Workplace Compensation Lawyers
A workplace accident can leave you in pain and uncertain about the future. Claiming workers’ compensation can ensure you are not left without financial support when your earning ability is diminished or completely removed.
If you or a loved one has suffered a debilitating workplace injury in Michigan, contact a workers’ compensation attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. for a free consultation about your case. We fight for injured workers’ rights and can help you file your compensation claim to get workers’ comp benefits.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to workers who are injured or who contract an illness at work. State governments usually administer the program as part of social welfare programs. In most cases, workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages. Some programs also provide benefits for permanent disability or death.
Workers’ compensation is typically mandatory in most jurisdictions, meaning employers must provide coverage for their employees. However, in some cases, employees may be able to opt out of the program if they have alternative coverage, such as private insurance.
Michigan Workplace Compensation
In Michigan, the workers’ compensation program is jointly administered by the Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG) and the Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA). Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for all employers in Michigan, and employers must obtain coverage from a private insurance company or the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Placement Facility (WCPF).
Michigan’s workers’ compensation system ensures that employees who are injured or become ill due to their job receive the medical and income support they need. Medical benefits include doctor’s visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, and physical therapy.
Income benefits can replace a portion of an employee’s lost wages while recovering from their injury or illness. In some cases, workers’ compensation can also provide death benefits to surviving family members.
Common Accidents and Behaviors That Lead to Workplace Compensation
While construction accounts for 20% of work-related fatalities, most jobs have the potential to cause injury. Workplace accidents can affect your health, whether you work a desk job or on an oil rig. Job injuries can include:
Repetitive motion injuries can lead to serious problems. They can cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints. The most common type of work-related joint overuse is carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition occurs when the median nerve in the wrist becomes compressed. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand and fingers. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent damage to the nerves and muscles.
Treatment typically involves splinting the wrist and taking breaks from repetitive motions. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Other types of work-related joint overuse include tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis. These conditions can all be painful and debilitating.
According to the CDC, falls and slips are responsible for 27% of non-fatal injuries in the workplace. While falling from a great height is the most dangerous type of fall, even a relatively short fall can lead to catastrophic injuries.
For example, a worker falling from a ladder and landing on their back may suffer broken ribs or internal bleeding. Likewise, a slip-and-fall onto concrete can result in head injuries, spinal cord damage, or broken bones.
Employers have the task of taking all necessary safety measures to prevent work-related falls by ensuring that employees have proper safety equipment and training.
Toxic Chemical Exposure
Workers can be exposed to toxic substances through inhalation, dermal contact, and ingestion. The ingestion of toxic chemicals can occur when workers eat or drink contaminated food or water or touch their mouths or eyes after coming in contact with the chemical.
Hazardous workplace chemicals include:
- Petroleum products
An electrical injury occurs when a worker comes in contact with an electrical source, such as a power line or an exposed live wire. The electrical current can cause burns, muscle contractions, and heart arrhythmias. In 2020, electricity exposure was responsible for 126 worker deaths in the United States.
Common Workplace Injuries
Depending on the job, work-related injuries can affect any body part and vary in severity from a temporary nuisance to a permanent disability.
Shoulder injuries are a common occurrence in the workplace. Often, they result from repetitive motions or incorrect posture. However, there are several steps that workers can take to reduce their risk of a shoulder injury.
First, it is essential to maintain good posture while working. This means keeping your shoulders back and head aligned with your spine. Second, take frequent breaks to stretch and move around. Third, use proper form when performing tasks that require repetitive motions.
Misusing your shoulder joint over time can lead to painful impingements that limit your range of motion.
Elbow injuries can occur when the elbow is bent or extended beyond its normal range of motion or when repetitive motions stress the joint. Elbow injuries can be excruciating and may require extensive rehabilitation. Surgery may be necessary to repair damaged tissue to full function.
Back injuries are a common occupational hazard, particularly for workers who lift heavy objects or spend long hours sitting at a desk. Although some back injuries can be attributed to a single event, such as lifting a box that is too heavy, most occur over time due to repetitive motions or poor posture.
Back injuries can cause a great deal of pain and suffering and can lead to long-term disability. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct the problem. In addition, workers at risk for back injuries should receive training on proper lifting techniques and take breaks often to stretch and move around.
Lumbar muscle strains are the most common cause of lower back injury and can result from overuse. However, other serious back injuries can occur after falls or pinch point accidents, such as a gate closing on an employee’s back.
Cervical back injuries involving the part of the spine in a victim’s neck area, although not as common as lower back injuries, can be particularly debilitating, leading to long-term or permanent disability.
Knee and Leg Injuries
Knee and leg injuries often result from repetitive motion or overexertion. However, they can also occur due to slip-and-fall accidents, falling object accidents, and pinch point accidents. Regardless of the cause, knee and leg injuries can be extremely painful and debilitating. In some cases, they may even require surgery to repair.
Knee injuries involve wear and tear or damage to joint tissue, including:
- Torn meniscus
- Torn ACL
- Torn MCL
- Hyperextension injuries
- Loss of cartilage
Nerve injuries, collectively called peripheral neuropathy, are serious conditions that can profoundly impact a person’s ability to work. When nerves are damaged, they can’t send signals properly, leading to problems with movement, sensation, and organ function.
Nerve damage in the workplace can result from various factors, including injury, infection, and exposure to toxins. Nerve damage is usually a permanent injury and does not improve with treatment.
Work-related head injuries can seriously impact an individual’s ability to function both physically and cognitively. While many head injuries are minor and heal without incident, more serious injuries can result in long-term impairment, including difficulties with memory, concentration, and communication.
A head injury can lead to paralysis or death in severe cases. As such, employers must take measures to protect workers from head injuries. This includes providing safety equipment such as helmets and hard hats and ensuring that work areas are free of potential hazards.
Common workplace head injuries include:
- Skull fractures
- Intracranial hematoma
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), which occurs from sudden trauma to the head, plays a role in 59.5% of work-related fatalities.
What to Do if You Are Injured in the Workplace
If you are injured on the job in Michigan, you can take steps to ensure that you receive the full workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled.
It is essential to notify your employer immediately after the accident. Michigan law requires that you do so within 90 days of the accident. Seek medical attention, even if you do not believe your injuries are serious. Keep all medical treatment documentation, which will be essential in filing a comp claim.
Contacting a knowledgeable workplace compensation attorney can help you navigate the compensation process effectively. An experienced comp attorney can fight for fair compensation on your behalf.
You will need to file a Workers’ Compensation claim with the Michigan Workers’ Compensation Agency within six months of your accident, which your workers’ compensation attorney can help with.
Once you file your claim, an insurance adjuster is assigned to your case. The insurance adjuster investigates your accident and makes a determination regarding your benefits. If you disagree with the insurance adjuster’s decision, you have the right to appeal.
By taking these critical steps, you can seek the full workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled as an injured employee.
Recover Compensation for Your Workplace Injury
Hiring an experienced lawyer can help you win a fair compensation settlement if you’ve suffered a work-related injury. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we have a proven track record of winning settlements and judgments for our workplace injury clients, such as $125,000 for a construction worker in Detroit and $1.25 million for a construction worker in Flint.
We are experienced in Michigan’s compensation laws and can gather every relevant medical exam and showcase your injury for a maximum compensation settlement. We will also file your claim on time so you don’t miss out on the benefits you deserve.
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.
RESULTS-DRIVEN TRACK RECORD
Medical Malpractice / Birth Injury
A young couple from Monroe, Michigan, was awarded a $15.8 million verdict as the result of their baby son, Jason, being inflicted with Cerebral Palsy as the result of an error during the final stages of a labor.
RESULT: $15.8 MILLION
Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death
Oakland County, Michigan
While in the hospital a mother of three was not properly treated for a closed-head injury causing her untimely death.
RESULT: $1 MILLION
Accidents & Injuries/Brain Injury
A Livonia pedestrian recovered $1.4 million when he was struck by a commercial van resulting in a traumatic brain injury in Redford, Michigan.
RESULT: $1.4 Million
Medical Malpractice / Misdiagnosis
Wayne County, Michigan
Patient suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage when a hospital failed to recognize internal bleeding and treatment was delayed for more than 14 hours.
RESULT: $9 MILLION
Accidents & Injuries/Auto Accident
Tuscola County, Michigan
A Tuscola County jury awarded $3.3 million to a severely brain injured motorist as the result of a defective Michigan highway.
RESULT: $3.3 MILLION
Accidents & Injuries/Construction Site Injury
A seventeen-year-old construction worker suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting from a fall in Flint, Michigan, and was awarded $1.25 million.
RESULT: $1.25 MILLION
Wayne County, Michigan
Middle-aged woman suffered severe disfiguring facial burns from a simple surgical procedure.
RESULT: $1.9 Million
Medical Malpractice / Birth Trauma
Child developed cerebral palsy with developmental delays due to lack of oxygen and brain injury during labor and delivery.
RESULT: $3.8 Million
Accidents & Injuries/Construction Site/Workplace Injury
A Westland construction worker recovered $1.5 million after sustaining a traumatic brain injury while on a construction site in Detroit, Michigan.
RESULT: $1.5 Million
Accidents & Injuries/Truck Accident
A Marlette, Michigan, family reached a $1.3 million settlement in the traffic death of their 5-year-old son when they were struck by a semi truck.
RESULT: $1.3 Million
Medical Malpractice/Cancer Misdiagnosis
The misdiagnosis of breast cancer resulted in a Redford, Michigan, woman recovering $225,000.
A construction worker redeemed his worker’s compensation case for $125,000 in Detroit, Michigan.
Accidents & Injuries/Auto Accident
A paraplegic woman from Monroe, Michigan, recovered Michigan no-fault benefits including the purchase of a new home and attendant care in excess of $400,000.
Medical Malpractice/Birth Injury
Brighton, Michigan; Detroit, Michigan
A Brighton family recovered $1.3 million and a Detroit family recovered $900,000 as the result of birth injuries and medical malpractice to their children.
Accidents & Injuries/Auto Accident
Bay City, Michigan
A Bay City grandmother was awarded $80,000 following an auto accident resulting in a broken leg.