How to Start Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in Detroit
A job-related injury or illness stops you from working. You’re worried about paying medical bills and supporting yourself and your family after your income drops.
This is why workers’ compensation insurance exists.
You start your claim by immediately informing your employer. If your employer doesn’t put in the necessary forms to initiate your claim, you can submit the application yourself.
Hopefully you’ll soon start collecting benefits to cover health care and lost wages.
But the process can be complicated and the insurance company doesn’t put your interests first. You may need to work with an attorney to get all the benefits you deserve.
Since 1964, Levine Benjamin Law Firm has been proud to help families coping with health and financial worries in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids and all across Michigan.
From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.
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How You Qualify for Workers’ Comp
Your first thought may be: Can I even get workers’ comp for my type of injury, in my type of job?
In most cases, yes.
Workers’ comp covers most employees from injuries that “arise out of and in the course of employment,” according to Michigan workers’ compensation law.
Your illness or injury must have been caused by your job, but it doesn’t matter who was responsible. Even if you were partly at fault for an accident, workers’ compensation should provide benefits.
Workers’ comp isn’t the same as, say, a car accident injury case. Personal injury cases include identifying someone who was negligent in causing the accident. Workers’ comp benefits are meant to help employers avoid lawsuits and help workers get support to recover from injuries, period.
You were hurt at work, you get benefits. That’s it.
Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers see workers from all kinds of industries in the state. These are just a few:
And Michigan workers’ comp covers all kinds of injuries, with injuries from falls, flying objects, getting pinned by heavy materials, exposure to harmful chemicals, repetitive motion, overextension, burns and cuts among the most common ones.
An injury that causes you to miss significant work time should qualify you for workers’ comp checks for lost wages. Any injury at work, whether you lose work time or not, should come with medical care paid for by workers’ comp.
The main thing you have to show when you apply for workers’ comp is that the injury or illness happened during or because of your job.
It seems simple enough, but employers and workers’ comp insurance companies will fight you on this. They may deny all or part of your benefits.
A workers’ compensation attorney steps in to be sure you’re receiving everything you are qualified to get and in a timely way.
How to Apply for Benefits
After a job-related injury or illness occurs, your first step is always to report it to your employer.
They should start your claim, but if your employer doesn’t file the claim for you, you can file Workers’ Comp form WC-117 directly with the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency.
That form asks for information about you and your employer and details about the injury or illness.
It’s important to be as accurate and complete as possible, as this form will provide the basis for the insurance company’s (or self-insured employer’s) initial determination.
If your employer or the insurance company disputes your claim, you can appeal the decision by filing Workers’ Comp form WC-104A.
This is a more detailed form that asks for information about you, your family, the work-related injury or illness, medical treatment you’ve received and whether there were any witnesses to the injury.
Keep in mind that the insurance company’s goal is to protect its own interests. Those interests are generally not the same as yours.
When you work with a knowledgeable, experienced workers’ comp attorney at Levine Benjamin, you have peace of mind knowing professionals are handling your claim.
If your injury or illness is expected to keep you from working for at least one year, we can also help you with the Social Security Disability application process.
We’ve helped more than 80,000 people win disability benefits.
Starting a Workers’ Comp Claim in Michigan: Top Tip
When you’re first hurt at work, you’ll probably go to a clinic or doctor chosen by your employer.
But when you go back for ongoing treatment, you should get your own doctor as soon as possible.
A doctor of your choosing is more likely to support what you need from your workers’ comp benefits—instead of rushing you back to work so your benefits will stop sooner.
Doctors for employers or insurance companies may also be looking out for their costs, not solely focused on your health and recovery.
You’ll have to notify your employer of your switch to a different doctor, and find a doctor approved under workers’ comp.
And experienced Michigan workers’ comp attorney can help you navigate this process so nobody cuts you short.
Getting your maximum workers’ comp benefits is one of the best ways to hold on to your financial stability and move on in your life after a workplace injury.