If you suffered an on-the-job injury or you were diagnosed with an occupational illness, you may be wondering about what you should do next. The uncertainty can be a pain. However, the good news is that many other people in Cincinnati have gone through a similar experience. They often turn to their attorneys to ensure that they know their rights, and that no one takes advantage of them. Many workers have similar questions so you can benefit from their experience. Let our Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorneys look at five of the most common questions that injured workers often have.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Comp Benefits in Ohio?
Most employees in Ohio can get workers’ comp benefits if they suffer a workplace injury. However, not all injuries are compensable. To get compensation:
- Your injury or illness must have occurred while you were engaged in work-related activities.
- The activity must have been performed in Ohio.
- The injury or illness must have resulted in a period of disability during which you could not work.
In addition, you must not have caused the accident or been breaking the law at the time. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also likely to preclude you from claiming compensation. Other issues are likely to come up when determining whether your case will qualify, especially if your employer challenges your claim.
Do I Still Have Time to Work on My Workers’ Comp Claim?
In Ohio, workers generally have one year from the date of their accident or diagnosis to begin the claim process. However, there may be factors that influence the deadlines that apply to your specific case. If you think you may have missed the filing date, you should contact a Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. They will look into your case and determine if you still have time to file. You shouldn’t give up without first talking to a lawyer.
What Information Do I Need to Submit with My Claim?
You will need to prove that you suffered an injury or illness on the job. The incident report, your medical records, and information from your employer regarding their investigation will be important. You’re also likely to need copies of your prescriptions and other documents that prove that you were unable to work. Your work stubs can also be used to show how much you were earning at the time of the accident. Several categories of workers’ comp benefits are calculated based on your average weekly wage so proof of your earnings is important. In addition to gathering and submitting your paperwork, you will likely have to undergo an assessment from a doctor chosen by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
What Should I Do If My Claim Is Denied?
Not all workers’ comp applications are approved. As with any other insurance system, your request for benefits could be denied. There may be a dispute over whether your injuries were work-related or if they’re so serious that you can’t return to work. Your lawyer will help you to appeal your claim so you can get the benefits you deserve. In many cases, submitting additional proof of your injuries is enough to get the denial reversed.
However, there are times when paperwork is not enough, and you’ll have to attend an in-person hearing. You would be able to make your case for benefits while accompanied by your attorney. If this appeal is unsuccessful, you can send your application to a special review panel. If all else fails, you’ll have to file a lawsuit to fight for the benefits you deserve. Your attorney will advise you on whether or not you should take your case to court.
Do I Really Need to Hire a Lawyer?
You’re not required to have an attorney to navigate the workers’ compensation process. It’s supposed to be a much easier way to get benefits than filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, the process is not as straightforward as it may appear, especially for someone who is ill or injured. If your condition is serious and you’re going to have to miss lots of work, it’s best to hire a lawyer to handle the case on your behalf.
Contact a Cincinnati Workers’ Comp Attorney Today for Assistance
Instead of trying to file your claim alone, contact our workers’ comp attorneys in Cincinnati and schedule a consultation. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and advise you on how to proceed. Don’t delay in seeking legal representation.