Workers’ compensation benefits were created to protect both employers and employees from financial losses when workers are ill or injured on the job. Navigating the paperwork and bureaucratic red tape when pursuing a workers’ compensation claim can add frustration to an already painful situation.
If you’ve suffered a workplace injury of illness in Ohio, you shouldn’t have to fight to get the benefits you’re entitled to.
When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney at Plevin & Gallucci, your attorney will deal with the bureaucracy and paperwork. In our 40+ years of helping injured workers in Ohio, we’ve developed an in-depth knowledge of workers’ compensation law.
Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Nearly all employees are covered through the workers’ compensation system. Benefits include temporary or permanent recovery of lost wages, medical and rehabilitation expenses and are payable as long as the disability lasts or medical treatment is reasonably necessary.
Are you an employee?
Ohio law requires that any business with one or more employees must be covered unless otherwise exempt (such as clergy members, U.S. government employees, and volunteers).
Despite how an employer may refer to your employment status, Ohio law provides the applicable test for whether or not you qualify as an employee for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits.
Was your injury or illness work-related?
When the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) evaluates your claim, they will review your employment status, medical records, and additional relevant documentation to determine if the injury or illness is casually related to your job.
For example, the flu may not qualify as a work-related illness, but exposure to environmental hazards, developing severe carpal-tunnel syndrome, or injuring your back due to repetitive activities may be considered job-related.
Due to the various symptoms and physical effects, the attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci can help you determine whether your claim is an injury case or an illness case.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
No matter how minor a workplace injury may seem, be sure to report it to your employer and seek immediate medical attention. A workers’ compensation claim can then be filed, either by yourself, your medical provider, or your employer.
The BWC is a government agency administering a complex system. Once your First Report of Injury (FROI) has been filed, they will inform you within 28 days whether your claim was approved, denied, or if additional information is necessary.
Submitting an application that is not properly constructed can ultimately lead to the denial of your claim. That’s why it is so important to have an attorney well versed in workers’ compensation prepare and submit your application to the BWC on your behalf.
Appealing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Denial
It serves the financial interests of both your employer and the BWC to deny your claim. The BWC wants to collect more premiums and award fewer benefits. Your employer wants to keep their premium low. For this reason, your employer may dispute your claim. This leaves the BWC with two opposing stories to weigh. Although it is a system created to protect workers, it has become a system that is quick to deny.
If your claim is denied, you only have 14 days to file an appeal. A hearing before the Industrial Commission of Ohio will then be scheduled. Your employer most likely will have their attorney or representative present. Without a thorough understanding of legal technicalities of workers’ compensation, it can be difficult for you to contest their arguments.
How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation isn’t like applying for a driver’s license or registering or registering to vote. It can be a complex process, especially if your claim is disputed by your employer or rejected all together.
This is why it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer like Plevin & Gallucci. Our firm is responsible for litigating on behalf of injured workers in courts throughout Ohio, including the Supreme Court of Ohio. We know how to overcome roadblocks to seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to pursue legal action beyond your workers’ compensation claim. Plevin & Gallucci can help you understand all your options.
“Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Compensation You May Receive
Ohio workers’ compensation is a system of benefits that address different needs of injured workers. Some of the benefits you may be entitled to are:
- Temporary Total Compensation is the most basic form of workers’ compensation. It’s granted when you are deemed temporarily unable to work due to injury. It covers wages lost when you are off work due to work-related injury.
- Wage Loss is compensated when injury recovery leads to a limitation in the ability to perform all of the activities necessary for the job or forced career change. The law includes either a working wage loss or a non-working wage loss, depending on the individual’s employment status.
- Living Maintenance are payments given while a recovering worker participates in a BWC vocational rehabilitation program. This award generally does not exceed a period of six months.
- Permanent Total Disability is lifelong compensation granted to those Ohioans who are indefinitely unable to return to work and perform their job duties due to the work-related illness or injury.
- Death Benefits can be awarded to the dependents of an employee who dies due to work-related injury or illness. The amount paid is based on an assessment of the level of support their late loved one was previously able to provide. These claims must be filed within two years of the person’s death.
Is a Worker’s Death Covered by Workers’ Comp?
If an injured worker dies as a result of a job-related injury or illness, his or her dependents have to right to file a claim with the BWC for death benefits. It does not matter whether or not the worker collected workers’ compensation benefits before death.
Plevin & Gallucci has been here for Ohio workers hurt on job-site accidents for more than 40 years. We are proud to continue this tradition of ensuring that injured workers receive all the benefits they deserve.
If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio, Plevin & Gallucci can help you get the compensation you need to cover your expenses, get any necessary medical treatments, and avoid legal hurdles.
Contact us today by calling [ifbyphone] or fill out the form on this page for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.