Most employers in Ohio are required, by law, to provide workers’ comp insurance for their workers, who, in exchange, relinquish their rights to file a lawsuit against their employers. The workers’ compensation system in Ohio is meant to ensure that the needs of injured workers are taken care of by their employers without having to use the courts.
However, that’s not always the case considering that many injured employees get denied workers’ compensation benefits for a variety of reasons. When a claim for workers’ compensation is denied, the person seeking benefits for their injuries might feel like it’s the end of the world considering that they are often in dire need of financial restitution. If you just had your workers’ compensation claim denied, the services of a professional Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer from Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers could prove useful.
The legal team at Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers is well versed in Ohio workers’ comp laws and is willing to fight aggressively for your rights to ensure you get the justice you deserve. Apart from helping you pursue workers’ compensation benefits; we also can explore other avenues – like third-party injury lawsuits and product liability claims – through which you can receive extra benefits. Book a free consultation with our legal team today to learn more about how we can help. Call (833) 406-0060 now to speak to a professional.
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What’s Workers’ Compensation?
Simply put, workers’ compensation is an insurance program mandated by the state to provide compensation to workers who suffer work-related illnesses and injuries. While the federal government has its own workers’ compensation program for federal employees, each state in America has its programs and laws for workers’ comp. When victims file for workers’ comp, there are several benefits they are entitled to, and they include:
- Medical Coverage: This coverage caters to the cost of treating injured workers for an occupational injury or illness. It includes fees charged for doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, medical diagnostic tests, hospital treatment, and nursing care, etc.
- Disability Benefits: These are intended to replace a percentage of the wages an injured worker loses while they are incapacitated due to a work-related injury.
- Rehabilitation: Provides vocational rehabilitation to injured employees that can no longer operate in their normal capacity due to on-the-job injuries.
- Death Benefits: These are paid to the spouse, children, and other dependents of a worker who lost their life due to work-related injuries.
Steps to Take If You Have Been Hurt While at Work
A majority of workers who get injured while performing their duties don’t act because they think that their injuries are not that serious or that they’ll be okay after a few days of rest. Regrettably, failing to act in time could jeopardize your right to file a claim should you consider pursuing workers’ compensation in the future. As an employee, make sure you take the following steps immediately after suffering injuries at work to improve your chances of filing a successful workers’ comp claim.
Report your illness or injury to your employer or a supervisor as soon as you can
It’s imperative to ensure that you’ve notified management of your accident; ideally, through a written report that details what happened and injuries suffered.
Follow the instructions given by your employer. If your employer gives you injury-related forms to fill out, make sure you are as detailed as possible and be prompt.
Get a thorough medical checkup
Your boss might direct you to a company-listed medical provider for a checkup. When that’s the case, make sure you book an appointment right away – don’t delay.
Follow the orders given by the doctor
Many injured workers jeopardize their claims by failing or refusing to follow the instructions given by the examining doctor to the letter. If you aren’t sure which activities are permitted and which aren’t, ask the doctor for directives.
File a workers’ comp claim
If you’ve suffered serious injuries that might keep you from returning to work for a long time, you are advised to consider filing a workers’ comp claim with the Ohio BWC (Bureau of Workers’ Compensation) as soon as you can. The sooner you do so, the sooner you can start receiving workers’ comp benefits.
Consult a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney
While you aren’t required to retain the services of an attorney, the team at Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers has extensive experience helping injured workers pursue workers’ comp benefits. if you do not know your rights or aren’t sure whether you’re eligible for workers’ comp, our job injury lawyers can help you determine which course of action to take while you rest and recuperate.
What Are Some of the Common Injuries People Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Common injuries that lead to workers’ compensation claims include:
- Back and neck injuries including strains, sprains, and bulging discs
- Head trauma due to falling objects and falls off scaffolding and ladders
- Burn injuries due to electrical accidents, chemicals, fires, or explosions
- Fractures, broken bones, and sprains
- Slip and fall work accidents
- Torn ligaments or meniscus
- Construction accidents
- Hearing Loss
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools.
- Accidents while traveling for business
Why Should I Hire a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
There are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Columbus, Ohio, with the first being that the state handles workers’ comp cases differently from other states. Ohio uses a two-tier system, which means that some employers carry insurance (workers’ comp) through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation while others go the self-insured way. Workers who work for self-insured companies should always make an effort to know their workers’ comp claim status.
It is for this reason you are advised to seek the services of a Columbus-based workers’ compensation lawyer with good knowledge of Ohio workers’ compensation laws.
Our team at Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers can be beneficial to you in either situation. Wondering how? Well consider this:
- There are lots of regulations and rules that need to be adhered to throughout the life of your claim, and failure to comply could lead to you forfeiting your benefits. An attorney will provide you with the legal interpretation and counsel you need to pursue a workers’ compensation claim and ensure it ends in your favor.
- There are a couple of avenues within the workers’ comp system in Ohio that could help you receive proper benefits and treatments, and an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers attorney can help you identify and use them.
- Your employer and their worker’s comp carrier have legal teams working and advocating for them each step of the way – you should too!
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
At Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get paid until we have won your case for you. Furthermore, we do not charge any out-of-pocket or upfront fees. As such, if you’ve been injured and are currently out of work with bills to pay, you don’t need to worry about raising money to hire the services of a Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer. All you need to do is give us a call and schedule a free initial meeting to have your case reviewed. Call Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers now by dialing (833) 406-0060.
My Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied. What Do I Do?
In Ohio, you can appeal the earlier decision and still get workers’ comp benefits. It is worth noting that there are three levels of appeal in Ohio:
Appeals in the state typically begin at the district levels and can be escalated if need be. At each level, a hearing is set and takes place within forty-five (45) days of the plaintiff filing a petition. Appeals are heard by a hearing officer who then decides within one week.
If the officer at the district level denies your claim, then you have fourteen (14) days to file another petition to have your case heard by a commission. If the commission refuses to hear your appeal, the only option left would be to pursue the matter in court. When that is the case, please note that you only have sixty (60) days to file your petition.
The appeals process is complicated and daunting, so let our experienced Columbus workers’ compensation lawyers help with your workers’ compensation dispute.
What are the Responsibilities of an Injured Employee When It Comes to Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Ohio?
The Ohio BWC (Bureau of Workers’ Compensation) encourages employees in the state to know their employers’ coverage before they even get hurt. Are they self-insured or state-funded? Do they have specific procedures in place for when accidents in the workplace happen? If your employer’s state-funded, then that means that they have an MCO or Managed Care Organization handling the workers’ compensation process for them. With that being said, make sure you know your Managed Care Organization.
If you’ve been injured at work, there are several things you are required to do to successfully file a claim. Here are some of your responsibilities as a worker seeking workers’ comp:
- Let your employer know that you’ve been injured. That allows them to start the paperwork and investigations.
- Seek medical care: Wherever you choose to go for treatment, make sure that you give your Managed Care Organization’s name to the doctor or ER staff. For ongoing treatment, you’ll need to see a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation certified physician.
- File a claim with the Managed Care Organization: Make sure you notify your employer before filing a workers’ comp claim. If the company is self-insured, file the claim with their carrier. P.s. you’ll need a physician to provide proof of injuries.
- Keep the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation up to date at all times. If they request anything, make sure you send it promptly.
- Stick to your treatment plan. Do everything your doctor tells you to at all times.
- Inform your pharmacist that the medication you are taking is for a workers’ compensation claim so they can submit bills to your Managed Care Organization for reimbursement.
- Make sure your Employer stays up to date throughout the process.
If possible, you should provide the needed information about your claim and injuries in the paperwork you initially file for your workers’ comp claim. A Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer from Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers can help you with this to ensure that your claim gets approved within the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation initial twenty-eight (28) day review period.
What are the Responsibilities of an Employer in the Workers’ Compensation Claim Process in Ohio?
Employers in Ohio are required by law to offer Workers’ Comp coverage for all workers on their payroll or who work for them within Ohio. Under the HPP (Health Partnership Program) employers have certain obligations that they are required to meet.
- Choose a Managed Care Organization or carry BWC insurance coverage to cover any work-related illnesses or injuries.
- Hand out Managed Care Organization IDs to employees. The cards must list the MCO’s contact information, address, where injured workers can file their FROI or First Reports of Injury, and where they should send their provider bills.
- Filing an injured worker’s work-related injuries. They are required to notify the MCO of any work-related injuries as soon as they happen.
Can Injured Ohio Workers Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It is against Ohio Law for employers to discharge employees for filing claims for workers’ comp benefits as it is considered a retaliatory or wrongful discharge. The same statutes that protect employees from retaliatory or wrongful termination also forbid employers from demoting employees for filing a claim. According to Ohio’s Supreme Court, wrongful terminations are an outright violation of public policies based on case laws, statutes, and regulations.
Does Ohio Have a Time Limit to Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Yes. Injured workers have one year from the day they got injured or learned about their work-related injury to file a workers’ comp claim. Injured workers diagnosed with occupational diseases have two years from the day their disability was discovered or six months after a certified physician diagnosed their condition to file a workers’ comp claim.
Can Injured Workers File a Lawsuit Against Their Employers?
Workers’ compensation laws in Ohio typically protect employers from being sued by injured workers and apply regardless of whether a hurt employee files a claim or not. However, there’s one exception in Ohio that allows injured workers to sue their employers; and that is an intentional tort.
Intentional torts are civil cases against individuals or businesses that intentionally (through negligence or carelessness) caused harm to another person. Generally, you may be able to file a lawsuit if:
- The employer intended to injure them or they knew that the risk that led to their injuries existed but did nothing to resolve it.
- The employer intentionally removed specific safety measures or deliberately misrepresented a hazardous or toxic substance used in their line of work, and their actions led to injuries.
Can an Independent Contractor File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In Ohio, independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ comp. The only way an independent contractor can be eligible for benefits is if he or she is a statutory or permanent employee. If you work as a contractor and the person you work for controls how, where, and when you execute different tasks, then you’re more of an employee than a contractor. If that is the case, then you might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
What’s My Columbus Workers’ Comp Claim Worth?
Since each workers’ compensation claim involves different legal issues and facts, settlements tend to vary depending on the nature of your work and injuries suffered. The value of your claim is dependent on the total amount of benefits you are eligible to receive during the life of your claim. Any issues that might arise, such as conflicting evidence relating to the extent of your injuries, could considerably reduce the value of your claim.
Considering that there are a few other factors that could affect your claim’s value, you are advised to seek the help of a knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney for a more accurate assessment of your case. An attorney from Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers can help you determine how much you should seek in benefits so you don’t undervalue your claim.
It’s also worth noting that some items might get deducted from the settlement amount. They include:
- Unpaid medical bills
- Lawyer fees and legal costs
- Unpaid child support
- Repayment of workers’ compensation overpayment
- A set-aside Medicare account
Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers is Here to Help You
The professional and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys at Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers have the experience and skills need to appeal or file for workers’ comp benefits. If you suffered injuries while performing your duties and just had your workers’ compensation claim denied or want to start the claims process, then you’ve come to the right place.
At Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, we believe that every injured worker in Ohio deserves to receive benefits for their injuries. Our Columbus workers’ compensation lawyers are usually aggressive when it comes to such cases as they understand the repercussions of not getting the financial assistance one needs when out of work due to work-related injuries.
If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, call (833) 406-0060 now to book a free, no-obligation initial consultation with our workers’ compensation lawyers and have your case reviewed by experts.