Suffering an injury at work can cause countless challenges, such as the following (depending on the severity of your injuries):
- Paying for the expenses of daily life
- Taking and picking up your children from school
- Going out to pick up daily supplies
- Caring for your daily personal needs
Luckily, most Michigan workers are protected under workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation is designed to supplement a portion of your income while you are incapacitated due to your work-related injuries.
In order to protect your workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to keep these three things in mind:
#1 - Know What Your Available Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are
It’s important to understand the benefits available to you through the workers’ compensation system. You should have the following benefits available to you:
- Temporary Disability Benefits
- These benefits will be provided during the time you are off work and recovering from your injury.
- Permanent Disability Benefits
- These benefits will compensate you for lifelong physical ailments resulting from your injury.
- Medical Care
- These benefits will cover all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your injury.
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- These benefits should pay for any job retraining you need as well as other assistance finding a job that aligns with your work restrictions
- These benefits are designed to compensate you for your travel expenses to and from doctor’s appointments and other travel related to your workers’ compensation case.
#2 - Prepare Yourself for Your Independent Medical Examinations
An independent medical examination (IME) doesn’t focus on the treatment of your injury. Instead, a doctor is hired by the insurance company to do the following:
- Perform an examination
- Review your medical records
- Issue a report
The report will summarize the doctor’s impression of your diagnoses, work restrictions, and the connection between your injury and your work.
Typically, insurance companies request IME’s when they hope to end or decrease your workers’ compensation benefits.
#3 - Be Wary of Surveillance and Private Investigators
If the insurance company has reasons to question your credibility, they may spy on you after you submit your claim so that they can catch you doing something wrong in order to reduce or eliminate your benefits.
If there is an investigator assigned to your case, they will likely watch you at home and in public spaces in the hopes of catching you acting in ways that go against your workers’ compensation claim. It’s best to assume you are being watched at all times and to act in ways that align with your workers’ compensation claim.
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you may be owed compensation. Let us see if we can help you recover it.