Michigan Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Opposes Proposed Changes

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Provisions of a bill pending in the state Senate indicate that the rights of Michigan workers are under attack, according to attorney Thomas L. Stroble of The Stroble Law Firm, P.C., in Oakland County.

Now more than ever it is crucial for injured Michigan workers to have a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer to advocate their rights and to make sure that they receive all of the benefits and compensation that they are entitled to under the law.

Revisions to Michigan’s workers’ compensation system that are pending in the legislature could limit injured employees’ ability to recover much-needed benefits, according to Michigan workers’ compensation attorney Thomas L. Stroble.

The legislation, House Bill 5002, is now before the state Senate after passing the House of Representatives earlier this month. Opponents say the bill would make it harder for workers to recover the compensation they deserve after suffering a Michigan workplace injury.

“This legislation is bad for the hard-working people of Michigan who get hurt while on the job,” said Stroble, who practices with The Stroble Law Firm, P.C., in Bloomfield Hills, which represents injured workers throughout Oakland County and surrounding areas, including cases involving third-party negligence.

“Provisions of this workers’ compensation bill would limit injured people’s right to choose their health-care providers, force older employees to retire before they want to and take benefits away from some disabled workers even when they can’t find other work,” Stroble said.

Stroble, who represents injured people in Michigan workers’ compensation cases, urged the state Senate to reject House Bill 5002.

“Our state’s workers’ compensation system operates well for both injured employees and the companies that employ them,” he said. “There is no need for the kind of detrimental change this bill would bring about.”

According to a bill analysis conducted by the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency, some of the proposed changes under the workers’ compensation bill include:

  •     Employees would be allowed to pick their own doctor after 45 days, as compared to after 10 days under the current law;
  •     Employees’ weekly benefits would be reduced according to pension or retirement payments that they are entitled to receive, even if they have not yet retired;
  •     Wages that employees earn or are able to earn would be included in the definition of “wage-earning capacity” for purposes of setting compensation rates;
  •     The effect of any joint replacement surgery, implant or other medical device or procedure would have to be considered in determining whether a body part had been “lost” under the law’s definitions; and
  •     Undocumented workers could have their benefits cut off.

In a recent column in The Detroit News, Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift called the proposal “a giveaway to big corporations and special interests at the expense of Michigan workers injured on the job.”

“It would transform a system that works fairly and efficiently into one that guts workers’ benefits using imaginary wage and pension deductions and limits choices for medical treatment,” Swift wrote.

Stroble, the Bloomfield Hills workers’ compensation attorney, echoed Swift’s remarks and said that the bill shows that employees’ right to fair compensation for injuries is under attack in Michigan.

“Now more than ever it is crucial for injured Michigan workers to have a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer to advocate their rights and to make sure that they receive all of the benefits and compensation that they are entitled to under the law,” Stroble said.

He encouraged anyone who has suffered an on-the-job injury to consult with a competent Michigan workers’ compensation attorney.

About The Stroble Law Firm, P.C.

The Stroble Law Firm, P.C., is a full-service law firm based in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Michigan, including Macomb County, Oakland County, Warren, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Mount Clemens, Utica, Roseville, Troy, Farmington Hills, Waterford, Southfield, Pontiac, Birmingham, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills. The firm’s personal injury practice areas also include truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, slip and falls, dog bites and wrongful death cases. To learn more about The Stroble Law Firm, P.C. call (248) 454-0800 or (888) 454-0801 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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