WHY DO WE HAVE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
For about a hundred years, most states, including Michigan, have dealt with injuries and disabilities arising out of the employment relationship outside of the regular courts in the workers’ compensation system. Instead of proving in front of a jury that an employer had somehow negligently caused your injury and that you deserved monetary damages, including unlimited damages for your pain and suffering, a Michigan employee is entitled to certain wage loss benefits–up to $820/week–, medical benefits and vocational rehabilitation benefits. (Some qualified employees may also be eligible for specific loss benefits or total and permanent disability benefits.) Although employees gave up the right to a jury trial and the right to unlimited damages, they no longer have to prove that an employer had been negligent in order to recover benefits.