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Workers' Compensation Cases in Michigan Applying For, Filing, Claiming, and Appealing Cases
We know that an unexpected accident can happen at any time and accidental injuries can seriously impact your entire life and the lives of loved ones around you. A serious injury can leave you with great medical bills and unable to work in the position and at the level that you once were at. Financially, this can be devastating to you and your family. You may need Workers' Compensation benefits to help cover medical bills and other expenses while you're rehabilitating and unable to work.
While it is possible to file a workers' compensation claim or request Workers' Compensation benefits without the aid of an attorney, it is not always advisable. Applying for Workers' Comp benefits can be a trying and often frustrating process, particularly if you go into the applications process without support or information. At the Law Offices of David Zimmerman, our attorneys are experienced, well versed in Michigan Workers' Compensation law, rules, and guidelines, standing with you to help make sure the filing or appeals process proceeds without incident. We're prepared to provide the most competent and aggressive Workers' Comp representation that you'll find in Michigan. You can be assured that our attorneys can assist you in every aspect of your case.
Workers' Comp in Michigan
Everyone in Michigan has the right to a safe workplace, but some jobs are classified as more dangerous than others. When employees are injured on the job, workers' compensation benefits cover their medical bills for treatment related to their injuries or occupational illnesses. Michigan's injured workers and their employers are governed by the Workers' Disability Compensation Act. In Michigan, the Workers' Compensation Agency's (the Agency) mission is to efficiently administer the Act and provide prompt, courteous, and impartial service to all customers.
If You're Injured on the Job - What To Do
Report the injury to your employer immediately. Medical benefits should be provided from the day of injury. During the first 28 days of treatment, your employer has the right to choose the doctor. After that, you are free to change doctors providing that you notify your employer and insurance company, preferably in writing. You do not need authorization from the insurance company or your employer to be medically treated, as long as the treatment is reasonable and necessary, and your claim is not in dispute.
There is a seven-day waiting period to be eligible for wage-loss benefits. If your wage loss lasts longer than seven consecutive days (including weekends and holidays), you are entitled to benefits starting on the eighth day. If your wage loss continues for 14 days or longer, you are entitled to payment for that first week of disability. Weekly benefits are roughly 80 percent of your after-tax wages.
If your employer will not file a claim for you, you may file form WC-117 with the Agency. If your claim is disputed by the insurance company or self-insured employer, you may need to file a form WC-104A, Application for Mediation or Hearing.
Types of Claims
There are two different types of claims, injury and occupational disease.
Within the injury category, the Agency recognizes injuries that occur over the long term, known as a "gradually developing injuries." In other words, the injury does not have to originate from one isolated accident or incident.
Michigan workers' compensation law is complex for a novice claimant. Employers are required to honor claims, but that does not mean they are always eager to do so. Our attorneys can help ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the workers compensation benefits you have earned.
Workers' Comp Claims and Denial
There are several other reasons a claim may be denied. The Agency may determine certain conditions as such as stress, preclude the claim or, your injuries might not be severe enough to amount to a workers' compensation claim. Look at your claim denial letter for the reason(s) your claim was denied, and talk with one of our attorneys if you're still uncertain why your claim was denied.
Appealing a Workers' Compensation Claim Denial
The letter you received stating your Michigan workers' compensation claim was denied may also describe how you can appeal the denial of your claim. Read the letter carefully, noting any appeal deadlines. The first step to consider is contacting your employer or its workers' compensation insurance carrier to discuss your claim denial. If the denial was simply a matter of mistaken paperwork or other similar problems, the mistake could be cleared up and your claim allowed. However, this route is not likely to be successful unless your claim denial was a real mistake made by your employer or the employer's insurance company. If your employer still refuses to allow your claim, you may want to appeal the claim denial. At this point, a call to the Law Offices of David Zimmerman can be of great benefit to you.
Often, the first level of appeal will be at an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge. At the appeal hearing, you will be required to present medical and other factual evidence to support the existence of your workers' compensation claim, whether it is a work-related injury or occupational disease. It's important that your appeal is filed within the time limits, and that you have alot of medical evidence to support your workers' comp claim. We can discuss this further with you in a free, no- obligation appointment.
Contact Our Attorneys
As you've been reading, there are many complexities and uncertainties in the Worker's Comp applying, claiming, and appealing process. For experienced attorneys involving Michigan Workers' Compensation benefits, call the Law Offices of David Zimmerman, in Sterling Heights, MI, or contact us via our form email on the right. You will be treated with the utmost of respect and professionalism and we look forward to speaking with you. Thank You.