Does my Employer Have to Cover Physical Therapy from my Work Injury?
Work accident compensation in Michigan is a complex issue and requires the input of a workplace injury lawyer in Michigan to deal with the myriad of rules and procedures.
Safety at work is the employer’s and employees’ responsibility, but accidents do happen, and musculoskeletal injuries are very common in workplace accidents. Physical therapy is a non-invasive treatment for pain and inflammation, but how do you navigate Worker’s Comp, and where can you find relief for long-term injuries?
Leading Causes of Workplace Injuries
According to the Insurance Journal, the most common injuries in the workplace are:
- Falls on same level
- Struck by object or equipment
- Falls to lower level
- Other exertions or bodily reactions
- Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle
- Slip or trip without fall
- Caught in/compressed by equipment or objects
- Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks
- Struck against object or equipment
Benefits of Physical Therapy
Musculoskeletal injuries require physical therapy to:
- Relieve pain
- Minimize the risk of dependence on heavy painkillers
- Restore function and movement
- Reduce the duration of an injury
- Help prevent surgeries
- Correct imbalances and improve work conditions
- Prevent the risk of future injury
- Promote long-term health
What is Workers’ Compensation?
More commonly referred to as Worker’s Comp, it is insurance that covers expenses related to an employee’s work-related injuries or illness.
It covers immediate costs such as ambulance costs, emergency room visits, and other medical bills, as well as ongoing care such as surgery, specialist treatment, rehabilitation, and physical therapy.
Depending on your employer’s policy, it may cover part of lost wages and their legal cost if you decide to sue your employer. Some policies cover funeral costs and death benefits.
As employers can be held liable for most costs related to a work-related injury, many states require certain employers to buy Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
Michigan’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Law
Michigan law requires employers to prove that it can pay benefits in the event of a workplace injury, and some businesses are required by law to carry Worker’s Comp insurance:
- Public employers.
- Employed one (or more) workers for 35 hours or more for 13 weeks or more during the preceding year
- Private employer that regularly employs three or more people at a time.
- Agricultural employer that employed three or more workers for 35 hours or more for 13 weeks or more during the preceding year
- Household that employed one or more domestic workers for 35 hours or more for 13 weeks or more during the preceding year
Part-time employees are entitled to Worker’s Comp if the business employs three or more people at a time regularly. A sole proprietor is excluded unless they employ workers.
Your employer has the right to choose the doctor during the first 28 days of treatment, after that, you may change doctors, but must notify your employer and insurance company.
The Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA) enforces the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act. It is administered by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the WCA.
What if my Injuries are not Fully Covered by Worker’s Comp?
In Michigan, the right to recovery of benefits as provided in the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act is your exclusive remedy against your employer for work-related injuries or diseases, and you cannot sue your employer for benefits not provided for in the Act. If your employer does not have insurance and you are not covered by workers’ compensation consult a worker’s compensation lawyer at our law firm.
Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation in Michigan
An injured worker must give notice to the employer within 30 days of the injury, either verbally or in writing. It’s then the employee’s responsibility to file a claim within the workers’ compensation statute of limitations.
Does my Employer have to Pay My Wages during Physical Therapy Treatments?
If you are unable to return to work due to your injury, your employer will pay a part of your lost wages, however, once you have returned to work, in a capacity, time for medical treatments are considered off-duty time, and you will not be compensated for this time.
You can negotiate with your employer and appeal to their compassion. If you have to travel more than 50 miles to get physical therapy, you may claim part of your travel cost from Worker’s Comp. Make sure you have the information you require from your employer regarding their Worker’s Comp Insurance policy.
Contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for a No-Obligation Consultation
The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. have years of experience representing employees injured in work-related accidents, and we are dedicated to helping people receive the compensation they deserve. Our law firm has secured numerous successful verdicts and settlements for clients who were injured on the job.
Contact us today toll-free at (866) 868-3778 anytime for a free evaluation of your case, legal advice, and for guidance understanding the workers’ compensation law and your worker’s compensation benefits. Our law firm does not charge for services until a settlement is reached or an award is made.