Why You Should File a Workers’ Compensation Case if Injured on the Job
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Because you spend so much time at your workplace, you could sustain an injury or become ill at work. If you require medical attention or need to take time off work to heal, you can rely on your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance for assistance. The benefits it provides helps you until you’re back on your feet and ready to return to work.
While filing a claim shouldn’t be complicated, hiring a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney for legal advice can help facilitate the process to ensure you receive the full benefits you deserve.
Even if your workplace injury seems minor, to begin with, you must file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible to ensure you start receiving your benefits.
What is a Workers’ Compensation Case Claim?
Filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim is a request for rightful benefits after a workplace injury or illness. You must notify your employer about the work-related injury or illness as soon as possible.
Michigan state law regarding workers’ compensation uses a no-fault system, meaning that you can file for benefits regardless of how the injury happened. There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, workers’ comp won’t cover injuries you caused intentionally. However, most injured workers are covered by this insurance whenever they are at work or conducting a work-related task.
Benefits of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The benefits of filing a workers’ compensation case include:
- Receive medical benefits immediately once you show you are eligible. Instead of being stuck with paying medical bills upfront after being injured at work, your employer and their insurance company will take over those payments. However, you must adhere to their guidelines, which likely includes seeing medical doctors of your employer’s choice, at least for the first 28 days.
- Receive compensation for lost wages. In most cases, wage loss benefits begin after a week of absence from work because of injury. In Michigan, you receive 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage.
It’s common for insurance companies to resist certain benefits like overtime, tips, and bonuses when determining your average weekly wage. To ensure you receive a fair lost wages benefit, you may need to contact a workers’ compensation attorney for assistance. There is a cap on lost wages benefits, which was $934 per week in 2020.
- Receive disability benefits. If you cannot return to work for at least 14 days, you may be eligible for disability benefits. When this occurs, you will receive retroactive benefits for the first seven days. As long as your wage-earning capacity is reduced, you will continue to receive payments.
- Specific loss benefits. With the loss of or functional use of a body part such as arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, toe, or eye, you can receive specific loss benefits up to 80% of your after-tax average weekly wage. The number of weeks you receive specific loss benefits depends on which part of your party your injury affects.
- Permanent and total disability benefits: If, because of your workplace injury, you incur a total and permanent disability, such as blindness, you may qualify for further disability payments.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits. Vocational r ehabilitation benefits ranging from job-placement services to retraining to workstation modifications.
- Death benefits. When a death occurs because of a work-related illness or injury, surviving dependents may receive death benefits, including funeral and burial expenses.
Why Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney
As an employee, you automatically receive coverage under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, this doesn’t mean you automatically receive the highest allowable benefits for medical expenses, wage loss, or disabilities. Often, insurance companies look for ways to dispute that your injury or illness is work-related, direct you to their own list of medical providers, which may not be in your best interest, or incorrectly calculate your wage loss benefits to save money.
Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can help you avoid these issues and ensure you receive the benefits and compensation you deserve.
While accepting workers’ compensation benefits usually prevents you from filing personal injury lawsuits against your employer, there are some exceptions, including negligence on the part of your employer or a co-worker. An experienced personal injury attorney at our law firm can help determine if you can file an additional lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.
Michigan Workers Compensation Attorneys
With so much involved following a work-related injury or illness, filing a workers’ compensation case is an important first step. Your employer’s insurance company will provide benefits, but you may need to fight to ensure you receive the full compensation you need to heal and cover your expenses.
If you have concerns about your case or need help filing your claim, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys with Cochran, Kroll & Associates, PC., today. A quick call to 866-MICH-LAW to schedule a free consultation will put you on the right track to getting the benefits you deserve.
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.