Workplace-Accident-Lawyer

Workplace Accident Lawyer

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that about 20,000 people file new workers’ compensation claims for workplace injuries or illnesses that result in time off work to recover. Two to three Michigan workers die from work-related injuries each week.

Workplace accidents can occur suddenly and randomly in many work environments. Knowing your rights as a worker and your employer’s responsibilities can help you get the benefits you need if you suffer an injury at work.

The workers’ compensation lawyers with Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can guide you through the claims process and fight for your rights to receive financial compensation through a legal claim. If you have been injured while on the job, meet with a workplace injury attorney to learn more about your rights and eligibility regarding workplace accidents.

Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. Workers’ Compensation Injury Attorneys

At the law offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., our experienced workers’ comp attorneys represent people suffering catastrophic losses due to personal injuries sustained at work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employers reported over 88,800 non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses in Michigan in 2020. Many workers who suffer these injuries might not know their rights regarding workers’ comp benefits.

Our leading workers’ compensation attorneys look forward to answering your questions regarding workplace injuries and worker’s comp rules and regulations in Michigan.

The dangerous nature of construction sites increases the odds of sustaining an injury in a construction accident. Warehouses, machine shops, and factories also have a high incidence rate because of the high-powered machinery and fast-paced work environment naturally involved in these industries.

As experienced workplace accident lawyers, we have dealt with many work-related injury cases. We know how to guide you through the filing process and advise you of available legal actions for compensation no matter where you sustained your workplace injury.

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Workers’ Comp in Michigan

Michigan first adopted the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act in 1912. It compensates workers who incur workplace injury, illness, or death. The act creates a system that offers wage replacement, medical bill reimbursement, and rehabilitation support for employees who have suffered a workplace injury. Private employers must purchase worker’s compensation insurance. They usually get this insurance from a private insurance company.

Spills, tripping hazards, defective products, and heavy equipment malfunctions cause the most injuries in workplace accidents. Many of these accidents result in minor injuries such as bruises, sprains, or temporary soreness and occur from genuine accidents.

Your employer is responsible for creating a workspace free from hazards and risks. If an accident occurs, follow the correct procedure to ensure your benefits start as soon as possible.

What to Expect When You’re Injured at Work

If you or a loved one gets injured at work, notify your employer immediately. Note the injury, time, and condition that led to the accident. Your employer can provide you with immediate medical benefits.

The law entitles your employer to select your medical provider for the first 28 days after your injury. If you would like to change your provider after that time, you may notify your employer and their insurance company in writing. If your claim is not disputed, this process should go smoothly and not require additional authorization.

Wage benefits begin on the 8th day after your injury, following a mandatory 7-day waiting period. After 14 days, you can claim disability. Weekly benefits may provide up to 80% of your weekly wage, including overtime. In addition, the insurance company may extend wage loss benefits if the original job is no longer available when the employee is ready to return to work.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

Workers’ compensation protects the financial health of injured workers. The workers’ compensation claim ensures that you receive appropriate medical care related to your workplace injury, lost wages, and, if necessary, retraining and vocational rehabilitation to re-enter the workplace. The claim can also pay benefits to your family if you die on the job.

In addition to covering current medical bills, workers’ compensation insurance should cover any future medical expenses related to the injury. These expenses may include physical rehabilitation, therapy, support groups, or other suitable treatment to restore the employee’s health.

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility

Most workers in Michigan fall under workers’ comp insurance coverage after sustaining an on-the-job injury. However, the law excludes some sectors, including agricultural workers and federal government employees such as postal carriers. Businesses with three or fewer employees may also be exempt. An experienced attorney at our law firm can answer questions specific to your situation.

“While a typical injured employee does not know workers’ compensation law, a typical employer is very much aware of how the system works and how to terminate an employee’s benefits,” says attorney Terry Cochran, a partner in the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.

“An injured worker who returns to work to a specifically created position may find that, 100 weeks later, the position is eliminated and he is laid off – no longer eligible for workers comp,” cautions Cochran.

Many employers hire doctors who are much more interested in maintaining a relationship with the employer than accurately diagnosing the employee. My firm will help protect your rights when one of these ‘hired gun’ doctors tries to block you from getting necessary treatment, cut off your benefits, or send you back to work too early.

Your experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will know the administrative judges or hearing officers who preside over these hearings and will likely know many of the doctors and defense lawyers working against you. An attorney familiar with the system can provide sound legal advice and help ensure you collect benefits due to you or settle your case to get you fair compensation.

Determining Wage and Medical Benefits

Wage loss benefits in Michigan usually entitle you to collect 80% of your after-tax salary. In some cases, the wage loss benefit might drop to two-thirds of the worker’s base salary, subject to limitations.

When an employee’s salary changes from week to week, the 39 highest weeks of pay during the past year determine the amount of the wage benefit. The 80% calculation usually provides more benefits to the worker, but your legal counsel can best determine which formula to use.

Workers’ comp benefits should cover all reasonable and necessary treatments for injuries sustained at work. However, experts may disagree about what constitutes reasonable and necessary medical treatment. Workers’ comp should continue indefinitely if the work-related injury causes permanent disability or requires ongoing treatment, such as spinal cord injury.

Consult a personal injury attorney with experience handling workers’ comp cases to resolve wage or medical benefits disputes. Your employer might deny your claim for compensation if you lack visible injuries such as broken bones.

Giving Timely Notice

Workplace injuries and occupational diseases give you a clear claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You should notify your employer as soon as an accident occurs or you get diagnosed with an occupational disease. Once you make a claim, your employer must investigate and decide within 30 days. After you notify your employer, call a legal professional to discuss the necessity of legal representation.

Your employer does have the right to send you to its doctor within 10 days of the injury. You also have the right to see a doctor of your choosing. You must notify your employer in writing the name and address of the doctor treating your injury.

Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will pay your medical expenses, but your doctor must send copies of medical records and reports supporting the claim to your employer. Your employer retains the right to have you examined by the company doctor at any time during your disability. You can challenge the opinion of any physician at a workers’ compensation hearing.

Your employer must pay your lost wages if you have suffered an injury or occupational disease and require more than eight days off work. Wage loss benefits are not subject to local, state, or federal taxes. Michigan does not limit how many weeks of help you may receive if your injury results in permanent disability.

Fault Does Not Matter in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system. The injured worker gets compensated regardless of blame unless intoxication, willful misconduct, or gross negligence caused the accident. Employers often pay these claims voluntarily, but not always.

Your employer can refuse to pay benefits from the beginning, terminate benefits after payment has started, or call you back to work before you can physically return. At this point, you need to hire an attorney who can begin the hearing process laid out by the Michigan Workers & Unemployment Bureau.

Mediators can preside over informal hearings, consider evidence, and make recommendations. These mediators lack the authority to order employers to pay.
Magistrates preside over formal hearings, where both parties have legal counsel and have the authority mediators lack. An order to pay benefits is known as an open award.

Sometimes, the employer and the employee agree to a lump sum payment for all past, present, and future benefits. This agreement is called a redemption and is a complete and final settlement of all claims the employee may have against the employer for workers’ compensation benefits.

If you suffer from a workplace injury or occupational disease, the personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. will fight for your rights to financial compensation. Contact us for a free, no-risk consultation.

Legal Representation for Workers’ Compensation

Workplace injuries frequently occur in many work environments. Workers face dangerous conditions and the risk of injury from warehouses, machine shops, and construction sites. These conditions are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries.

Traumatic brain injury qualifies as catastrophic and happens frequently on construction sites. Office workers might face occupational diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Employers should minimize risks and hazards as much as possible and provide the appropriate workers’ compensation benefits when accidents occur.

Contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to better understand your rights and entitled benefits. We will work hard to get them for you as quickly as possible.

Immediate medical care is only one of the benefits the injured party can receive. For more serious cases, employees may get help with prolonged medical support, wage loss benefits, and therapeutic support for any emotional distress caused by the injury.

Contact Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C.

Your employer should support you after you suffer a workplace accident. Call Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to get professional legal advice on how to handle your workplace injury case.

The law offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. represents individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses due to injuries, disabilities, and death instead of the companies and corporations that provide unsafe working conditions.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

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Who is covered, who is not

Most workers in Michigan are covered by Michigan Workers Compensation if injured on the job. Some workers who may not be covered, however, include agricultural workers or federal workers such as postal carriers. Some businesses with three or fewer employees also may be exempt. A workers compensation lawyer in Michigan will give you complete details.

“While a typical injured employee does not know workers compensation law, a typical employer is very much aware of how the system works and how to terminate an employee’s benefits,” says attorney Terry Cochran, partner in the law firm of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, PC, which specializes in workers comp and other liability cases.

“An injured worker who returns to work to a specifically created position may find that, 100 weeks later, the position is eliminated and he is laid off – no longer eligible for workers comp,” cautions Cochran. “Many employers hire doctors who are much more interested in maintaining a relationship with the employer than with accurately diagnosing the employee. My firm will help protect your rights when one of these ‘hired gun’ doctors tries to block you from getting necessary treatment, cut off your benefits, or send you back to work too early.”

The lawyer experienced in workers comp whom you hire also will know the administrative judges or hearing officers who preside over comp hearings, and likely will know many of the doctors and defense lawyers who are trying to block your claim. An attorney who knows the ins-and-outs of the system can provide you with sound legal advice and help ensure you collect benefits due you or, if you wish, get a maximum payoff to settle your personal injury claim.

Wage, injury claims & medical benefits

The formula to determine wage loss benefits in Michigan is 80 percent of an employee’s after-tax salary. In some cases, the wage loss benefit might be two-thirds of the worker’s base salary, subject to limitations. When an employee’s salary changes from week to week the benefit may be based on the 39 highest weeks of pay during the past year. Normally the 80 percent calculation is more beneficial to the worker, but legal counsel can best determine which calculation should be used.

All necessary medical expenses incurred by someone who has suffered a work injury are to be paid for by worker’s compensation insurance. But there can be disagreements about what constitutes reasonable and necessary medical treatment. If the treatment is for a work-related injury then the payments should continue indefinitely.

If there is a dispute about wage loss or medical bills, consult an attorney to protect your rights.

Giving timely notice

If you have been injured at work, or if you suffer from an occupational disease, you have a clear claim for workers compensation benefits. Notice should be given to your employer as soon as possible. Once you make a claim for benefits, your employer must investigate and make a decision within 30 days. After first notifying your employer of the claim, call an attorney and discuss whether legal representation is necessary.

The company does have the right to send you to its doctor within 10 days of the injury. You also have the right to see your own doctor. You must give written notice to your employer of the name and address of the doctor you are seeing for treatment.

Your medical expenses will be paid but your doctor must send copies of medical records and reports supporting the claim to your employer. Your employer retains the right to have you examined by the company doctor at any time during your disability. You can challenge the opinion of any physician at a workers compensation hearing.

If you have been injured at work or have an occupational disease, and are off work for more than eight days, your employer is responsible for paying your lost wages. Wage loss benefits are not subject to local, state or federal taxes. There is no limit to how many weeks of benefits you may receive if you are permanently disabled.

Blame is not a factor in personal injury cases

Workers Compensation is considered a “no fault” insurance system because the worker is compensated regardless of blame unless the accident is caused by intoxication, willful misconduct, or gross negligence. Often workers comp claims are paid voluntarily by an employer, but certainly not always.

Your employer can refuse to pay benefits from the beginning, terminate benefits after payment has started, or call you back to work before you are physically able to return. At this point, you need to hire an attorney who will begin the hearing process laid out by the Michigan Workers & Unemployment Bureau.

There are informal hearings conducted by a mediator who considers the evidence, makes a recommendation, but has no authority to order payment of benefits. A formal hearing is where both sides are represented by counsel before a magistrate who has the authority to order payment of benefits. An order to pay benefits is known as an open award.

In some cases, the employer and the employee agree to a lump sum payment for all past, present and future benefits. This is called a redemption and is a full and final settlement of any and all claims the employee may have against the employer for workers’ compensation benefits.

If you suffer a workplace injury or occupational disease, the personal injury lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates fight for your rights. There is no obligation for case evaluation and no fee is charged unless a recovery is made.

The Law Offices of Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.

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