“What happens if my employer fills my position while I am on auto-related disability?”
Suppose you are injured in a motor vehicle collision in Michigan. You are off work by doctor’s orders for a period of time, and then are released to return to work. Unfortunately, while you were gone, your employer needed someone to do your job, so the employer hired someone else. You are “terminated” (fired). Let’s keep it simple and say that you have no union or any contract of employment to rely upon. Also, you have to be let go because you were unable to come to work due to injuries, not for doing something improper at work.
Are you in a bind now, having no job, but also not being considered disabled from your old job by your doctor?
Not necessarily. Court cases that have looked at this situation say that you can continue to apply for no-fault work loss from your car insurance until you find another job. Of course, you have to make a reasonable effort to get a new job, and your no-fault adjuster might even assign a “job coach” to help you look for work (and to make sure you are really trying to find work).
Don’t forget that a different way you could go in this situation would be to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits. Since you consider yourself able to work in the example we are talking about, and your doctor has approved your return to work, you would satisfy the condition of being willing and able to accept a job, which is part of being eligible for unemployment benefits. There are other rules that apply.
If you get in a situation where your employer moves on without you while you are off on medical following a car accident, you should talk to a lawyer who understands this problem. Ask the lawyer to explain your options. Matz has experience serving cities across Michigan such as Portage, Sterling Heights, and beyond Grand Rapids.