You rely on your employment for a paycheck, money you use to keep food on the table, and a roof over your head. Depending on the job, you might even get benefits like health insurance, life insurance, retirement savings, and paid vacation. You hope the day never comes that you get injured at work and can’t work, but it can happen.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation exists to keep your money flowing so you can pay your bills even if you’re recovering from a workplace injury or accident. Getting access to these benefits means handling your claim right, however.
If you’re not sure how to go about reporting a work injury or need help with your Columbus workers’ compensation claim, contact us today at Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. Your initial, no-obligation consultation is free.
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How Long Do I Have In Reporting A Work Injury In Columbus, Ohio?
If you get injured in a work accident, then you have one full year from the date of the accident to file your claim. Your claim needs to be filed with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, also known as the BWC.
Once the BWC receives your claim, they will process the application. Decisions are typically issued within 28 days of your initial filing.
The time you have to file a claim is longer if your claim winds up involving an occupational disease. In such cases, the BWC gives you two years starting with the date of your disability.
Your date of disability is not always going to be the date of a specific workplace accident, and there are a variety of circumstances that can dictate the specific date of your disability. If you’re filing for claims related to chemical exposure resulting in brain damage or general asbestosis, then you might not have a very long period of time in which to file your claim.
Who Do I Have To Report A Workplace Injury To?
You are responsible for notifying two different entities about your workplace injury. The first is the BWC, if you are filing a workers’ compensation claim. The second is your employer, whether that be your supervisor, manager, or human resources department. Depending on the organizational structure of your employer, you might have to inform multiple professionals at the same time just to be sure everyone knows.
Employer Responsibilities After A Workplace Injury
Employers’ predominant responsibility is doing anything they can to prevent workplace injuries. Employers have an obligation to create a safe place for their personnel to work. If an employee is injured, it’s the employer’s responsibility to make sure a first injury report is finished and then forwarded to the carrier of your company’s workers’ compensation.
Secondly, an employer must sure that the company doesn’t violate any rights of an injured employee. They must follow all laws that are applicable. If an employee who is injured requires medical attention because they are seriously injured, they are entitled to see a company doctor or any BWC-approved treating physician.
Employers must cooperate with the attorneys of your workers’ compensation carrier as they investigate the matter. Required documentation might include the payroll history and personnel file of the injured employee. Interviews may be conducted with supervisors and co-workers to corroborate the story of the employee.
It is illegal for employers in Ohio to terminate or penalize any employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so can result in serious criminal or civil charges. Injured employees are to be welcomed back to their workplace when they are physically capable of resuming their employment.
Employee Responsibility After A Workplace Injury
You need to report your injury to your direct supervisor as soon as you can. Even if you have co-workers aware of your injury at work, you still need to make sure management and leadership know too. If you can, report your injury in writing. Offer as much detail as you can. Explain what transpired. Outline the injuries that resulted.
If your employer gives you instructions regarding your injury, follow them. They might have forms for you to fill out regarding your injury. Do them as thoroughly as you can, and return the forms promptly.
Get a medical examination. It’s possible that your employer will guide you to a particular medical provider for your examination. If they do so, schedule your appointment as quickly as you can. You do have the right to visit any BWC-certified doctor, but don’t delay in this case either.
Whatever doctor you see, follow their instructions to the letter. Failing to comply with your doctor’s orders can put your workers’ compensation claim in serious danger. If you’re not sure about what kinds of activities are permissible, then make specific inquiries with your doctor about what you can or can’t do.
File your workers’ compensation claim. If an injury is going to keep you from work for a while, then you need to file sooner rather than later so you can start getting benefits.
Consult a workers’ compensation attorney. This isn’t mandatory, but consultations are usually free of cost or obligation, so you can see if your case is eligible for more than you know about or have been offered. It never hurts to understand your options.
Contact Our Columbus, OH Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
Your employer relies on your skills and services to help them make money. In exchange, you rely on your job for the money you need to live and enjoy life. All of that can come to a sudden halt if you are injured on the job, however. Even a brief stint out of work can watch your bills pile up while you make no money, but workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help you bridge the gap until you are healthy enough to resume your full employment duties.