When you are injured at work, you likely expect Michigan workers' compensation insurance to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. However, you may be surprised when you learn that your workers' comp claim has been delayed, denied, or approved only for a lesser amount. Workers' comp insurance companies use many tactics to limit benefits and liability, and the following are brief overviews of some of these tactics.
Your were misclassified as an independent contractor
In many dangerous industries, including construction, companies may wrongfully classify or reclassify workers as independent contractors to cut costs. If, in reality, you should be classified as an employee, you also have the right to workers' compensation coverage and an experienced attorney can help you challenge that classification.
They dispute your injuries
An insurance company only has to provide benefits if you suffered a work-related injury or illness. Often, a company may claim that your symptoms are actually associated with a preexisting condition or an injury sustained at home and not from a new injury suffered at work. Companies can even have investigators who may examine all of your social media profiles or even follow you to look for signs that you are not as injured as you claim. Insurers claim that these investigators are hired to prevent abuse of benefits or fraud, however, they are often utilized to minimize liability. For this reason, you should be careful what you post on the Internet and should never engage in any activity that exceeds your doctor's recommendations.
They do not inform you of all benefits that are available
While every worker should expect benefits to cover lost wages and medical costs, they may not realize that they are entitled to additional benefits, as well. For example, workers' comp insurance in Michigan is supposed to cover the costs of attendant care if it is required during your recovery. An attendant could be a professional nurse or even a family member and workers' comp benefits should cover their payment for a certain number of hours per week. Additionally, you are entitled to up to two years of vocational rehabilitation1 if needed to help you return to your previous gainful employment. However, insurance companies sometimes fail to mention these benefits hoping that you will not request them.
They choose your doctor
Michigan workers' compensation laws2 affords you unlimited medical treatment for your workplace injury, however, insurance companies often push you receive care from certain doctors. The company uses doctors who may recommend less treatment for your injuries or who will determine that you have recovered before you actually do, which can result in early loss of benefits. After 10 days, you can and should follow proper procedures to choose your own doctor who will stand up for your right to full benefits.
If you believe that your workers' comp has been wrongfully denied, an experienced Michigan worker's comp attorney can recognize whether the company is using any of the above tactics to limit benefits. At Michigan Injury Lawyers, we stand up for the rights of injured workers, so please call today at 888-454-0801 for a free case evaluation.