When you get hurt at work, your employer is required to promptly pay for the medical care you need and weekly benefits while you get better and back to work. All too often, however, as you watch your bills pile up while you struggle to cope with the limitations of your injury, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier sends you a notice that they are denying your claim. Denial and delay nearly always benefit the insurance company and they'll deny claims for the flimsiest of reasons. To avoid unnecessary disputes, call us right away when you get hurt. We'll make sure you know how best to avoid having your claim denied.
Whether your benefits are paid, delayed or denied, you need an expert on your side. Even when an insurance company pays your benefits, they'll often short-change you on your weekly benefit rate or fail to pay all medical expenses required by law. They will set you up for "independent" medical and vocational exams whose main purpose is to reduce or deny payment of your benefits. You need a law firm at the cutting edge of the fight to protect the rights of workers injured on the job. We represent workers in all walks of life. Our specialty is construction injury cases. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our workers' comp experts. The initial consultation is FREE and there is No Obligation to hire us. We will review your claim with you, explain your rights under the law, and go to bat for you to get all the benefits you deserve. We'll also help you obtain other available benefits such as short- or long-term disability, social security disability, pension, no-fault, veterans' benefits, or continued health insurance coverage.
YOU NEED TO KNOW...
On-the-job injuries are covered by the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Act. 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of this ground-breaking law. The original law struck a “grand bargain” whereby workers gave up the right to take their employers to court where they could sue for damages for on-the-job injuries. In return, workers were given what was supposed to be swift and certain payment of full medical benefits and partial wage loss (now up to 80% of take home pay), irrespective of fault, for any on-the-job injury. Workers’ comp was Michigan’s first “no fault” law. Since 1912, workers’ comp has been and remains injured employees' exclusive remedy against their employers for medical and wage loss benefits for work injuries.
The grand bargain at the heart of the law has been upended by the Republican majorities who presently control Michigan state government. On 12/19/11, they enacted a sweeping rewrite of the worker’s comp law, reducing and eliminating benefits, and tipping the balance heavily against injured workers and in favor of business and insurance interests. The centerpiece of their rewritten law is a “phantom wage” provision that allows employers and their comp carriers to reduce or stop wage loss benefits based on what an injured worker is allegedly "capable of earning", even if he can’t find work at all! Thus, the grand bargain on which workers' comp law was based went out the window. You can't sue your employer for damages and now, under the new worker's comp law, many of Michigan's injured workers won't get any workers' comp either. Some bargain!
The new and improved law also undermines the “no fault” nature of workers' comp. The law now provides that injured workers, even those with career-ending injuries, who are terminated from light duty work “for fault”, lose their lifetime wage loss benefits. What employer won’t be tempted by the incentive of saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in workers’ comp benefits by simply offering an injured worker a light duty job, then finding some trumped-up reason to terminate him “for fault”?
The new law also distinguishes between partially and totally disabled workers, further complicating workers’ comp. While the law still provides for medical benefits, employers and their insurance carriers now get to direct where employees must obtain their medical treatment for 28 days, up from the 10 days under the law that existed for decades. A movement is now afoot to implement “evidence based medicine” guidelines that will further limit injured workers' treatment options and give comp carriers even more control of injured workers’ medical care.
In the face of these radical changes in workers’ comp law, now, more than ever, you need the expertise and personal attention we bring to every client's case to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of workers' comp experts. The initial consultation is FREE and there is No Obligation to hire us. Attorney fees are owed only if we recover benefits for you.
LUNG or PULMONARY DISEASES
Asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) are two of the most common respiratory diseases affecting a worker’s livelihood. At some point, the disease can be so severe that it makes working impossible. Our firm has successfully obtained Social Security Disability and/or workers' compensation benefits for many such workers.
A smoking history does NOT bar recovery. Medical research has documented that smoking damages the respiratory system’s natural filtration defenses. Add industrial pollutants, dust, or chemical, and the damage is magnified. This is known as the “synergistic effect.” It comes from the Greek meaning that the combined effect is greater than the sum of the individual exposures. Our firm has used this principle to successfully win disability benefits for our clients.
If you or a loved one has disabling lung pathology made worse by job exposures, call us for a free review and consultation. We will fight to win the benefits you deserve.
RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) /
CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
If you have RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), also known as CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), we may be able to recover money for you. If you have been diagnosed with RSD due to a personal injury or malpractice, you need a lawyer who has experience with RSD and understands how adversely it affects day-to-day living.
What are the symptoms of CRPS/RSD and how is it diagnosed?
Not all patients have all the signs or symptoms of RSD. The first indication of RSD is pain that is more severe than would be expected from the injury that caused it. Patients generally describe a severe burning pain in a region, change in the temperature of one hand or foot and sensitivity to even a light touch. Often times there is swelling, and the skin in the area affected by the RSD can change colors. As the RSD disease progresses, there tends to be increased pain and swelling. The skin may become affected to the point that even hair will not grow on it. A patient becomes unduly sensitive to trauma in other parts of the body. Even carefully done surgeries can cause the RSD to spread. A patient with RSD must take special precautions before having any surgery.
Unfortunately, there is no simple test to confirm the diagnosis of RSD. However, it is very important that the disease be diagnosed quickly. The medical literature is abundantly clear: Early treatment leads to better results.
Some days are better than others for RSD patients. The pain ebbs and flows in intensity, but at its worst it has been compared to the pain of a ruptured disc, or of childbirth. Some of our clients have told us they would gladly amputate their affected limb if it would make the RSD pain go away. But amputation would only increase the pain from RSD.
It is important to have an attorney who understands CRPS/RSD.
What many lawyers do not realize is that RSD is much worse than a broken arm or leg. The majority of our RSD clients end up on permanent and total disability. The lifetime medical bills alone can be enormous. Most of our clients are financially devastated by the syndrome. RSD syndrome can also be socially debilitating. Many of our clients find it hard to maintain a marriage, act as parents and to keep their friends while contending with severe chronic pain that many others have trouble understanding.
Because our firm has experience helping RSD sufferers, we understand the issues related to chronic pain in an individual’s life. We are also familiar with the best ways to discuss that pain with insurance adjusters, defense lawyers and juries.
Frequently asked questions
What should I do after my accident?
There are several steps you should take after the accident to help build your case.
- Report the accident to your employer.
- Document how the injury occurred by completing an on the job accident report.
- Request that the injury be reported to the company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
- Write down the names and contact information of all the parties involved in the accident and any witnesses.
- Visit a doctor—even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Some injuries take time to surface, so getting a doctor’s medical opinion is important.
Do I need an attorney?
Filing an injury claim can be complicated and time consuming, especially when the insurance company refuses to pay you the money you’re entitled to.
How much money is my case worth?
Each case is different, and our attorneys can’t determine the worth of your claim until we’ve fully investigated the details of your accident. We need to know how your injuries occurred, who was involved and responsible for the accident, what injuries you suffered and what medical expenses you incurred.
Will I have to go to court?
Not every case goes to court. Your case could be settled outside of court if the insurance company offers you a fair settlement and you decide to take the offer. If we are unable to negotiate a fair settlement, it could be in your best interest to go to court.
How long is the legal process?
The length of time it takes to finish your case is affected by a number of factors, including the time it takes to get your medical records and for you to recover from your injuries. It also depends on how long it takes to negotiate your claim with the insurance company.
Should I talk to an insurance adjustor?
You should always consult your lawyer before speaking to an insurance adjustor. Remember, the adjustor is looking out for the best interest of the insurance company, not you. You don’t have to give the adjustor a recorded statement, and you don’t have to take the first offer the insurance company gives you.
What is an independent medical exam (IME)?
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What do I do when I am contacted by a vocational expert?
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Will I be under surveillance?
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