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workers compensation insurance

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Uninsured Employers

In some cases, injured workers contact a Columbus workers compensation attorney with a very challenging situation. They tried filing a workers compensation claim after a workplace accident, but found out that their employer didn’t have workers’ compensation insurance. This is a very serious case, because it is strictly against Ohio law, as we will explain later in this article, and carries penalties. However, this is no comfort for the person who has to pay for their medical care and cannot collect wages until they recover.

The good news is that you have various options for recovering your medical costs and getting wage replacements. The important thing is to remember to follow all the rules, just as if your employer had workers’ compensation insurance. Also, present your case to an experienced Columbus workers comp lawyer as soon as possible after you realize that there is no insurance coverage available for you.

Ohio Laws on Workers’ Compensation Coverage

In Ohio, any employer must maintain workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have only one employee. The penalties for non-compliant employers are:

  • A lien on their assets placed by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) for benefits paid to employees out of the state funds
  • $30 flat fee for any failure to pay workers’ comp premiums and
  • 15% penalty of the amount due.

Additionally, the BWC will charge a penalty of 1% of the workers’ compensation insurance premium for each month in which employers fail to file payrolls on time. Non-compliant employers can quickly rack up thousands of dollars in penalties and late fees.

Yet, as any Columbus workers compensation attorney knows, these penalties are not a sufficient deterrent for dishonest employers. They will try to shirk their obligations to provide benefits for their injured employers in any way they can.

Your Options for Getting Workers Compensation Benefits

As mentioned above, the Ohio BWC maintains a state fund to help workers injured on the job recover their medical care costs and receive a part of their wages until they can return to work. The state recognizes the need to make sure that people do not go in debt because their employer failed to meet their legal obligations.

Thus, as soon as you realize there are no workers’ comp benefits available from your employer, you should get in touch with a Columbus workers compensation attorney to help you file a claim for benefits with the BWC.

What You Need to Know about Getting Compensated by the State

Getting paid out of the uninsured employers’ fund maintained by the Ohio state is not easier than getting your claim approved by your employer’s insurance company. You will still have to prove that:

  • The accident occurred at the workplace
  • You were on duty/during your shift when the accident occurred
  • Your injuries were diagnosed by a licensed healthcare professional
  • You took all reasonable steps to mitigate your damages.

Here are some of the key aspects you must remember before you file a claim with the BWC for workers’ compensation:

1. Your Drug Test Must Be Negative

The BWC still wants to know that you were not working under influence of alcohol or drugs when your accident occurred. When you go to hospital for treatments and you state that you were injured at the workplace, most likely they will administer an alcohol and drug test.

If it comes positive for any controlled substance, your claim will most definitely be denied. No lawyer can help you in this instance.

2. You Must Accept an Independent Medical Evaluation

You will have to go to a check-up performed by a state-approved doctor. Remember to cooperate and be polite during this examination. Also, you must disclose any pre-existing conditions. If they come up later during the evaluation of your claim, it will probably be denied.

Rest assured that a Columbus workers compensation attorney will be able to prove that your pre-existing injuries were made worse by the workplace accident and you even got new injuries. Thus, you still have a valid claim, despite the existence of older injuries.

Also, do not forget that in Ohio injured workers have the right to choose the doctor they go to for treatments. Once the evaluation is over, you can return to your own doctor to continue the recovery process.

3. You Must File Your Claim on Time

You have one year from the date of your workplace injury to file a claim with the BWC. However, you should file this claim as soon as possible after your accident. Claims filed weeks or months after the accident are often treated with suspicion. The first suspicion is that you were under influence of alcohol or drugs and waited until the substances were out of the system until you got diagnosed and filed a claim.

Secondly, those who investigate your claim may think that you were injured a few days later, remembered the incident at the workplace and decided to file a claim for benefits. With the help of a Columbus workers compensation attorney, you will file your claim on time and be able to prove that you were actually injured at work.

You Can Also Sue Your Employer

One of the biggest benefits for employers who maintain workers compensation insurance is that they can avoid lawsuits from injured workers. With this compensation scheme in place, the worker has no further legal recourse, because they get their medical costs covered, as well as two thirds of their weekly wages.

However, if the employer is non-compliant, this type of protection disappears. Thus, an injured worker has the right to sue their employer for compensation. A Columbus workers compensation attorney will help you file and win your lawsuit, if they believe that this is an opportune step.

Discuss Your Case with a Workers Comp Attorney

As long as you are eligible to collect workers compensation benefits, an experienced attorney will find a way to win them for you. However, you must remember to follow the rules in order to avoid hurting your own case.

The best solution is to contact a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after your workplace accident. You will receive guidance for every step in the claims process, even if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance. Schedule a free case review with us and find out the merits of your case: 833-406-0060!

 

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Columbus Workers Compensation Attorney: Dos and Don’ts

By the time injured workers contact a Columbus workers compensation attorney, they may have already committed several errors that may hurt your case. In the end, we may be able to help you win the benefits you deserve while you recover from your injuries. However, the process will be more complex, and you may receive less money than you deserve.

For this reason, we decided to prepare a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts related to workers’ compensation in Ohio. These items cover the most frequent situations we encounter during the free case review with a potential client. Our goal is to help every injured worker get their rightful benefits. But, in order to do so, you must also respect several rules of the workers’ compensation program.

Follow the Rules and an Attorney Will Win Your Workers’ Comp Benefits

We will start this article with the do’s. Any Columbus workers compensation attorney knows that these simple things can make the difference between getting your claim approved from the start and having to file an appeal.

DO: Seek Medical Assistance as Soon as Possible after the Accident

A work-related injury or condition must be diagnosed by a licensed healthcare professional. Also, you have a requirement to mitigate tour damages – that is, to do what any reasonable person would do to limit the severity and extent of their injuries.

Even if you are not immediately in pain, you should still ask to be taken to the nearest ER. You may have serious internal injuries that need immediate care. Also, the attending doctor’s report will confirm your injuries, a probable cause and – very important – the date and time when you were examined. If this date is several days after your accident, your employer is very likely to deny your workers’ compensation claim.

DO: Take the Drug Test Mandated by Your Employer

Once you informed your employer that you were injured and leave to seek medical attention, you will be required to take a drug test. You must not refuse this test, because it represents grounds for your claim to be denied.

If you know that you were using prescription medication which was legally prescribed to you, report this to your employer. Also, don’t forget to mention this aspect to your Columbus workers compensation attorney. Unfortunately, if you were using recreational drugs, you do not have a valid case.

DO: Inform the Employer’s Insurance Company

An injured worker must report the incident to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) by filling in the First Report of Injury, Occupational Disease or Death form. As you do so, also send a copy to your employer’s insurance company.

Although it is their obligation to report any workplace accident resulting in injury, not all employers do so. You should not rely on the fact that they will do the right thing and help you get the workers’ compensation benefits.

DO: Remember that You Can Choose Your Own Doctor for Treatments

Your employer may require you to undergo a medical evaluation perform by a doctor of their choice. But this does not mean that you should see this doctor for all treatments and follow-up checkups.

A doctor paid by your employer may tend to side with them, in terms of:

  • Downplaying the severity of your injuries
  • Declaring that you are fit to return to work sooner than it would be safe to do so
  • Ignoring your claims that you are in pain.

Plus, you want to feel comfortable and safe when discussing your treatment and recovery outlook, so go to a doctor of your choice.

DO: Disclose Any Pre-Existing Condition

This is something that you must do in all circumstances:

  • During the evaluation by the employer approved doctor
  • During the initial treatment at the ER
  • During the free case review with an Ohio workers’ compensation attorney.

Any old injury or medical condition will be found by the insurance adjuster evaluating your claim. If you fail to be honest and upfront about them, your claim may be denied on the grounds that you were already injured.

Avoid Making These Workers’ Compensation Mistakes

Now it is time to list some of the don’ts that you must avoid at all costs:

DON’T: Discuss with an Insurance Adjuster on Your Own 

Once a workplace accident is duly reported, your will be contacted by an adjuster representing your employer’s insurance company. They do not have any interest in getting your claim approved.

This is why they will try to make you say anything that could hurt your case. Any admission of fault or being negligent in performing your work when you got injured could lead to your claim being denied. Make sure that you have an Ohio workers compensation attorney by your side during this discussion.

DON’T: Interrupt Your Treatment

You are not free from any duties once your claim was approved. You will be constantly monitored by the insurance company in terms of:

  • Following the doctor’s recommendations
  • Going for follow-up checkups
  • Refilling your prescriptions.

If you stop the treatment, you will likely lose the benefits. After all, you are compensated for all your medical costs.

DON’T: Take Up a Part-Time Job While Out of Workers’ Comp Benefits

Some workers feel that they can make extra money by taking up a light-duty part-time position elsewhere while they are on workers’ comp benefits. With a very few and rare exceptions, this is illegal.

Your employer may terminate you and pursue you for the repayment of the wage replacement amounts. Being out on worker’s comp means that you need to rest in order to get better. Also, your employer pays you a part of your wages and all your medical costs during this period.

Let an Experienced Workers’ Comp Law Firm Handle Your Claim

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers are here to help all injured workers file a claim successfully and receive the benefits they deserve. No one wants to stay at home instead of earning wages, but employers don’t see things in this light.

Your best chance is a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney who will analyze your case carefully and give you reliable legal advice. Remember that everyone must follow rules, including the injured party, so get in touch with us before you may make a mistake that would hurt your case: 833-406-0060!

 

occupational disease

Win an Occupational Disease Claim in Ohio

Occupational disease claims fall under the umbrella of workers compensation. An experienced Columbus workers compensation attorney knows that not all work related injuries and conditions result from a sudden trauma. In many cases, workers end up suffering from debilitating conditions as a result of prolonged exposure to a hazardous environment. This kind of condition is called an occupational disease. As it cannot be related to a precise moment and a precise incident, many sick workers find it hard to win the workers comp benefits they deserve.

However, an experienced workers comp attorney in Ohio can help you prove that your current condition is a direct result of overexertion or exposure to various substances at your workplace. We will guide you and assist you through the entire process of filing your occupational disease claim and winning the maximum compensation benefits you deserve.

What Is the Definition of Occupational Disease and What Does It Cover?

Not any condition qualifies as an occupational disease, regardless whether you believe that you acquired it as a result of your work. The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) defines an occupational disease as “a repeated work-related exposure” to various hazards resulting in specific conditions, with the condition of the existence of a causal relationship between the exposure and the condition.

The complete list of these hazards and conditions is listed in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.68. Some of the most frequent types of exposures resulting in an occupational disease are:

  • Dust, gases and fumes
  • Chemicals and toxic substances
  • Extreme temperature variations
  • Loud noises
  • Pressure variations
  • Physical vibrations
  • Radioactive rays and radiation
  • Use of repetitive movements
  • Infections and organisms.

This list is not exhaustive. A Columbus workers compensation attorney can help you prove that various conditions, such as emphysema and bronchitis, qualify as an occupational disease.

The First Condition for Filing an Occupational Disease Claim

Using the BWC definition of occupational disease as guidelines, the workers comp attorney in Ohio must prove a causal link between your disease and the hazardous condition at the workplace.

In order to do so, your claim must show with clear evidence that:

  • You have a disease diagnosed by a healthcare professional
  • Your disease was caused by exposure to a hazard
  • You were exposed to this hazard primarily at the workplace, not at home or someplace else
  • You are unable to work because of this disease.

Thus, it is important to remember that you will not receive any compensation for diagnostic, tests or treatments for your disease unless the claim is allowed. Therefore, you need to contact a Columbus workers compensation attorney as soon as possible after you believe that you suffer from an occupational disease in order to follow the correct procedure.

What You Have to Do If you Suffer from an Occupational Disease

Although you will receive personalized advice from your lawyer, it is useful to know the typical steps for filing an occupational disease successfully. Thus, you need to do the following:

1. Report Your Illness to Your Direct Supervisor

As soon as you experience symptoms, you should inform your supervisor that you are ill and you believe that the condition is workplace related. This is just an initial verbal report and serves to establish the fact that you did not wait until the condition got worse.

2. Complete a Written Report and Retain a Copy 

You will also have to fill in a standardized report form. You will keep a copy which will be later on added to your occupational disease claim.

3. Get Diagnosed by a Doctor

Any occupational disease must be diagnosed by a doctor. When you go for tests and diagnostic, you must tell the doctor in detail about the hazards at your workplace.

Please note that, according to BWC rules, you will need to undergo an examination by a qualified specialist for the following conditions:

  • Berylliosis
  • Cardiovascular, pulmonary or respiratory diseases
  • Silicosis
  • Asbestosis
  • Coal miners’ pneumoconiosis
  • Any condition of the respiratory tract resulting from exposure to dust.

4. File an Occupational Disease Claim

A Columbus workers compensation attorney can help you file your claim on time. In this specific case, the deadlines can be confusing for the average person. The Bureau of Workers Compensation states that you must file a claim within:

  • Two years after the disability due to disease began, OR
  • A longer period that must not exceed six months after the occupational disease was diagnosed by a licensed physician.

These deadlines get even more complicated by accepted terms for determining the date of disability. The BWC outlines three possibilities:

  • The date when the condition was diagnosed as an occupational disease
  • The date when the injured worker first received medical treatment for the condition
  • The date when the injured worker first quit work due to the medical condition.

For this reason, as soon as you need medical care for a disease that you believe to be workplace related, you should also contact a workers comp attorney in Ohio. Just as the doctor is qualified to treat your condition, the lawyer is qualified to help you win your workers comp benefits.

5. Don’t Let the Employer Pay You Directly for Treatment

Many workers compromise their right to file a workers comp claim for occupational disease by allowing the employer to pay for their initial treatment. You will most likely be asked to sign a document stating that you waive any future claims.

Many occupational diseases result in a permanent disability, so you may qualify either for a percentage of permanent partial disability for residual impairment or even permanent total disability.

Let a Dedicated Attorney Help You File an Occupational Disease Claim!

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers know that an occupation disease claim is even more difficult to prove than a workplace accident. The employer will either trick you into accepting money for treatment or deny your claim stating that your disease has nothing to do with the workplace conditions.

We will offer each new client a free consultation to evaluate your case. Thus, you have nothing to lose, even if you believe that you don’t have a case. You will be surprised what an experienced lawyer can do for you, so schedule your initial consultation now: 833-406-0060!

 

columbus workers comp

Columbus Workers Compensation: Remote Workers

When it comes to remote workers’ rights, many clients contacting a Columbus workers compensation attorney are not convinced that they are covered by the law. However, it is undeniable that work from home is the biggest trend in the labor market in the present and the foreseeable future.

Thus, it is important for remote workers to know their rights and obligations. In essence, nothing is different in terms of your employment conditions. No matter where you perform your job duties, you are still an employee as defined by Ohio Revised Code 4123.01(A)I1)(b). Yet, when you suffer an injury at home, you ask yourself: can I file a workers’ comp claim or will my employer deny it because I work from home?

A Personal Injury Attorney in Columbus Will Detail the Conditions of Eligibility

The first critical thing that you must prove is that you are an employee, not a freelancer or an independent contractor. Any Columbus workers compensation attorney will start by looking at your employment documents.

In some cases, when people chose to work from home, their employers made them sign some documents. They signed without paying too much attention. However, the documents prove to change their status from employee to independent contractor. In this case, you are not eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, this is not the end of the road.

A skilled personal injury attorney in Columbus can prove that you were, in effect, an employee. It will be more difficult, but not impossible to wrestle some form of compensation from your employer’s insurance company.

Location Matters a Lot in Remote Workers’ Compensation Claim Cases

Another aspect that influences whether you can collect workers compensation benefits as a remote worker as per Ohio law is the location you work from. Remote work, especially using online platforms, makes state borders irrelevant. However, they continue to matter a lot in terms of law and eligibility to file a workers’ comp claim.

Here are the two possible situations:

  • You work for a business based in Ohio but live in a different US state
  • You live in Ohio and work remotely for a business based in another US state.

In the first situation, you are eligible to file a claim under Ohio workers’ comp laws. In the second situation, you will have to follow the rules of workers’ comp legislation in your employer’s state. The rule is simple: the applicable law refers to the employer’s location, not the employee’s.

If you are not sure about the conditions in which remote workers can file a claim, we encourage you to contact a Columbus workers compensation attorney. We offer a free initial consultation, so you have absolutely nothing to lose.

The Challenges of Proving Remote Workers’ Injuries are Job Related

Even if you know your rights and believe that you are eligible to file a claim, it doesn’t mean that your employer’s insurance company won’t try to challenge it. There are several difficulties in proving the fact that your injury was sustained in the course of your job duties:

1. There Are No Independent Witnesses

The only people who may witness your accident are members of your household. Of course, their credibility will be challenged. After all, they are your family members and have a direct interest in helping you win worker’s comp benefits.

Some homes have surveillance cameras for security purposes. In this case, your personal injury attorney in Columbus will definitely want to use the recording in proving your case.

2. The Time of the Incident May Be Unclear 

Remote workers are in the same physical space, but under two different conditions:

  • On the job – at work
  • Off the job – at home.

So, when did your injury take place? On the job or off the job? Here is an instance: your work schedule is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You stumble on the work provided laptop charger, fall and get a sprained wrist. The incident occurred at around 5 p.m. If it occurred until 4:59 p.m., you were on the job. If it occurred starting with 5:01 p.m., you were off the job.

In this case, it is critical to call 911 and ask for medical assistance as soon as possible after the incident. The time when you placed the call may make all the difference in the world for your workers’ compensation claim.

3. It Is Difficult to Prove Your Were Performing a Job Related Duty

Finally, even if they are on the job, remote workers may get injured while performing an unrelated task. For example, they suffer an ankle sprain while changing a light bulb or hurt their back lifting a heavy delivery parcel (not containing job related items).

Proposed Legislative Changes Will Clarify Remote Workers’ Rights Even Further

The good news is that Ohio legislators have already understood that there is a lot room for interpretation in the current legislation. However, this is not surprising. Four or five years ago, remote work was something innovative hi-tech companies offered as a bonus to attract top talents. Now, it tends to become the norm in many fields of work.

Thus, a draft titled House Bill Number 447 aims to create clear guidelines for the remote workers’ right to file a workers compensation claim. If it passes, the bill would set clear conditions to qualify for filing a claim:

  • The injury arose due to the employee’s job
  • The injury occurred due to a “special hazard” of the job activities
  • The injury occurred while the employee was performing an activity for the employer’s exclusive benefit.

Let an Experienced Attorney Evaluate Your Columbus Workers Injury Case!

Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyers know all the ins and outs of the legislation covering employees’ rights if they are injured on the job. We know that winning remote workers’ claims is more challenging, but not impossible.

Since we offer you a free initial consultation, you have no reasons to avoid getting in touch with an experienced Columbus workers compensation attorney. If you have a case, we will take it and help you win the benefits you are entitled to. Schedule your first consultation now: 833-406-0060!

columbus workers comp

Columbus Workers Comp Lawyer: Car Accident Coverage

It’s not all that unusual that our Columbus workers comp lawyer would meet with someone involved in a car accident. Not only do a lot of people drive for a living, but one of the leading causes of workplace injuries are motor vehicle accidents. The problem we have with these cases is that our clients’ employers often claim that our client didn’t have permission to use their car for personal reasons. This means that our workers comp lawyers in Columbus have to prove that you were acting within the scope of your employment at the time of your crash. It takes time for our associates to put together the evidence necessary to do that. This is why we recommend that you meet with one of our workers comp lawyers in Columbus sooner rather than later.

When we first meet, we’ll have to review your claim. You need to bring whatever correspondence and other documentation you have related to your workers’ comp claim with you for your free, initial consultation. This gives our Columbus workers compensation attorneys enough information for them to make a decision on your case. If they feel your claim has merit, they will likely be willing to represent you. If, however, they don’t believe your claim will be approved, they may decline to handle your case. It all depends on the strength of the evidence you have to prove your case. It also depends on the seriousness of your injuries. What we won’t do is tell a client they’ll recover benefits if we don’t believe that is true. It isn’t fair to get anybody’s hopes up unfairly.

It Depends on What You Do for a Living

If you drive a car or truck for a living, there shouldn’t be an issue with your workers’ comp claim. Your employer has to understand that you’re at risk of getting into a motor vehicle accident on a daily basis. People who commute to work and back home can end up getting into a crash on any given day. Imagine how much higher your chances are if you drive 8 hours a day.

If driving a vehicle is only a small part of your job, then there’s a chance your employer will deny your workers compensation claim. They may argue that you weren’t supposed to be out in the vehicle at the time of day your accident happened. Or they may allege that you were running personal errands at the exact moment the accident took place. What your Columbus workers compensation attorney has to do is prove that this isn’t the case. We will need find a way to prove that you were, in fact, working at the time someone crashed into your vehicle.

Can Your Workers Comp Lawyer in Columbus Prove that Driving Was Part of Your Job?

There are various ways in which your workers comp lawyer Columbus can prove that you were working at the time of your accident. For example, they may have a video showing you leaving your company’s premises with a package in your hand. If you were on your way to deliver this package at the time of your accident, this will help prove your claim. We can also rely on any dashcam or other video you have onboard, showing your various destinations. Your Columbus workers comp lawyer can also submit a copy of your job description that specifically states that you may need to drive as part of your job. If it does not limit this duty to specific times, it will help prove that your injuries are work-related.

Were You in Your Personal Vehicle or a Company Car?

One factor that will make a difference in your case is whether you were in your own vehicle at the time of your accident. It is much more likely that you were driving as part of your job if you’re in your company vehicle at the time. If you were in your personal vehicle, your employer will say you took this vehicle specifically because you were embarking on a personal errand.

If you can show that you often used your personal car or SUV to do job-related tasks, it can help prove your claim. Your workers compensation attorney in Columbus can also look to see what your employer’s history is with car crashes. If it looks like a lot of employees are injured while in their own vehicles, that will work to strengthen your case as well. What your attorney needs to do is submit evidence of these things to solidify your claim.

What Were You Doing At the Time of Your Crash?

Your workers’ comp lawyer in Columbus will need to know what you were doing at the time of the crash. Were you on your way to deliver a package? Were you meeting a client so they can sign paperwork for a deal you are handling for them? Or, if you drive a service vehicle, were you on your way to a homeowner’s house to install a new appliance?  You need to have answers to this question. This is what your attorney will build your case around.

Your Columbus Workers Compensation Attorney Will Fight to Get You Benefits

If you were hurt on the job, whether it was while you were driving or not, our firm can help. Our Columbus workers compensation attorneys have decades of combined experience handling claims like yours. We are familiar with the workers comp laws in Ohio. We are also familiar with how insurance companies do business. We will do whatever we can to make sure you get the workers’ compensation benefits. Now, if you were using the car for personal reasons, make sure you let your Columbus workers compensation attorney know. While they may not be able to help you get benefits, at least you won’t embarrass yourself when your employer produces evidence of this. Be upfront with your Columbus workers comp lawyer and they will be upfront and honest with you.

 

ohio injury lawyer

Ohio Injury Lawyer: Prescription Meds and Claim Denial

As any Ohio injury lawyer knows, every state has their own laws when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. However, the one rule that most every state shares is that you cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace accident. If your employer can demonstrate that you were under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, they will deny your claim. If this happens, you should call and speak with one of our Columbus workers comp lawyers right away. They will reach out to the insurance carrier and find out why your claim was denied in the first place. They will also gather the evidence they need to file an appeal on your behalf.

One of the requirements for workers comp that is more serious than others is the rule about alcohol and drugs. If your employer can prove that you were under the influence the drugs, they will automatically deny your claim. This is true even if you can show the medication you were taking was prescribed to you. Until your Ohio injury lawyer can demonstrate that the drugs were legal, and you took them the way you supposed to, you will not receive workers compensation benefits.

Ohio Law Does State That You Can’t Collect Benefits if You Are Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

Ohio law lists several requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for workers compensation. These requirements are almost identical state to state. First, you Columbus workers comp lawyer must show that you were involved in a workplace accident. This means the accident took place on company time and on company property. You also must demonstrate that you submitted your claim on time and that included all the necessary information. This is one reason we suggest that you contact an Ohio injury lawyer before you file your claim. They will make sure that all documentation is included and that any backup you need to support your claim is also offered to the insurance carrier.

The best way to prove that you were using legally prescribed medications is to get a letter from your doctor. Your doctor can confirm that you were prescribed certain medication. They can also include information regarding how often you should take the medication. For example, if you take the drug called Xanax, you would not be able to work as a truck driver or common carrier. This is not because Xanax is illegal. It’s because certain medications can cause you to get drowsy or lose your coordination.

You’ll be Required to Take a Drug Test Before You Go Out for Treatment

One thing a lot of our clients tell us is that they refuse to take their company’s drug test. They tell us that they want to cite the 4th amendment’s right against improper searches and seizures. What they don’t realize is that they agreed to the policy on drug testing when you accepted the job. All employees are provided with a copy of the handbook when they are hired, and this is presumptive proof that you’re aware of the company’s policy.

Another tactic we see from some clients is they wait of certain period before they report their claim. They understand that they will be drug tested as soon as they report the injury to their employer. The longer they wait to report their claim, the longer it gives the drug time to get out of the system. While it is certainly not our jobs to monitor the company’s drug testing policy, there is a good chance that you’ll missed the filing deadline and be denied benefits.

Your Ohio Injury Lawyer Must Also Prove That You Were Taking the Medications as Prescribed

One of the toughest parts about proving this kind of case is that it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to prove that you were taking your medications as prescribed. One way you could do this is speak to your doctor and see if they’re willing to confirm that you have never had a problem taking your medications as instructed. There’s also the possibility of having special testing done to see if the doses you had taken previous to the incident at work can be measured separately.

Only certain drugs would raise suspicion. For example, if your blood pressure medication showed up, that wouldn’t hurt your claim. However, if any of the following medications or street drugs appeared in your urine, your claim will be denied:

  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (heroin, pills, fentanyl, etc.)
  • Amphetamines
  • LSD
  • Mushrooms
  • Adderall

If you know you took any of these drugs within a few days of your office, you may risk having your claim denied.

Reach Out to One of Our Ohio Injury Lawyer Today

If you were hurt at work and they have denied your claim, you should reach out to a Columbus workers comp lawyer right away. Regardless of the reason for your denial, our attorneys work hard to get you the benefits you deserve. Now, if your claim was denied because your employer claims you were under the influence of drugs, it may be difficult to overcome your denial. Your Ohio injury lawyer we’ll have to submit proof that not only was the medication you were taking prescribed to you, but that you were taking it as prescribed.

Because these decisions are made so quickly, you don’t want to wait too long before you contact one of our Columbus worker’s comp lawyers. You only have a certain amount of time to file your appeal, and your attorney will need time to repair your case. This is why we suggest that you reach out to our office within hours or days of finding out your claim was denied. In fact, ideally you would reach out to us the same day as your accident. This way, your Ohio injury lawyer will be able to help you file your initial appeal. This will ensure that it is the annual property from the start.

Since we do offer new clients a free, initial consultation, it will cost you nothing to meet with one of our seasoned attorneys.

workers comp insurance claim denial

Your Insurance Company & Workers Comp Claim Denial

When you’ve worked for a company for a long time, you expect them to take care of you if you get hurt on the job. After all, if you weren’t doing your job, you wouldn’t have gotten injured. This is why it can be so frustrating to learn that your employer has left you high and dry. You do all the things your workers compensation lawyer in Ohio told you to do and still have your claim denied. This is because there are times where it seems like your employer and their insurance company are conspired against you. You know you meet all the qualifications for workers compensation. You can’t possibly know what’s going on the minds of the insurance carrier.

Here, we’re going to discuss some of the reasons why your employer and their insurance carrier have decided to deny your claim. We will also discuss what your Columbus workers com lawyer will do to help appeal your claim. If you have a feeling that you may need to file suit, you’re not alone. Just retain the services of a workers compensation lawyer in in Ohio.

Are You Sure That You Belong to an Included Class of Workers?

As your Google searches already turned up, there are certain categories of workers who are not allowed to file for workers compensation. Even if they do apply, it’s a waste of time. This is because certain job categories are automatically denied for workers compensation benefits. The major categories of workers who are denied compensation or benefits in:

  • Agricultural workers
  • Railroad workers
  • Federal employee
  • Casual employees
  • Temporary workers
  • Seasonal employees

The point is that the law doesn’t allow for workers compensation to be extended to members of these groups. This means your Columbus workers comp lawyer will have to find another way to get you the compensation you deserve.

There are a variety of reasons why your employer or insurance carrier may deny your workers compensation claim

depending on the facts of your case, the insurance carrier may feel that they have a better chance of winning in court then they do by just paying out your claim info. An example of when this may happen is if your claim is rather large. They would much rather take their chances in court that they this kind of money up front.

Employer may also deny your claim because they don’t believe that you got hurt on the job. Many employers in Ohio have been burnt one too many times to take their employees at face value. There’s a part of them deep down that suspects that you’re trying to take advantage of them like employees have done in the past. Even if you meet the basic criteria for workers compensation, your Columbus workers comp lawyer may still have their work cut out for them. Your response will always depend on the reason for your denial. These reasons may include:

  • the insurance carrier things you got hurt outside of work and are simply trying to turn it into paid time off
  • your employer doesn’t think your injuries are legitimate
  • there were no witnesses to your accident
  • the doctor cannot attest any specific medical issues
  • you have a history of filing fraudulent workers compensation claims in the past
  • you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your workplace accident
  • he refused to take the drug test so there’s no idea for your employer to know if you were intoxicated or not

Some employees think that because they meet these basic criteria, they are guaranteed to have their workers compensation claim approved. The truth is that your employer as well as their insurance carrier may feel that you’re not entitled to workers compensation and would rather wait for their day in court then agree to pay any workers comp benefits.

What if Your Benefits are Denied – What to Do Next?

If your employer and their insurance carrier has made it abundantly clear that they have zero intention of paying your claim, then your workers compensation lawyer in Ohio will have no choice but to file a lawsuit. This lawsuit will be a little different than a personal injury lawsuit because you’re only demanding the benefits that you’re entitled to under workers comp. It’s tempting as it may be to stand your ground, sometimes you are willing to put up the fight necessary to give these benefits approved. Other times, you simply want enough money to walk away and find a new job.

It’s in Your Best Interest to Hire an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer in Ohio

If you’ve been injured on the job and are surprised that you are workers compensation claims been denied, you’re not alone. We meet with new clients every week who are in the same position as you. The first thing we have to do is ask the team whether your job falls into one of the categories of workers who were not entitled to workers compensation. If that is the case, then we need to look further to find out why your clean was denied. Typically, you’ll get a letter from your employer stating why your workers comp claim was denied. As discussed above, there are a variety of reasons why this may have happened. Regardless of the reason, your workers compensation lawyer in Ohio will do their best to fly on appeal on your behalf. If, for some reason, the appeal is not successful, we will have no problem filing suit.

We recommend that anyone whose claim has been denied contact our office as soon as possible. The sooner you get one of our Columbus workers comp lawyers involved, the sooner we can try and get your claim resolved. The longer you wait, the easier you make it for your employer to argue that you weren’t really hard to begin with. You also don’t give the insurance company or your employer the opportunity to take advantage of you. If they don’t think you’re represented by an attorney, they will put your case on the back burner and not pay you another bit of attention.

Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, it would be who’ve you take advantage of it. Not only is your consultation frame but you also don’t pay our firm and I’m until we settle your case.

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Workers Compensation Benefits- How are Wages Calculated?

If you get hurt on the job, you should be able to receive workers compensation benefits. As long as you meet the basic criteria, there’s no reason why your claim would be denied. However, you may have questions about the benefits you’ll receive. Most people understand that their medical care will be covered. What they aren’t so sure about are the weekly benefit they’ll receive. When our Columbus workers comp lawyers first meet with a new client, this is what they want to know about.

Without knowing your work history, there’s only so much we can tell you. This is why it’s always a good idea to meet with an experienced workers compensation lawyer in Ohio before you file your claim. While you need to report your workplace accident immediately, you have some time to file your workers compensation claim. If you have an attorney on hand when you do this, there’s a better chance that it will be handled properly. This means you’ll have a better shot at receiving the benefits you deserve.

Here, we’ll discuss how you qualify for workers compensation in Ohio. We’ll also describe the benefits you’ll receive while out on workers comp. Our Columbus workers comp lawyers will review your payroll records and determine what your average weekly wages are. We’ll also review your medical records to determine how long you may be out of work.

If you have questions about your own workers compensation case, give us a call. We can always schedule your free, initial consultation over the phone. Or, if you prefer, you can do so through our firm’s website.

Your Columbus Workers Comp Lawyer Knows How to Qualify for Benefits

To qualify for workers compensation benefits, you must meet certain criteria. The goal is to make sure the people who receive workers compensation benefits deserve them. For example, if your injuries actually occurred outside of work, then your employer shouldn’t be responsible for your care. The same is true if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.

The basic requirements for workers compensation in Ohio include the following:

  • Your injuries must take place at work or during the normal scope of your employment
  • Whatever injuries you suffer must prevent you from doing your normal job
  • You cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury
  • You must agree to take a drug test prior to treatment
  • You can only be seen by a state-approved workers compensation doctor
  • You must report your accident to your employer within a reasonable timeframe
  • You must file your workers compensation claim within 1 year of your accident

As long as you meet these basic criteria, your workers compensation attorney in Ohio should be able to get your claim approved.

There Are 2 Major Types of Workers Compensation Benefits in Ohio

If your workers compensation claim is approved, you’ll receive two main types of benefits. The first benefit is coverage for your medical care. Any treatment you need that is related to your workplace accident will be covered by your employer’s insurance company. This includes both the immediate treatment at the emergency room as well as ongoing care. For example, if you need surgery after your workplace accident, it will be covered by insurance. This includes your hospital stay, surgery, and aftercare.

The second main type of benefit you’ll receive are weekly replacement wages. The way it works in Ohio is a little different than most other states. For the first 12 weeks of workers comp, you’ll receive 72% of your average weekly wages. However, after the first 12 weeks have gone by, your weekly benefits will decrease to just 66% of your average weekly wages.

This sounds great so far, right? The question is, how does the State calculate your average weekly wages?

How Are Your Average Weekly Wages Calculated for Purposes of Workers Compensation?

For most employees, it’s rather simple to figure out what their average weekly wages are. We would just take the last 52 weeks of employment, add up your total wages, and divide by 52. For example, imagine that you made $60,000 last year. This comes out to be $5,000 per months (or, approximately, $1,250 per week.) To be more precise, however, we can take $60,000 and just divide it by 52 (the number of weeks in one year). When we do this, it comes out to be $1,153.

Once we have your average weekly wage, of $1,153, we can then do the calculations to see how much you’ll receive every week. For the first 12 weeks, you’ll get 72% of your average weekly wages. If we take 72% of $1,153, it comes out to be $830 per week. After those first 12 weeks are up, you’ll start to receive just 66% of your average weekly wages. This comes out to be $768 per week.

Now that you can see the numbers in black and white, you realize how little your weekly benefits are. You should also know that there are limits to how much you can receive per week.

Your Workers Compensation Attorney in Ohio Knows the Limits on Benefits

Every state has its own rules when it comes to workers compensation benefits. In Ohio, the most you can receive in any given week is $1,085. In the above example, this would be fine since your weekly benefits wouldn’t be anywhere near the cap of $1,085. However, if you made closer to $80,000 per year, then you would be entitled to more than this weekly maximum.

Therefore, once you reach the point at which your weekly workers compensation benefits exceed the limit of $1,085, you benefits will cap out. Furthermore, no matter how much you’re receiving per week in benefits, you can only collect them for a period of 200 weeks. This comes out to be just shy of 4 years. If, for some reason, you’re still out of work at that point, your benefits would expire.

Reach Out to an Experienced Columbus Workers Comp Lawyer

If you were hurt at work, you deserve to be fairly compensated. The way the laws work in Ohio, you can collect as much as 72% of your average weekly wages. Of course, the insurance company will have to perform the necessary calculations to determine your weekly benefit amount. If you feel that you’ve been slighted somehow, call one of our Columbus workers comp lawyers. We offer our clients a free, initial consultation so you don’t have to pay a dime to have a seasoned professional review your claim.

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Workers Compensation: How Long Do Benefits Come To You?

If you’re already collecting workers compensation benefits, you may be wondering when they’ll run out. Once you’ve been out of work for a while, it almost makes it harder to go back. This is especially true if you suffered a serious injury. You start to worry that you won’t be able to do the same kind of work you did prior to your workplace accident. You even to start second-guessing your abilities the longer your claim stretches out. Our employment lawyers in Columbus, Ohio meet with people very week who feel the same way you do. At some point, you know your benefits are going to expire. You just don’t know when that day will come.

Here, we’ll discuss the different ways in which your benefits can end. We will also explain what maximum medical improvement is and why it’s so critical to your claim. If, after reading this article, you still have questions about your claim, give us a call. We can always schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.

You Must First Qualify for Workers Compensation

Before you can worry about how long you can collect workers compensation benefits, you need to qualify for them. In Ohio, as in every other state, there are certain requirements you must meet in order to qualify for workers compensation. Some of these include the following:

  • Your accident must take place on company time
  • Typically, your injury must occur on company property
  • If you work remotely or at home, your injury must take place while you’re acting within the scope of your employment
  • You cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time your accident
  • You must report your injury to your manager or human resources right away
  • You must submit to a drug test
  • You must agree to be treated by a state- approved workers compensation physician
  • You’re not allowed to work at another job while you’re out on workers compensation
  • You must participate in your treatment

If you meet all these requirements, there’s a good chance your employment lawyer in Columbus, Ohio will be able to get you benefits.

If Approved, You’ll Receive Two Major Types of Benefits

Once your workers compensation claim is approved, you’ll be entitled to two main types of benefits. The first type of benefits you’ll receive is medical treatment for your injuries. As long as the treatment is for injuries suffered during your workplace accident, they will be covered by your employer’s insurance company.

The second main type of benefits you’ll receive are weekly replacement wages. These will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. Until you’ve been out of work for at least seven consecutive days, you will not be entitled to receive these benefits. However, once you’ve been out of work for 14 consecutive business days, your benefits will kick in and you’ll be paid retroactively for the first seven days.

You Can Collect Workers Comp Benefits for Up to 200 Weeks in Ohio

Anybody who’s approved for workers compensation in Ohio is allowed to collect benefits for up to 200 weeks. This is just shy of four years. While very few of our clients have ever collected benefits for that long, they are there if you need them.

Unlike most other states, Ohio is willing to extend the benefits period by 26 weeks if you are unable to find a job after the 200 weeks expire. If you’re not able to do the work that you did prior to your accident, you may need to look for a new job. Or, for personal reasons, you may choose not to return to the same employer that you worked for when you got hurt.

You’ll Have to Return to Work Once the Doctor Determines You’ve Reached Maximum Medical Improvement

At some point, the workers compensation doctor is going to determine that you have reached something called “maximum medical improvement.” This just means that your physician determines that further medical care is not going to improve your situation. Usually this happens once you’ve received any necessary surgeries and have attended physical therapy for a period of time.

Since every case is different, and since everybody responds differently to treatment, there’s no way to know for sure when this will happen. Is the doctor says that you’re ready to return to work and you disagree, your injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio can get a second opinion. They’ll reach out to an independent doctor and ask them to examine you and determine if they feel you are indeed ready to return to work. If not, your attorney will discuss this with your employer and their insurance carrier and ask for an extension. If they refuse to grant this extension, you can always appeal it to the workers compensation commission or file suit.

Your Employment Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio Can Help if You’re Forced to Return to Work too Soon

As stated above, if you employer tries to force you to go back to work before you’re ready, your employment lawyer in Columbus, Ohio will fight to get you additional time. However, whether you’re ready to return to work or not, once you’ve reached the 200-week mark, your benefits will terminate whether you like it or not.

Contact an Experienced Injury Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio Right Away

If you were hurt while on the job, you should be able to collect workers compensation benefits. The question is – how long can you collect them? As explained here, your benefits can end a couple of ways. You can either be deemed ready to return to work, or you’ll exhaust your 200 weeks of benefits. Your injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio will work hard to get you the benefits you deserve. And, if you suffer a permanent disability, your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement of your claim.

We suggest that you call our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with an employment lawyer in Columbus, Ohio who can review your claim and let you know what to expect. They can also help if your employer tries to force you back to work early. Even if you’re already receiving benefits, you should still have someone by your side to make sure your benefits aren’t terminated unfairly.

Since your initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.

workers compensation

Workers Compensation Case: Should I Get a Lawyer?

If you get hurt at work, you have no reason to think that you won’t qualify for workers compensation benefits. After all, you followed your company’s policy and reported your injury right away. You weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident. You even agreed to take a drug test prior to treatment. This is why you may be shocked and frustrated when you hear that your workers comp claim has been denied. The best way to handle this is to call an Ohio workers compensation attorney right away.

One of our associates will reach out to your employer and find out why your claim was denied. They will also let the insurance company know that they represent you and that all future communications must come through our office.

Here, we will discuss the benefits of having an Ohio personal injury attorney help with your workers comp case. Not only will the insurance company not be able to take advantage of you, but you’ll have the assurance that your claim will be handled properly from day one. All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation.

It’s Better to Hire an Ohio Workers Compensation Attorney Right from the Start

Some people like to wait until their claim has been denied before they hire an attorney. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. However, the longer you go without an attorney, the harder it will be for them to appeal your claim later on. If they get to review your case while it’s still fresh, they can try to negotiate payment with your employer before it reaches the appeals stage.

If the insurance company doesn’t think you have an attorney, they may take their sweet time reviewing your claim. They may tell you that your initial claim wasn’t filled out properly. They may claim that you refused medical treatment. All sorts of things can happen at the beginning of the workers compensation process. You’ll be in much better shape if a Ohio workers compensation lawyer is there by your side.

You Don’t Want Your Employer to Take Advantage of You

In our experience, a lot of our clients tell us that the reason they hired a lawyer is because their employer was taking advantage of them. Some clients tell us that their employer tried to force them to come back to work before they’re ready. Others tell us that their employer approved their benefits and then turned around and terminated them a week later. As long as you don’t have an Ohio personal injury attorney handling your case, the insurance company will continue to try to take advantage of you. They may offer you a month’s worth of benefits and then expect you to come back to work. They may tell you that your workers compensation doctor has determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement way too early. If you have an attorney, they will not attempt to do these things. They know that your lawyer isn’t intimidated by them and will not fall for any of their tactics.

If Your Claim is Denied, Your Lawyer Can Help with Your Appeal

If your employer or the insurance company does deny your claim, your Ohio workers compensation lawyer will help you file an appeal. Depending on the reason why your claim was denied, the insurance company may change their mind and agree to pay your claim. For example, if your claim was denied because you did not complete the necessary paperwork, your Ohio personal injury attorney can resolve that matter rather quickly. If, on the other hand, your claim was denied because your employer thinks you were hurt outside of work, it’ll be a lot harder to appeal your claim. At that point, it may make more sense to just go ahead and file suit.

As a Last Resort, Your Ohio Workers Compensation Attorney Will File Suit

If you thought filing your workers comp claim was hard, wait until you try to file a lawsuit all by yourself. There are so many minute rules and procedures that you need to follow that it’s very easy to make a mistake. If you make a mistake when you file your initial complaint, it will be rejected, and you’ll have to start the process all over again. This means that you’ll have to pay your filing fees all over again as well. If you have an Ohio workers compensation lawyer handling the case for you, you don’t have to worry about these things happening.

Speak with an Experienced Ohio Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you suffered a workplace injury and you’re not sure if you need to hire an attorney, you’re not much different than our other clients. A lot of people think they can handle their workers comp claim on their own. Then they realize they’re in over their head. It seemed simple at first. You fill out some paperwork, go out to see the workers compensation doctor, and then you get your benefits, right? Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. Our Ohio personal injury attorneys meet with clients every week who thought the claim would be approved only to find out it was denied days later. What we do is help our clients get the benefits they deserve. If you suffered permanent injuries of any sort, we’ll fight to make sure the insurance company fairly compensates you.

Timing is everything when it comes to filing your workers compensation claim. That’s why we suggest you contact our office as soon as possible after your workplace accident. We can set up a date and time to come in and meet with one of our Ohio personal injury attorneys. They will review your case and give you an idea of whether your claim will be approved. They will also be by your side throughout the workers compensation process.

We recommend that you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation within days of your workplace injury. This way, your lawyer can help you file your initial workers compensation claim and make sure it’s handled properly from the start. Since you don’t pay our firm anything until we settle your case, you have nothing to lose.

columbus workers comp

Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyers: Time and Your Case

When it comes to the law, time is always a factor. Whether you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit or for divorce, there is always a strict timeline you must follow. The same thing is true for workers compensation in Ohio. Even though the State of Ohio oversees the workers compensation process, it only becomes a legal matter when your claim is denied. At that point, you will have to file a lawsuit against your employer. The good news is that you don’t have to handle this on your own. Our Columbus workers compensation lawyers have helped thousands of people navigate the workers compensation program in Columbus, Ohio.

If you’ve recently gotten hurt on the job and aren’t sure what to do next, don’t panic. That is why we are here. All you have to do is call and talk to one of our personal injury attorneys in Columbus, Ohio. We can sit down with you and explain how the process works. We can also break down the filing deadlines. The last thing you want to do is miss your filing window and end up with no benefits.

Here, we will discuss the various filing deadlines you have to worry about when filing a workers compensation claim. We will also explain what happens if you miss any of these deadlines. If you still have questions or concerns about your own case, give us a call. We can schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.

The First Thing You Need to Do is Report Your Injury to Your Employer

When we tell our potential clients that they need to report their injury right away, they seem confused. This is because Ohio law states that you legally have 2 years to file your claim. However, if you wait this long, it will be very hard to get your claim approved.

In our experience, you don’t want to wait more than a day or two to report your injury. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The longer you wait to report your injury, the harder it will be to prove your injuries were the result of a workplace accident.
  • You should never go this long without medical treatment. Your health must be your first priority.
  • Any treatment you receive prior to reporting your injury will not be covered by workers compensation.
  • You have no idea if your employer will still be in business two years down the road.

Obviously, if your injuries are extremely serious, it may take a little time to report your accident. If you’re in the hospital for a long time or aren’t conscious, there isn’t much you can do. Barring that, there is no good reason to wait to report your workplace injuries.

It’s important to remember that, if you don’t file your claim within that 2-year period, your claim will be dismissed and you’ll lose your right to pursue benefits. This is no different from the Ohio statute of limitations. If you miss your filing window, you walk away with nothing.

You Also Need to Seek Medical Treatment Right Away

As mentioned briefly above, you need to seek medical care immediately. Under Ohio law, your care won’t be covered unless you were treated by a state-approved workers compensation doctor. This means that any treatment you received from your primary health provider or at the emergency room will not be covered.

There are a few reasons for this. First, the State of Ohio decided long ago that only certain physicians would be certified to handle workers compensation cases. This is very clear. When you first suffer your injury, you’ll either be assigned a state-approved doctor or your personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio will get to select one for.

Another reason for this is that your employer has a right to know what’s going on with your care. Since they are paying for both your medical bills and replacement wages, they have a vested interest. As long as the doctor they send you to is on the approved list, you really have no right to complain.

One thing to remember is that you can always get a second opinion. If your workers comp doctor says that you’re ready to go back to work and you don’t agree, your Columbus workers compensation lawyer can get a second opinion.

Your Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyer Only Has 14 Days to File an Appeal

If, for some reason, your workers comp claim is denied, you can file an appeal. Your personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio only has fourteen days to do this. The fourteen days starts on the date the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation issued their order.

Since a few days will have gone by, waiting for the letter in the mail, you probably have closer to 7-10 days to file an appeal. If you don’t file your appeal in time, the denial will become permanent, and you won’t have the option of an appeal. This is the last thing you want to happen.

Our Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyers Will Make Sure Your Claim is Filed on Time

As you can see, when it comes to Columbus workers compensation, there are a lot of ducks you need to keep in a row. It isn’t just a matter of reporting your injury. If you think you can sit back and depend on your employer to do the right thing, think again. In an ideal world, it would work that way. Unfortunately, one thing our personal injury attorneys in Columbus, Ohio have learned is that we don’t live in an ideal world.

If you’re worried that your benefits are in jeopardy because you didn’t file your claim in time, contact our office. We can check to see what the issue is with your claim. We can also reach out to the insurance company and see if they’ll approve your claim if the information is provided.

Worst case, we can always file a Columbus workers compensation lawsuit against your employer. This is the last thing they want to happen. Not only will it cost them money to defend the case, but they could lose. And they don’t want it to get out that they don’t take care of their employees.

Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation. You don’t have to pay anything upfront, so you don’t have anything to lose. Since your employer will have a team of lawyers working for them, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney to help you.

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Workers’ Comp Claim: How Do You File One?

If you’ve ever been injured at work, then you know how confusing the workers comp system can be. Many Columbus injury lawyers aren’t even comfortable handling filing a claim. Thankfully, the associates at our firm have decades of combined experience working with clients whose workers compensation claims have either been denied or closed. While this can be extremely frustrating, the best thing you can do is call one of our Columbus workers compensation lawyers. They’ll review your case and make sure your workers comp claim in Ohio is handled properly from the start.

Here, we’ll explain what you can do immediately after your workplace accident to protect your workers comp claim. We will also discuss the workers compensation process. Since the process can be overwhelming for many workers, it makes sense to have a legal professional by your side.

You Must First Qualify for Workers Compensation

Before you can worry about benefits, you have to make sure you qualify for workers compensation benefits in Ohio. Ohio is no different from most other states when it comes to workers compensation rules and qualifications. Basically, if you meet these basic criteria, there’s a good chance that your claim will be approved.

These qualifying criteria include:

  • Your accident must take place on company property. If you happen to work remotely or on the road, you’ll have to show that you were acting on behalf of your employer when you got hurt.
  • You must be on the clock when the accident takes place. Again, if you’re a salary employee, you’ll just have to demonstrate that you were acting within the scope of your employment when you were hurt.
  • You must report your injuries to your manager, supervisor, or Human Resources department immediately. While most companies give you a few weeks or even a month to report your injuries, there is no good reason to wait. As soon as your injury takes place, find a way to let your employer know. If you’re too hurt to do this at the time of your accident, do it as soon as possible after the fact.
  • You must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your workplace accident. If your drug test comes back positive, your claim will be denied. If you’re lucky, your employer may offer to send you to rehab. However, they are not required to do so.
  • You have to agree to be treated by a state-approved workers comp doctor. You aren’t allowed to see your primary healthcare provider for your medical care.
  • You cannot work another job while you’re out on workers compensation.
  • You must participate in your medical treatment. If you don’t show up for doctor’s appointments or refuse to do physical therapy, your benefits will terminate.

This may seem like a lot. That’s normal. However, if you think about it, there’s a good chance you meet these requirements. If not, then you may not qualify for benefits.

What Happens if Your Claim is Denied?

If your workers comp claim is denied, you don’t want to waste any time calling a Columbus injury lawyer. Let them know what’s going on and show them your denial letter. They can reach out to the insurance company and find out exactly why your claim was denied.

If it was denied for clerical reasons, such as forgetting to fill out a form, they can usually fix this rather quickly. If the insurance company claims you didn’t file your claim in a timely fashion, your attorney will advise them that you did and that you’re willing to press the issue further if necessary.

Keep in mind – if your claim was denied because you were drunk or high at the time of your accident, we can’t help you. There’s no way an insurance company is going to pay out a claim for someone who was intoxicated on the job. The same is true for people whose claims were denied because the injuries didn’t take place at work. If you truly were hurt outside of work, then there’s no way our Columbus workers compensation lawyers can convince the insurance adjuster to pay your claim.

What Benefits Will You Receive if Your Claim is Approved?

If your workers comp claim is approved, you’ll start to receive benefits right away. From the moment your injury takes place, your medical care will be covered. As far as weekly replacement wages are concerned, you do have to miss at least seven business days before your financial benefits will start. If you end up being out of work for more than 21 days, you will likely receive backpay for the first week.

Your weekly benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. This means that people who normally earn $1,000 per week will receive $666 per week under workers comp. In Ohio, the maximum amount you can receive in any given week is $1,085. This means that, if you normally earn more than $1,625 per week, you will only qualify for this maximum rate of $1,085.

The other thing about Ohio’s workers comp benefits is that they only continue for a period of 200 weeks. This comes out to be just shy of four years. After that, your benefits will terminate.

If your injuries are permanent, your Columbus injury lawyer will negotiate a settlement for your permanent, partial disability. While the process for doing this may be convoluted, it is essentially based on the body part that you injured. So, a back injury will be worth more than a wrist injury. Partial or total blindness will be worth more than an injury to your finger.

Let an Experienced Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyer Help

If you’ve been seriously injured at work and aren’t sure what to do next, don’t worry. Our experienced Columbus workers compensation lawyers have been helping workers in Ohio for years. We understand the law and also understand how the insurance companies operate. We’ll work hard to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve. And, if your injuries happen to be permanent, we will do our best to get you a fair settlement of your claim.

All you have to do is call and schedule your free, initial consultation. Knowing that you may not be in the best position to come into the office, we can conduct your consultation by phone or Skype. Just let our friendly staff know when your first call. Since this consultation is free of charge, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.