Injuries at work can be caused by specific injuries or gradual wear and tear due to heavy or repetitive jobs. These claims are handled by a special administrative court unlike Circuit Court. Mike has been a member of this "club" for 30 years. The judges know him, as do the insurance adjusters and defense lawyers. Recent Supreme Court decisions have made this area of the law complicated. This is not the claim for the criminal or real estate attorney. It also requires good knowledge of medicine, which general practice lawyers do not have. Mike does. Many doctors up north refer clients to him, and he also handles Social Security Disability cases. This area of the law requires medical knowledge. Mike attends these hearings in Traverse City, Alpena, Flint, and Sault Ste. Marie. Often Worker's Compensation or car accident injuries involve a potential social security claim.
Workers compensation pays for the following benefits:
•Wage loss: Wage loss benefits are based upon a percentage of your earnings subject to certain minimums and maximums. Your average weekly wage is calculated by taking the highest 39 weeks of the 52 weeks preceding your work injury. Wage loss benefits are generally 80 percent of your after tax average weekly wage. Under certain circumstances, the value of fringe benefits may be included to increase your average weekly wage. Wage loss benefits are income tax free. The loss of fringe benefits may increase your weekly wage loss amount.
•Medical treatment: Your employer or its workers compensation insurance carrier is responsible for paying all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your work injury. This holds true even if your treatment continues after you have returned to work. Medical treatment includes attendant care (nursing services) and prosthetics. Medical treatment can be paid for life.
•Mileage reimbursement: Medical mileage reimbursement is payment for reasonable travel expenses to and from medical appointments.
•Vocational rehabilitation: Vocational rehabilitation is training or schooling to help you find other employment. Be careful however, some employers and insurance companies use vocational rehabilitation to reduce or stop benefits, instead of trying to help you get back to work. You have the right to have a lawyer present during vocational rehabilitation to ensure that your interests are protected.