Michigan Workers’ Comp FAQs
Handling Complex Claims for the Injured
At Adler Firm, PLLC, our Michigan attorney has been helping workers exercise their rights and pursue the workers’ compensation benefits they need since 1986. In that time, we have spoken with thousands of injured workers – and answered countless questions about this area of law. We’ve provided in-depth answers to the most common workers’ comp questions, and we’re also available to answer your unique questions that apply to your claim when you call us for a free consultation.
The answers on this website provide general information about workers’ compensation, but they are no substitute for legal advice based on your unique situation. We encourage you to join us for a free, confidential consultation so we can provide custom-tailored answers to all of your workers’ comp questions – and begin helping you protect your rights.
For more answers to your questions, don’t hesitate to utilize your free consultation with our Michigan legal team by calling (888) 966-9524. With more than 30 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims in the state, we can be relied on to pursue your goals.
Q:Can I Sue My Employer After A Work Injury?
A:Under Michigan law, injured workers are generally limited to recovering workers’ compensation benefits, which leaves their employers immune from lawsuits. However, there are certain exceptions under the law. A worker may sue an employer for civil damages if: The employer acted with the intention to injure the worker The employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance as intended by law The employer retaliates against a worker for reporting a workplace injury or bringing a workers’ comp claim The employer discriminates against the worker in violation of state and federal anti-discrimination laws, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Civil Rights Act Suing A Third Party Sometimes, a third party other than an employer contributes to an employee’s workplace injury. When this happens, it may be possible to bring an injury lawsuit – even if you are collecting workers’ compensation benefits. Examples of third parties to a work injury may include: Property owners Other motorists who cause accidents Contractors and subcontractors Manufacturers of defective products Outside maintenance and installation companies Mechanics who fail to properly maintain vehicles used on the job Medical providers These third parties are not immune from liability under Michigan’s workers’ compensation laws. In some circumstances, it may be worthwhile to collect workers’ comp benefits while also pursuing a civil claim against a responsible third party – but it is important to work with an attorney experienced in both personal injury and workers’ compensation laws.
Q:Should I Accept A Lump Sum for My Case?
A:You and the insurance company can choose to agree to reach a lump-sum settlement instead of going to court. Although lump-sum figures may be tantalizing, it is important that you understand what accepting this offer could mean. A lump sum could either benefit or hinder workers. Our experienced lawyer at Adler Firm, PLLC, can help you determine whether a lump-sum settlement may be right for you. While a workers’ compensation magistrate must confirm that a settlement serves your best interests, we can also inspect whether the settlement offer is fair to you given the circumstances. A lump-sum settlement offers several benefits, including: Accepting a settlement can allow you to forego the hassle of court hearings You may be able to access compensation much sooner than if you choose litigation You will know exactly how much compensation you will receive in total You may avoid further challenges with the insurance company to obtain payments over time Lump-sum settlements are not always ideal, however. Lump sums require you to set the entire amount of compensation right away, which means that you might miss the chance to extend benefits for any unforeseen complications related to your injury or illness. Every situation is unique. Settling your claim through a lump sum might be more favorable than weekly benefits – or vice versa. Alternatively, it might be more favorable to take your claim to court or mediation. Our attorney can examine the details of your case and give you the information you need before reaching a final decision.
Q:Can I Choose My Own Doctor?
A:The workers’ compensation claims process can make getting medical treatment for a work injury confusing. If you are suffering from an injury or work-related illness, prompt treatment could be vital for your health. You could eventually select your own treating physician, but there are several rules to follow throughout the workers’ compensation process in Michigan. Our founding lawyer at Adler Firm, PLLC, can advise you regarding your medical treatment, your rights, and other aspects of your case.
Q:When Can You Select Your Preferred Doctor?
A:If your employer wishes, they can initially decide which medical provider can provide treatment for your work injury. However, under the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act, you can choose your own doctor after 28 days from the start of your care. When you choose a different doctor, however, you must notify your employer and the insurance company. Because they are responsible for covering medical costs related to work injuries, notification of your new medical provider will be essential. Failing to meet this or other legal requirements for choosing your doctor could mean losing your chance to receive benefits. It is advisable to be wary of doctors and nurse case managers of the employer’s choosing. They might not be the most appropriate source of treatment for you. The ideal doctor for your case may depend on several factors, including: The type of injuries you suffered Whether your treatment will likely require specialized medical knowledge The location of the clinic or medical facility and other accessibility matters Your primary physician may or may not be the best choice for your workers’ compensation case. However, you might feel more comfortable working with a doctor whom you trust and who already knows your medical history. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can also recommend providers from their trusted network of doctors and specialists.
Q:Will I Need A Lawyer for My Workers’ Compensation Case?
A:You do not have to hire a lawyer in order to file your workers’ compensation claim. However, an attorney can help you raise your chances of success and protect your rights throughout the process. With offices in Traverse City and Farmington Hills, Adler Firm, PLLC, is ready to review your case and explain how we can help. There are many reasons to rely on an attorney for your case, including: Insurers may be more likely to take your claim seriously when they know you have legal representation. Your lawyer could help maximize the amount of compensation you receive. Your lawyer can present other options such as a lawsuit against a third party or an SSDI claim. You can rest assured that your attorney is loyal to your interests, whereas your employer and their insurer are likely loyal to their own interests. It is possible that the insurance company could respect your rights and offer fair compensation without a lawyer. However, you may be accepting an unnecessary risk by navigating the process on your own. The potential rewards of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney usually outweigh any risk. A committed lawyer will customize their services to your specific circumstances and needs, and those services may include: Helping you understand your rights and options Filing your initial claim Seeking fair and thorough medical treatment Appealing denied claims Representing you in court Your attorney’s style and experience can both impact your case. If they are leaders in their field, they are likely to have the knowledge to strengthen your claim. A detail-oriented lawyer with a reputation for trustworthy service can help ensure that you do not miss deadlines or opportunities in your case.