Five Mistakes to Avoid in Workers' Compensation Cases
Michigan workers' compensation cases are getting more and more complicated. At McCroskey Law, our dedicated workers' compensation team has helped injured workers resolve their claims for over 60 years. While nothing replaces skilled legal representation, there are some common mistakes that injured workers can avoid.1. You Fail to Report the Injury to Your Employer in a Timely Manner
A lot of workers incorrectly think that, post-injury, their pain will improve after a relaxing weekend. Unfortunately, the pain doesn't always go away. It is in your best interest to promptly report work injuries and seek medical treatment.
Late injury reports increase the chances that your employer will dispute your workers' compensation claim. In certain types of cases, like hernia-related claims, the timing of the injury report can become very important. Additionally, any delay in reporting the injury will lead to delays in medical treatment.
McCroskey Law's attorneys cannot emphasize enough that you should always report injuries as quickly as possible. You should also give your employer a detailed and accurate history of how the injury happened.2. You Fail to Give a Good History of the Work Injury to Medical Providers
It is important that your doctors understand your injuries. Without a good history, your conditions may be misdiagnosed. Just as importantly, without a good history, your medical records will not document the work relationship of your injuries. If your workers' compensation claim is disputed, the attorneys and magistrate will rely heavily on your medical records; they need to be accurate.3. You Fail to Get Detailed Work Restrictions From Your Doctor
In order to receive a weekly wage loss check, an injured worker must prove that he is unable to perform work within his training and qualifications. Your word alone cannot prove this; you need work restrictions assigned by a doctor. However, overly general work restrictions can also lead to a workers' compensation dispute. For example, you and your employer may not agree on what "as tolerated" or "occasional" means. It is in your best interest to get detailed and specific work restrictions4. You Fail to Look for Light Duty Work Within Your Restrictions
If you have restrictions that allow you to do any kind of work, you must make a good faith job search. Under Michigan workers' compensation law, an employer may be able to reduce your weekly wage loss benefits by jobs within your "wage earning capacity."
In a disputed workers' compensation claim, employers will present vocational evidence, arguing that there is work available to an injured worker. However, an injured worker can rebut allegations of wage earning capacity by showing that they performed a legitimate job search, and could not obtain employment.
This is a complicated area of the law. If you have questions about wage earning capacity and looking for work within your restrictions, contact us today.5. You Fail to Hire an Attorney That Specializes in Workers' Compensation Before Your Claim is Disputed
Michigan workers' compensation claims have become increasingly complicated. If you are an injured worker, you should not get your legal advice from an attorney that dabbles in workers' comp. Instead, find an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the entire process. Workers' compensation attorneys only charge a fee if they make a recovery in your case-- so their is little financial risk in retaining an experienced workers' comp attorney early on.
If you have questions about your workers' compensation rights, contact McCroskey Law today. We are conveniently located in Muskegon, Grand Rapids, and Battle Creek. Our attorneys have been represented injured workers for over 60 years, and can provide you with the skilled and personalized service that you deserve. We look forward to speaking with you.