Whether you receive workers’ compensation benefits following an on-the-job injury can make a significant difference in your future finances. Normally, a workers’ compensation insurance policy should provide wage reimbursement benefits and specific injury payments if an incident leaves you unable to work.
Almost 75 percent of all workers’ compensation claims settle with a fair benefits package. However, if you are experiencing resistance from an insurance company, pursuing an appeal may be the only chance to obtain the payment you need. Requesting a Michigan workers’ compensation hearing can result in either a mediation session, where the State facilitates settlement talks, or a trial before a magistrate, where both sides can present their positions.
If your claim was denied or an insurance company refused to offer you fair benefits, consider seeking An experienced attorney from Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could help to protect your legal rights and fight for your interests during mediation or trial.
Why a Hearing may be Necessary
While most workers’ compensation claims provide employees with the benefits that they need, insurance companies sometimes deny claims in their entirety. This can occur when the company does not believe the injury or illness is work-related. In these cases, a worker may initiate the appeals process and request a hearing.
Other common reasons for a Michigan workers’ compensation hearing include:
- The insurance company limits benefits to medical care
- The benefits package does not include payments for specific injuries
- The insurance company does not believe that a claimant meets the definition of disabled
An attorney could help claimants understand the insurance company’s offer and evaluate whether an appeal might bring a better chance for appropriate benefits.
How to Request a Michigan Workers’ Compensation Hearing and What to Expect
Any person who receives a workers’ compensation insurance decision has the right to appeal that decision to the Workers’ Compensation Agency (WCA). To initiate the appeal, a worker must complete and submit Form 104A. This form requires information about employment, the injury itself, and doctors who have provided treatment.
Upon receipt of this form, the Workers’ Compensation Agency may refer the case to mediation. This is an opportunity for both sides to present their case in an informal, non-binding session. A successful mediation session ends when both parties agree to a benefits package.
However, it is possible that mediation will fail. In these cases, the WCA will schedule the case for a full hearing. These hearings take place in front of a magistrate who will accept evidence from both parties and make a formal decision.
If this session still fails to bring an acceptable result, either party may file an appeal with the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission. This will not result in a new trial, but the Commission will examine the evidence presented at the primary hearing to determine if the outcome was a proper one.
Where do Workers’ Compensation Hearings Take Place?
Michigan has several workers’ compensation hearing sites. The location of your hearing is determined by the county in which your injury occurred.
The Baraga hearing site handles claims from the following counties:
Baraga Lakeside Inn
900 S. US 41
Baraga, MI, 49908
Work injuries from the following counties have claims heard at the Detroit location:
3026 West Grand Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48202
The Escanaba site handles hearings from the following counties:
- Schoolcraft County
State Office Building
Escanaba MI 49829
Workers’ compensation claims originating in the following counties have hearings at the Gaylord location
- Presque Isle
University Center at Gaylord
80 Livingston Blvd.
Gaylord, MI 49735
Work injuries that occurred in the following counties are heard at the Grand Rapids hearing site:
2942 Fuller Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
The Kalamazoo site handles claims originating in the following counties:
- St. Joseph
- Van Buren
940 N. 10th Street,
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009
Phone: (269) 544-4440
Fax: (269) 544-4444
The following counties have their workers’ compensation hearings at the Okemos location:
2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, MI 48864
P O Box 30016
Lansing, MI 48909
The Pontiac site holds hearings for the following counties:
- St. Clair
51111 Woodward Avenue
Pontiac, MI 48342
Work injuries that occurred in the following counties are heard at the Saginaw hearing site:
Jerome T. Hart State Office Building
411 E. Genesee
Saginaw, MI 48607
Sault Ste. Marie
If the injury occurred in the following counties, the hearing will be held at the Sault Ste. Marie location:
Best Western Sault Ste. Marie
4281 I-75 Business Spur
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
The Traverse City hearing site handles claims from the following counties:
- Grand Traverse
3333 Cass Road
Traverse City, MI 49684
Call a Michigan Attorney for Representation During a Workers’ Compensation Hearing
Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits in Michigan is often unnecessarily complicated. Insurance companies may try to fight to protect their profits, especially if the exact nature or cause of an injury is unclear. However, people who do not receive a proper benefits package always have the right to ask the State to intervene.
This can result in a hearing in which a judge will decide the matter. At the same time, the State may attempt to mediate the conflict to bring both sides together into a settlement. In either situation, you have the right to representation by an attorney. A lawyer could guide you through the Michigan workers’ compensation hearing process, which maysignificantly increase your chances of success. Call Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to schedule an appointment.
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626