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What Is the FROI-1 and How Does It Affect My Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Injured patient from work consulting lawyer for claims.

Being hurt at work can be one of the biggest financial setbacks an Ohio family can experience. Here in Northeastern Ohio, our communities were built by strong, independent, and hardworking men and women who often put in more than a day’s work and who only asked to be treated fairly.

How Does FROI-1 Affect My Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Still, many employers or their representatives can  make it very hard for workers who are hurt on the job to receive the compensation they deserve. While regrettable, it’s just a reality in many cases. Fortunately, the skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., LPA, are here to help when you need them.

If you’ve recently suffered a work injury, you may have heard people talking about submitting an FROI-1 to start the workers’ compensation process. But what is it, and why is it so important?

What Does FROI Stand For?

FROI is an abbreviation for the “First Report of Injury.” This form is required to start the workers’ compensation claims process in Ohio.

What Is the FROI-1?

The FROI-1 the first thing any injured worker must do to preserve their claim for workers’ compensation in Ohio. It lets the employer and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) know where , when and how  the injury took place. There can be no workers’ comp claim without first filing one of these forms.

What Important Information Must Be Filled Out in the Form?

First of all, you absolutely must fully and completely fill out the form. Blank spaces or unanswered sections could seriously jeopardize your claim. Some of the types of information the form will require include:

  • Date and time of the accident/incident
  • A thorough and detailed description of the event
  • A list of injuries caused by the accident
  • Any and all medical care and treatment received thus far for your injuries

Is the FROI-1 the Same as an Incident Report?

No. Employers will almost always want you to fill out an incident report at the time of the injury, or as soon thereafter as you notify the employer of the injury. This is for the employer’s benefit, as it documents the injury and allows them to make a report to their insurance company. However, the FROI-1 is a formal document you submit to the state’s BWC in order to initiate your claim. The two are NOT the same.

One easy way to know whether you’ve completed the right form is to note whether you’ve received an identification card from the BWC yet. If not, then you probably have not completed an FROI-1 yet.

Where Do I Obtain an FROI-1?

If your employer sent you to one of their doctors, they will usually have the forms. If not, you can get a copy of the form from your employer or by visiting BWC online. You can also call 1-800-OHIO-BWC.

Can I Complete the Form Myself?

Yes, but if you are worried about how to complete it or whether you are doing it right, you should always call an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to get assistance.

However, even without an attorney’s assistance, at this stage it is more important to just make sure it gets done. So you really should not delay. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should still do it. Here are the appropriate steps:

  1.     Complete the form.
  2.     Take it to your physician and ask that he or she fill in the form.
  3.     Doublecheck the form to ensure all the information is correct.
  4.     Submit the form.
  5.     Do NOT trust your employer to submit it for you.

You can submit the form online, by fax (1-866-336-8352), or by calling 1-800-644-6292 and having a BWC representative fill it out for you.

How Long Do I Have to Complete and Submit the FROI-1?

You have one year  from the date of your injury to submit the FROI-1. However, the longer you wait, the harder it can become to obtain the information you need. You may forget and miss the deadline, forever giving up your right to compensation. Plus, the sooner you submit it, the sooner you may be able to get compensated for your injuries.

There really is no good reason to delay.

How Important is Accuracy?

Accuracy is everything. Stating the wrong date or listing an unrelated ailment or injury can create a serious issue that could lead to denial of your claim. The key is to make sure you are providing the most accurate and complete information available to you. If something is unknown, do not guess or fabricate information.

How Should I Describe My Injuries?

The first key to writing a description of your injuries on the FROI-1 is to keep it clear, accurate, and honest. Never try to exaggerate your symptoms or pain.

Remember that you are your case. Your credibility, thoughtfulness, and believability are crucial to the success of your case. If you have a minor injury, that’s fine. It is still an injury, and you should still be compensated. But if you make up injuries that do not exist or attempt to claim pre-existing conditions as new injuries, you may find yourself getting denied.

If your case goes to a hearing later, everything you put in your FROI-1 is completely admissible and can be used to help or hurt your chances of success.

Where Can I Get Help?

With offices throughout Northeastern Ohio, the experienced and dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys of Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, LPA, have spent decades working to help honest, hardworking men and women throughout Youngstown, Akron, Kent, Warren, Salem, Ravenna, and Alliance, as well as all of the neighboring communities of the region.

Never try to negotiate your case with the employer or the Bureau of Workers Compensation alone. Often, the key to a fair and just outcome is simply knowing the rules inside and out and being in a position of leverage. With our team on your side, the employer  knows that it will not be able to push you around or mislead you into accepting less than your injuries are worth.

Our firm does not get paid unless we are successful in helping you achieve compensation for your work injury, and a private initial consultation is always free. So, contact us today to get started.