At Aiello Law Group, our primary objective is to offer undeniably superior legal services and support to members of our communities; and for those who are pursuing workers’ compensation benefits that means providing as much clear information as we can to put your mind at ease. The following is merely a list of simple steps defining the process of how injured workers pursue workers’ compensation in Michigan so you’re fully aware of what to expect should you ever need to make a claim.
Step 1: Give Notice
As soon as you realize you may have any type of injury caused by an incident on the job, it is your responsibility to make sure your employer is given notice as soon as possible. Notice must be given within no more than 90 days. While technically this can be as easy as going up to them in person and relaying your message orally, it is always advised that you also make a full written report, dated and signed, so that there is irrefutable proof of your claims.
Step 2: Make A Claim
If you want to get any of the actual workers’ comp benefits you’re entitled to, you have to make a claim. Making a claim must be done within two years of your accident, and is basically just a way for you to relay that you’re in need of medical or wage loss benefits to help with your recovery. Once again, this can be done orally, however, it is recommended you do it in writing, such as through an email. If an employer ever tries to reject your claim, you can always file an “Employee’s Report of Claim” through the state and the acquisition process will automatically commence.
Step 3: Get Medical Treatment
You can claim you have an injury or disability all you want, but unless you have definitive proof, there’s a good chance your claim will be denied. Remember, your employer and insurance want to avoid paying as much money as possible, if any at all. They want to discredit you because it benefits them. So don’t let them. Go to all your appointments, and when your 28 days is up and you can switch to your own medical provider, do so. You don’t want any conflict of interest or doubts of any kind surrounding your medical care.
Step 4: Collect Wage Loss Benefits
If you’re unable to work for seven days or more, you can and should collect your available wage loss benefits. It will amount to 80% of your total after-tax weekly earnings, including all overtime, second jobs, discontinued fringe benefits, and more – though it may take up to 19 days or so for you to begin receiving payments.
Step 5: Notice of Dispute
If you receive a notice of dispute, meaning a list of reasons why your claim is being disputed by your employer or insurance company, there’s no time to waste. If you wait to challenge, one and two-year back rules may limit your potential recovery. The best advice we can give anyone who’s having their claims disputed is simply to get professional legal help right away.
Step 6: Negotiate A Settlement
Settling a claim is another option, allowing you to trade any future benefits you may have been entitled to for a single lump sum cash payment. This option can be popular because the money obtained can be spent on anything, meaning the beneficiary is in full control of their funds. Just be advised though, settling is another area where insurance companies can really take advantage of people. So if you’re considering it, be sure to consult our trained workers compensation attorneys first so we can make sure you’re at least awarded everything you’re eligible to receive.
Have specific questions about a workplace incident you were involved in, or about how our esteemed attorneys can help you start a claim, or challenge a notice of dispute? Get in contact with one of our representatives at Aiello Law Group today at 313.964.4900 or fill out the form in the sidebar or on our contact page, and learn more about how we can help you.