Workers' Compensation
Written by: Bruce L. Weider | 4.28.2024

What Qualifies as a Workers' Comp Injury in Michigan?

Know Your Rights After a Work Injury

If you have been injured on the job in Michigan, you may be wondering if you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides financial assistance to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses but what does this really mean? Because most of us go years without any significant work injuries, we often do not know much about the workers’ comp process and qualifications. 

At Bruce Weider Law Firm, we understand the complexities of workers' compensation law in Michigan. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers secure the benefits they deserve.

Learn more about the qualifications for workers' compensation benefits in Michigan, the types of injuries covered, the importance of establishing a work-related connection, and the steps you should take if you have been hurt at work.

Understanding Work-Related Injuries

The biggest question most people have in regards to workers’ compensation claims is whether or not their injury qualifies as work-related. Is it still covered if it was partially your fault? What if you have reported the dangerous Michigan's Workers' Disability Compensation Act covers a broad spectrum of work-related injuries and illnesses. 

Here is a breakdown of the main categories:

  • Accidental Injuries: These are sudden, unexpected events that occur during the course of employment and cause immediate harm. Examples include slip-and-fall accidents, machinery malfunctions, falling objects, or motor vehicle accidents while on work errands.
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries: These injuries develop gradually over time due to repeated physical tasks or awkward postures. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, tendonitis, and bursitis. These should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid aggravating the condition. 
  • Occupational Diseases: These illnesses are caused by prolonged exposure to hazardous materials, chemicals, or environmental conditions at work. Examples include asbestosis, black lung disease, and hearing loss from loud machinery.

Establishing Work-Relatedness

The most important part of your workers’ comp case is always going to be proving that your injuries or illness are directly related to your job. To qualify for workers' compensation benefits, you must establish a clear connection between your injury or illness and your job duties. This means demonstrating that the injury occurred during work hours and the injury arose from performing required tasks for your position.

Injuries sustained while on the job clock, during work breaks, or while traveling for work-related purposes are typically covered. However, injuries sustained during your commute to and from work are generally not compensable unless you can prove that they were directly caused by a work-related task required for your position. 

If you have to unlock a gate to get into your building before you clock in, for example, and the gate malfunctions and injures you, you will most likely be covered despite not technically being in your working hours yet. 

Additional Considerations

Workers’ comp is a complex and often tedious process with many different factors at play. You can establish work-relatedness and prove your injury or illness with a physician’s report and still be denied. How is that possible? Even if your injury meets the basic criteria, there may be additional factors to consider, such as:

  • Pre-existing Conditions: If you have a pre-existing medical condition that is aggravated by your work duties, you may still be eligible for benefits as long as your work activity contributed significantly to the worsening of the condition.
  • Intoxication: If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury, it may affect your eligibility for benefits.
  • Purposeful Injury: If your employer can determine that you were injured due to your own negligence or a desire to be injured on purpose to avoid work or collect a payout, you will be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. 

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention Promptly

If you are injured at work, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. In many cases, injuries or illnesses will continue to worsen if not treated and a minor accident can lead to life-altering results. 

Not only is this essential for your health and well-being, but it also creates a documented record of the injury and its connection to your employment. When you go to a doctor after a work accident or to address a repetitive motion issue you are having, be sure to inform your doctor that your injury occurred at work.

Reporting the Injury to Your Employer

Michigan law requires you to notify your employer of your work-related injury as soon as possible, ideally within 30 days. Most employers will have specific procedures for reporting workplace injuries. Following these procedures promptly protects your rights and helps ensure a smooth claims process.

Navigating the Workers' Compensation System

The workers' compensation system in Michigan can be complex. If you have been injured at work, it is highly advisable to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can explain your legal rights and help guide you through the claims process.

An attorney will help you gather the necessary documentation to support your claim, such as medical records, accident reports, and witness statements that might be difficult to acquire on your own. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

If your workers' compensation claim is denied, you will definitely need to consult with an attorney who can represent you in appealing the decision. The appeal process can be difficult and confusing. An experienced lawyer will help you navigate the many hurdles and roadblocks associated with these kinds of cases. 

Contact Bruce Weider Law Firm Today

At Bruce Weider Law Firm, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges associated with work-related injuries. Our dedicated team has extensive experience helping injured workers in Michigan secure the benefits they are entitled to. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have.
Don't face the workers' compensation system alone. Contact Bruce Weider Law Firm today at (734) 485-0535 or visit our website to get answers to your most pressing workers’ compensation questions.

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Get the compensation you deserve

If you are in need of a workers' compensation attorney, contact us today. We have a track record of success in helping injured workers obtain the compensation they deserve. We understand the challenges that injured workers face, and we are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation from start to finish.

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