Filing a Personal Injury, Workers’ Comp, or SSD Claim in Oakland County
Bahrie Law has been representing injured and disabled people throughout Michigan since 1979. From our Detroit office, we provide compassionate legal representation to those in and around Oakland County. Our team of Southfield attorneys brings decades of experience to every case, as well as an aggressive, individualized approach that has helped us recover millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
In addition to our personal injury practice, we also represent injured employees in filing workers’ compensation claims, as well as disabled individuals who need assistance navigating the Social Security disability system.
Grounds for a Personal Injury Lawsuit
When you are injured due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person, a company, or some other entity, you typically have the right to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your damages. However, suing the at-fault party may not be the first step in this process. Depending on the type of accident you were involved in, you may be eligible for compensation through a no-fault system.
For example, after a car accident, you can file a claim with your own auto insurance provider and recover compensation regardless of fault through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This is a mandatory type of coverage under the state’s no-fault system. Only in certain circumstances can you step outside this system and bring a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Similarly, if you are injured on the job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation. This is also a no-fault system in which eligible employees can recover certain benefits without having to prove that their employer (or anyone else) was at fault for the accident or injury.
However, there are certain circumstances in which it is not only appropriate but also necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is the case when you do not have the option of seeking compensation through an applicable no-fault system or when your no-fault coverage is insufficient.
To have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove each of the following elements:
- Another person or party had a responsibility to act reasonably and lawfully so as to prevent foreseeable injury and/or harm (“duty of care”)
- The other person or party failed to act in a reasonable or lawful manner and, instead, acted negligently, recklessly, or wrongfully (“breach”)
- The other person or party’s negligent or wrongful actions or omissions were the proximate cause of your injuries and/or damages (“causation”)
- You were injured and sustained measurable economic and/or non-economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering (“damages”)
At Bahrie Law, our Southfield personal injury lawyers conduct exhaustive investigations to determine exactly what happened and, importantly, who is liable. We can help you fight for the maximum recovery you are owed while also working to hold the negligent party accountable.
What Is Social Security Disability?
Social Security disability (SSD) is a form of government assistance provided to those who are unable to work due to a disability or medical condition.
There are two separate SSD programs, both of which are overseen by the federal Social Security Administration (SSA):
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): SSDI provides benefits to disabled individuals who are “insured” and whose disabilities meet the SSA’s standards for qualification. To be insured, you must have earned sufficient work credits, meaning you worked in the past and earned taxable income.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is a needs-based program that is available to individuals over the age of 65 or who are disabled or blind and who have limited income and resources. There are no work credit requirements for SSI, meaning you could be eligible for benefits regardless of your work history.
Unfortunately, most initial SSDI and SSI claims are denied. This is often due to errors in the application process, disputed eligibility, and other issues. Our Southfield SSD lawyers can help you with your claim and reduce the risk of missing out on your benefits. If your claim is denied, we can also help you file an appeal and navigate the subsequent processes.
What to Do if You Are Injured on the Job
If you are injured at work (or while carrying out any duties related to your employment or benefitting your employer), you are likely covered by workers’ compensation. There are certain steps you should take to protect your health and your rights, including your right to seek benefits.
If you are injured on the job, take the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention. If necessary, call 911, but in any case, make sure you see a medical professional as soon as possible. This is important not only for your general well-being but also creates recorded proof that you were injured and sought treatment.
- Notify your employer of your injury right away. By law, you have 90 days to notify your employer of the injury, but the sooner you do this, the better. If you delay telling your employer about the workplace injury, your claim is more likely to be disputed or denied.
- Once you have notified your employer of your injury, they should file the appropriate forms to get your claim started. If they do not, you can file a workers’ compensation claim yourself. You have two years from the date of injury to file a workers’ comp claim in Michigan.
- Make sure you follow all your doctor’s recommendations and orders. Do not return to work if your doctor does not approve. In contrast, if your doctor recommends that you return to light-duty work, you should do so to avoid issues with your benefits.
- If you experience any difficulties with your claim, or if you would simply like to make sure you avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your benefits, it is a good idea to contact an experienced lawyer. An attorney can guide you through the process and protect your rights.
Our Southfield workers’ compensation lawyers offer free initial consultations and do not collect any fees unless/until they recover benefits for you. In other words, if we do not successfully secure workers’ compensation benefits on your behalf, you do not pay us a dime.
Contact Bahrie Law for a Complimentary Consultation
Whether you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident or suffered a debilitating medical condition due to your workplace conditions, our team at Bahrie Law is ready to fight for you. We offer personalized, one-on-one legal representation and direct attorney support throughout the entire process. From our multiple office locations, we serve clients in Southfield, Wayne County, and the entire state of Michigan.
When you choose Bahrie Law, you choose a team that will fight for you. We are ready to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have during a free, confidential consultation.