If you work in the greater Columbus area, you need to know you can receive compensation for missed wages, medical care, and rehabilitation when you suffer an injury or illness on the job. Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio can be complicated, especially when you are dealing with the stress of a workplace injury. An experienced Columbus workers’ compensation attorney can help.
Every state, including Ohio, has its own workers’ compensation programs and statutes. As of September 29, 2017, Ohio is limiting the amount of time injured workers have to file a claim to one year. The attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci are experts in Ohio’s complex workers’ compensation laws. We use our decades of proven success and compassion to guide you through the claims process of seeking compensation for your accident or injury.
When you’ve been injured, you shouldn’t have to worry if you’ll get the compensation you need. Contact us today at 1-855-4-PLEVIN or through our online contact form, even if you just want to talk about your case. The consultation is free and we’re always here to help.
Steps to Filing an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claim
- Get medical attention immediately, even if you suffered a minor injury. Any on-the-job injury can lead to compensation. Waiting to see a doctor may result in missing your deadline to file a workers’ compensation claim. Your medical records will also help prove your case moving forward.
- Report your injury to your employer. You injury should be reported at work as soon as possible. If your employer refuses to cooperate with your filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact the attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci or your local workers’ compensation office.
- In Columbus and everywhere in Ohio, the state of Ohio runs the workers’ compensation system through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). This is the Columbus-based government agency that handles all matters of workers’ compensation, carefully analyzing each case. You should file your workers’ compensation claims through the BWC; if your employer is self-insured, you also can file your claim through your employer.
- Neither the BWC nor your employer is going to make you aware of all of your options. Only your attorney is there for you. Because of this, it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney BEFORE you file a claim with the BWC. In an effort to minimize damages, your employer will likely have its own attorney making a case against you. You need an attorney of your own.
With more than 40 years of unparalleled success representing injured Ohio workers, the attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci can ensure that your case is as strong as possible. We always seek the maximum compensation possible under Ohio law for injured workers.
Am I Eligible to File an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When reviewing your case, the BWC is going to look for three essential criteria. The following must be present:
- You must be an employee of the company and be eligible for workers’ compensation. Every employee is covered by workers’ compensation law. In an effort to have your claim denied, your employer may attempt to claim you as a contractor or otherwise claim you are an ineligible worker, even if you are covered. Independent contractors in Ohio are not considered employees. If you have been injured at work and are unsure about your employment status, be sure to demand proper documentation from your employer and discuss your case with an experienced attorney who knows Ohio workers’ compensation statutes. The attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci can help you understand your rights if you are injured.
- The condition must be diagnosed by a doctor, with records to back it up. The BWC is not going to approve your claim if your diagnosis is not corroborated by a doctor or other medical professional.
- The injury or illness must be work-related. Proving your injury was work-related is essential. Carpal tunnel syndrome can result from too much typing, a bad back from too much heavy lifting, or sickness from exposure to toxins. Oftentimes, cases are not cut and dry. Say, for example, you were hurt on lunch break during work hours or injured while driving a company car. These cases are why you need a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer on your case as soon as possible.
An important note on claims: If you are injured but are not disabled as a result of your injury, you are still entitled to payment of your medical bills and are also likely still entitled to compensation. Many injured workers believe that you have to miss time from work to be entitled to compensation. This is not true. If you have been injured at work, regardless of whether or not you lost time from work, contact our attorneys we can help secure compensation for you.
What Injuries are Work-Related?
Just about any injury that occurs in the course of your employment can be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. This includes a broken bone from a slip or fall or occupational illnesses such as lung cancer from asbestos exposure.
Some workplace injuries our attorneys in Columbus and around Ohio commonly see include:
- Muscular injuries, broken bones, torn ligaments, herniated discs, and torn rotator cuffs from excess lifting or pushing;
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries from falls or objects falling onto workers;
- Tendinitis from repetitive motion;
- Occupational illness from toxin exposure;
- Hearing loss or damage;
- Cold or heat stress and burn injuries, including electrical accidents;
- Amputations from machines and saws;
- Wrongful deaths from falls and motor vehicle accidents when driving for work.
Are Injuries Covered When the Employee is Partially at Fault?
The focus in Ohio is on whether or not the injured worker was injured while in the course and scope of his/her employment. Ultimately the analysis is not focused on whether the employee was at fault. Even if a worker may not be doing a task in the proper fashion or following all rules, he or she may still be eligible for benefits.
Can a Death Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Yes. The dependents of the deceased worker are eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio, but only when claims are filed within a year. Successful death benefit cases are regularly brought before the BWC. Families will be awarded an amount based on how much they depended on the deceased worker’s income.
In addition to death benefits, there are other benefits that you may be entitled to if you are the dependent of an employee who has died from a workplace injury or illness. These benefits often can be substantial sums to help those most affected by an employee’s death. The attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci can help you understand and apply for all benefits to which you are entitled as a family member.
Time is of the essence when filing workers’ compensation claims related to an employee’s death. Ohio law limits the amount of time a dependent has to seek additional benefits. Plevin & Gallucci can help you through every step of the claims process to avoid missing deadlines.
Reasons Why Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Denied
Most employers are going to do what they can to get a ruling against you. Getting your claim denied means no increase in their insurance expenses and less money out of their pockets. Here are some reasons why your claim could be denied:
- The claim was not filed on time. A claim will be denied even if it is a day late. This is why it is critical that you reach out to a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney immediately after your injury.
- Your doctor fails to properly document or word the medical records and forms necessary to pursue a claim.
- Your employer disputes that the accident occurred at work, or that the accident led to your injuries. Both of these potentials for claim denial can be averted if you have the right evidence and lawyers guiding the way. Witness accounts and medical documentation can help considerably in proving your claim.
- There are discrepancies between your claim and your medical records, or the account of your events is found to be inaccurate.
- Your employer disputes your employment status.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Denial
If you get a letter in the mail saying the BWC has denied your claim, you still have a chance to appeal, but you have to act quickly. Appeals must be filed within 14 days after you receive your notice.
After your appeal is filed, you will be scheduled for a hearing before the Industrial Commission of Ohio. You have the right to bring an attorney to your hearing, and you should. Both you and your employer will be heard at this hearing. The experienced attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci can make the strongest case before the Commission for your appeal.
Workers’ Compensation Time Limits in Ohio
Injured workers in Ohio now have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim. The clock starts on the date your injury occurred or the date your disability began. The only exception is if you are diagnosed by a physician with an occupational disease. In that case, you will only have six months to bring a claim. Death claims must be brought within one year.
During this time, you and your attorney will need time to collect the evidence needed to build a strong case to secure the best possible settlement. If you’re unsure about your case, don’t wait to talk to a lawyer.
What a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Do for You
Workers’ compensation cases pit injured or sick workers against the interests of their employers. This means the claims process often becomes adversarial an difficult. You are sometimes the underdog.
The BWC is not going to tell you how to build a successful case. Your employer isn’t going to, either. Only an experienced attorney can tell you all of your options.
The dedicated attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci have been helping Ohio families in Cleveland, Columbus and across the entire state for more than 40 years. We secure settlements that compensate our clients for medical expenses and rehabilitation. We do this by navigating Ohio’s workers’ compensation programs on their behalf.
Call us today at 1-855-4-PLEVIN or contact us online. Consultations are always free and without obligation. We are ready to help.