement after a formal hearing on the amount, how it will be used, and what the worker will receive. The workers’ compensation attorney you hire at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can explain more about obtaining a settlement through workers’ compensation.
Get in Touch With a Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness, you need to protect your rights to workers’ compensation with the help of the compassionate and caring lawyers at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. It is best to work with an experienced lawyer to help you make the best decisions in your case.
Contact our law firm at 866-MICH-LAWto schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your options if you’ve been injured at work.
What companies can be excluded from workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance may be excluded from Michigan employers under these company structures:
- Sole proprietorship and all employees are the spouse, child, or parent of the proprietor.
- Partnership in which all employees are partners of the company.
- Stock corporations in which all the employees are corporate officers and own 10% or more in stocks in the company.
- Limited liability corporation in which all employees are members, managers, and own 10% or more in the business.
Is there a waiting period for workers’ compensation benefits in Michigan?
If you cannot work because of your injury or illness, Michigan requires you to wait 7 consecutive days before receiving wage loss benefits. If you cannot work because of an illness or injury for over 14 days straight, you may receive payment for the first week of disability.
Can I sue my employer for pain and suffering?
Under Michigan law, employees cannot sue their employers for damages outside workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been injured at work due to a defective product or by another person who is not your employer, you may seek non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, with the help of an attorney.
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.