After a workers’ compensation claim closes, some jobsite injury victims may experience new or worsening symptoms that were not present when they initially filed for workers’ compensation. In these cases, a workers’ compensation claim may be eligible to be reopened.
Our team of Michigan workers’ compensation attorneys at Fieger Law routinely represents Michigan workers who have been injured on the job, assisting these workers in obtaining the benefits to which they are legally entitled. Read on to learn more and contact us for a free consultation on your workers’ compensation case.
Workers’ Compensation in Michigan
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program provided by the state government which provides money to workers who have been injured on the job and left unable to work. Every state has its own workers’ compensation insurance program, including Michigan, which operates the Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency.
Generally speaking, any worker who is injured on a jobsite in Michigan is eligible to receive workers’ compensation, but sometimes, the state and an injured person’s employer may be reluctant to pay benefits. When these situations arise, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Michigan can assist you in fighting to gain access to workers’ compensation funding.
Otherwise, the process functions normally like this:
1. Give notice to your employer of your workplace injury.
Michigan law requires that you give some form of notice – either verbal or written – to your employer within 90 days of your injury occurring. That notice should sufficiently notify your employer that you have been injured on the job, and that you plan to seek workers’ compensation benefits. While the notice can be either verbal or written, obtaining a written accident report is always a good idea for additional documentation.
2. Your employer files a claim with the state government.
After your employer receives notice of your injury, the employer or their insurance company should file a claim with the Michigan Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency on your behalf. From there, the state government will evaluate your claim, and if approved, begin to issue payments equal to 80 percent of your previous take-home pay. Medical expenses for your workplace injury are also covered by the government without copays or deductibles. When employers or insurance companies are reluctant to file a claim, contact Fieger’s personal injury lawyers to evaluate your claim and assist you.
3. After medical treatment, your claim is closed.
When you no longer need workers’ compensation benefits, your claim is closed and the government stops its payments to you, with the expectation that you will return to work. However, some workplace injuries cause long-term ailments that may not manifest until a significant amount of time has passed. If your claim is closed and your injury worsens, you may be able to reopen your claim.
How to Reopen a Michigan Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you were previously receiving workers’ compensation benefits, stopped receiving them, and are now experiencing worsening medical symptoms, you may be able to reopen your workers’ compensation claim.
Understandably, losing benefits without being able to go back to work is a stressful experience, but after consulting with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys, Michigan residents can rest assured that we’re working on their behalf to reactivate important workers’ compensation benefits. In order to reopen a workers’ compensation claim, you must be able to show that:
(1) Your original claim was successfully filed, and
(2) That your new symptoms were caused by your previous jobsite injury.
Proving Causation to Reopen a Claim
The most important aspect of reopening a workers’ compensation claim is proving that your new symptoms were caused by your old workplace injury. Oftentimes, employers or insurance companies will contest causation, arguing that your worsening symptoms were caused by something else. Proving causation usually requires that a doctor attest that your new symptoms were caused by your old injury, and it helps if you have scans and tests to back up the doctor’s medical opinion.
Contact a Michigan Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you or a family member are interested in reopening your Michigan workers’ compensation claim after experiencing worsened symptoms from a workplace injury, contact our team at Fieger Law today. For over 70 years, we’ve been helping Michigan accident victims and their families protect their rights and access compensation they’re entitled to receive.
To set up a free consultation with our team, contact us today.
This content has been reviewed and approved by attorneys in the offices of Fieger Law.