If you were hurt while at work and are currently pursuing a workers' compensation claim in the state of Michigan, you will be dealing directly with the insurance company your employer uses to facilitate their workers' compensation benefits. Here are three things to keep an eye out for in your dealings with your employer's insurance provider.
1. Your Benefit Amount
In the state of Michigan, you are technically entitled to 80% of what you make every week after taxes through workers' compensation. That 80% is supposed to include not just your regular salary, but also any overtime, tips, and bonus payments that you would expect to earn on a weekly basis. It should also cover the cost of fringe benefits that you get from your workplace as well. Oftentimes, errors are made regarding benefit amounts. Most of the time, these errors are not in your favor. The best way to protect yourself is by calculating your own weekly wage rate. You can use your pay stubs or have an attorney look over your pay stubs and help you figure out what 80% of your after-tax wages really is.
2. Your Doctor
Many workers' compensation insurance companies will suggest that you see a particular doctor or go to a particular clinic for treatment. Take these suggestions with a grain of salt. Insurance companies generally refer you to doctors whom they have worked with before and who make predictable diagnosis and treatment plans. These doctors may be getting kickbacks and benefits from the insurance company and may not necessarily have your best interests at heart. Right after your injury, you will have to see the doctor that your company's workers' compensation insurance refers you to. However, after ten days, you can see any doctor that you want. Put in a little research and figure out what doctor in your area can best service your needs and go and see them.
3. Access to Your Benefits
Don't expect your workers' compensation insurance company to be upfront about all the benefits that are available to you. Their objective is to save as much money as possible; their main objective is not your well-being. In the state of Michigan, you are entitled to medical care as well as lost wage benefits, which is pretty standard. However, there are some additional benefits that you are entitled to in Michigan. You are entitled to attendant care, which basically means your insurance has to pay for a skilled individual to help you with daily living activities if you need that level of assistance.
If a family member is providing this assistance for you, they are entitled to compensation through your workers' compensation insurance company for their time. You are also entitled to vocational rehabilitation, which covers retraining and educational classes you may take in pursuit of gainful employment following your recovery. If you are currently dealing with recovery from a work injury, make sure that you check all the information provided to you by your company's workers' compensation insurance provider. A licensed workers' compensation lawyer can help you navigate your case if you need assistance.