Answers to Detroit Workers’ Compensation Questions
When you’re trying to recover from a workplace injury or illness, sometimes the Michigan workers’ compensation system can seem overwhelming.
Medical coverage, money for lost wages and resources for returning to work could make a big difference in your life. But first, you have deadlines to meet and rules to follow.
If your employer or their insurance company are fighting you, it gets even more complicated.
On this page, you can get answers to commonly asked questions about qualifying for workers’ comp, starting a claim, appealing a denial and more in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids and all across Michigan.
For more information, contact Levine Benjamin Law Firm free of charge.
From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.
STARTING A CLAIM
How do I start my workers’ comp claim?
You start your application by immediately informing your employer of your on-the-job injury or illness. If your employer doesn’t put in the necessary forms to initiate your claim—like they’re supposed to—you submit the application yourself.
Can I see my own doctor for treatment for my injury?
Yes, but only after 28 days. For the first 28 days, your employer/insurance carrier can dictate your medical treatment. They can tell you where you have to go and which doctor you must see.
After 28 days, you’re free to see a doctor of your choice.
If I’m unable to work after an injury, how long do I have to wait to receive my time loss compensation?
If you can’t work for more than three days immediately following the injury, and you remain unable to work, workers’ compensation will usually pay time loss within 14 days of the date your accident report was filed.
The report must include certification from your doctor showing you can’t work as a direct result of an on-the-job injury or exposure to hazardous conditions.
For help with your case, contact us now.
How will my time loss compensation be calculated?
The size of your weekly checks will be calculated using the highest 39 weeks of your gross wages out of your last 52 weeks of working before your injury.
To figure out your exact rate, you can search online or in the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency’s guidelines under your tax filing status and year of your injury.
Your lost wages checks are tax-free. Usually, your lost wages pay will be between 60% and 65% of your gross average weekly wage.
To give you a better idea of how much you might receive, try Levine Benjamin Law Firm’s workers’ comp benefits calculator.
WORKING WITH A LAWYER
Why do I need a workers’ comp lawyer?
Employers and their insurance companies don’t always have your best interests at heart. Their top priority might be saving money, not providing all the benefits you need to move on with your life after a workplace injury.
They’ll have their lawyers, which is why you want to have a lawyer, too.
A lawyer also helps you gather and present the evidence you need to win, or keep, benefits. And a lawyer makes sure you meet all the deadlines in the Michigan workers’ compensation system.
For help with your claim, contact Levine Benjamin Law Firm today.
How much does a workers’ comp attorney cost?
If you can’t work after an injury on the job, you may wonder if you can afford to hire a lawyer to help you get workers’ compensation benefits. The cost to work with an attorney, however, might be lower than you think.
Most of the time, you don’t pay any lawyer’s fee until after you start receiving the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
The fee will then be a percentage of the workers’ comp settlement you receive. The exact fee depends on the amount of your benefits, a judge’s ruling and the amount of work that went into proving your case.
Before you start at Levine Benjamin, you can get a FREE evaluation of your claim and learn what it will take to win benefits.
Can I sue my employer or my coworker for causing the injury?
Most of the time, the answer is no.
The workers’ compensation system was established as an alternative to suing employers in court. It gives employers protection against personal injury lawsuits and gives injured workers benefits quickly—when the system works as it should.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Does my employer have to hold my position open for me if I'm absent due to a workers' comp injury?
No. Your employer is not required to hold your exact job for you.
Your employer may have to reserve your position for you for a short time under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but your employer does not have to hold your job on a long-term basis.
However, it’s illegal for your employer to fire you from the company because you’ve filed or attempted to file a workers’ compensation claim.
If you think this is happening to you, contact a Levine Benjamin attorney.
What if I’m never able to return to any type of work because of my injury?
You could receive your weekly workers’ compensation benefits until the age of 65.
At that point, certain restrictions kick in. The workers’ comp carrier would continue to be responsible for reasonable, related medical care.
When your injury will keep you out of work for at least a year, you also can qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
In addition to helping you get the maximum available workers’ comp benefits, Levine Benjamin attorneys also can help you apply and appeal for disability benefits.
What do I do if my workers’ compensation claim is rejected?
If your claim was denied, you’re entitled to an appeal.
Filing an appeal can be a lengthy and expensive process. Contact Levine Benjamin immediately if you receive a denial or rejection. We can review your claim and take appropriate action within the protest or appeal period.
You must protest or appeal any unfavorable decision within 60 days, or it becomes final and binding.