If you were injured or developed an illness while on the job in Ohio, workers’ compensation benefits are available to help during your recovery. But it’s not always easy for employees to get the benefits they are owed. If you’re having trouble, a workers’ compensation lawyer at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, can help.
Since 1985, our law firm has been committed to protecting the rights of injured and disabled workers in Ohio. Read on to see what you should and shouldn’t do (the do’s and don’ts) to protect your workers’ comp claim.
Do’s of Workers’ Compensation in Ohio
Do Report Your Injury Immediately
Report the accident as soon as possible to your supervisor. Explain every symptom that you experienced as a result of the injury. Nearly all employees in Ohio have a right to workers’ compensation coverage. Reporting the incident or diagnosis is the first step to initiate the workers’ compensation process.
Do Complete an Accident Report at Your Workplace
Be sure to keep a copy of your accident report. Record-keeping is critical. A common reason that workers’ compensation claims are denied is that the injured worker did not provide enough information about what occurred.
Do Seek Medical Assistance
Make sure to seek medical attention so that a doctor can treat your injuries. It’s very important to tell the physician that your injury occurred on the job. Medical records will be the foundation of your workers’ compensation claim. Without detailed medical documentation of your medical care, your employer’s insurance company may not be able to determine your eligibility for full workers’ compensation benefits.
Do Keep In Mind That You Can Choose Your Own Doctor
As an injured worker in Ohio, you have the right to select your own doctor. Although your employer can have you examined by someone, you don’t have to use the employer’s doctor to treat your injury. In general, the employer’s doctor is going to be much more inclined to side with your employer in any disputes with your workers’ comp claim. Your own doctor will be able to provide the treatment you are comfortable with and give you confidence that he/she is working for your benefit.
Do Contact an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Workers’ compensation law is complex. There are many rules and deadlines that must be met in order to obtain benefits. It’s wise to work with an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure that your claim is filed promptly and properly. You don’t want your claim dismissed over an expired deadline.
Don’ts of Workers’ Compensation in Ohio
Don’t Try to Appeal a Decision Alone
Although Ohio workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is the gatekeeper that ultimately decides how your claim for benefits proceeds. If your claim for workers’ comp benefits is denied, you are eligible to file an appeal.
Appeals are initially heard by the Industrial Commission of Ohio. There are various levels of appeal through the administrative process. Parties may then appeal into court. It’s critical to be represented by a lawyer in these complex proceedings, which require evidence and the following of official procedures. At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, we understand how the system works and will fight for your best interests.
Don’t Wait to File Your Ohio Worker’s Compensation Claim
An injured worker should file a claim by filling out the First Report of Injury (FROI) and mailing it to a BWC office as soon as possible. The FROI can also be completed and submitted online. The majority of workers’ compensation claims in Ohio are filed by the managed care organization (MCO) after being notified of the workplace injury or illness by the employer or healthcare provider. If you have been treated for a workplace injury, a claim might have been filed for you already. To check on the status, you can contact BWC.
Don’t Assume Your Employer Will Notify Their Workers’ Comp Insurance Carrier of Your Injuries
Though employers should report workplace injuries to their insurer, they don’t always follow the rules. An experienced Ohio workers’ comp attorney will follow up to ensure that your insurer complies with all notification requirements.
Don’t Talk to an Adjuster Without an Attorney Present
Your company’s insurance adjuster might try to pressure you into making statements that undermine your claim. He/she may also ask questions that you are not required to answer. Having an experienced attorney on your side can prevent you from saying anything that could jeopardize your claim.
Don’t Be Shy Around Your Doctor
Be sure to tell your doctor all of the symptoms you are experiencing related to your work injury. Also let them know if any of pre-existing conditions were aggravated by the injury.
Don’t Take the Word of Third-Party Administrators When It Comes to Your Case
Many self-insured employers in Ohio use a third-party administrator to handle workers’ comp claims for them. These third parties oversee the paperwork, processing, and management of workers’ comp claims. The employer will send your compensation benefits to the third-party administrator, who will then send you the money.
If you believe you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits that you have not received from the third-party administrator, a lawyer can help. You are entitled to a timely delivery of benefits. An attorney can help make sure that your rights are enforced.
Contact an Experienced Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, our Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to fighting for the rights of injured workers just like you. Our accomplished legal team can assist with every aspect of your claim from start to finish. Don’t wait to start the process. Call or contact us online now.