How Long Do You Have to Report a Workplace Injury in Ohio?
Millions of American workers are injured on the job each year. If an accident goes unreported, the injured worker may not recover fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. A workplace accident should be reported right away, especially if it caused harm to you or anyone else.
When an on-the-job accident occurs, you should immediately alert your supervisor and seek medical treatment. Once your injuries have been diagnosed, you may wish to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which can provide financial assistance while you are seeking treatment and recovering from your injury.
The statute of limitations for filing a worker’s compensation claim in Ohio is one year. It is crucial that you file your claim within this timeline or else you may end up paying out of pocket for your medical bills and other expenses.
Contact an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer from Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co. today to discuss your legal options after an accident. We understand how the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation operates and what it looks for in a claim. Our attorneys are ready to help you pursue the compensation that you need.
Reporting an Accident at Work
Failing to report an accident may cause serious problems, especially if you need to claim workers’ compensation benefits. For one, your employer might deny responsibility. They may claim that you suffered the injury away from work.
Also, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may question the validity of your claim if you waited too long to report it. They will wonder why you didn’t immediately tell someone about the accident. The insurance company may require a higher burden of proof to approve your claim.
By filing a report immediately, even after a minor injury accident, you are laying a solid foundation for any future claim you may have. Sometimes, an injury or illness can become progressively worse over time. What was initially a minor discomfort can turn into debilitating pain. You should protect yourself by initiating a record of your injury.
Steps for Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim
After you have reported the accident to your employer, you will need to file an official workers’ compensation claim with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) in Ohio. Your employer will likely issue you the form that you need to complete and submit, but you can also download a copy or fill out the form on the BWC website. Depending on the nature of your injury or illness, you will need either a First Report of Injury (FROI) form or an Occupational Disease form.
The BWC will issue you a claim number once your FROI has been filed. It will investigate your claim, interview you, and talk to your employer and doctor. You should know if your benefits were approved or denied within 28 days of submitting your FROI form.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Ohio?
As mentioned above, an injured worker has one year to file a claim before the statute of limitations runs out. If you suffered an occupational illness or disease that did not appear until later (like asbestosis or harmful chemical exposure), it is called an occupational disease. An occupational disease claim must be filed within two years from the date it was first diagnosed, first treated, or first causing disability from work, whichever is later. If a physician does not link the disease to one’s occupation until after that two year period, then the deadline for filing a claim is extended to six months after the first date it was diagnosed as being work related. Even if beyond the above dates, a claim can still be filed within two years after the disease causes death.
When Should I Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Once your injuries have been treated and you’ve reported the accident, it is a good idea to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney can assist you with the initial filing of your claim, making sure to fill out the paperwork completely and accurately and submitting it in the correct timeframe. This will reduce the chance that the BWC will dismiss your claim because of errors, incompleteness, or failure to meet the filing deadline.
If the BWC or your employer has wrongly denied your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, do not hesitate to contact an attorney for help. Your lawyer can help you file an appeal with the Industrial Commission of Ohio. Your attorney will also represent you through the appeals process if your appeal is escalated to district-level hearings, staff-level hearings, and commission-level hearings.
Because there are strict time limitations on filing a claim or appealing a denied claim, it is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible for assistance.
Talk to an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today for Free
If you are hurt on the job, the clock begins ticking immediately. You should report the accident as soon as possible and begin the claims process to seek the workers’ compensation coverage you need. The Ohio workers’ compensation system is complex and often works against those who are unfamiliar with its requirements. This is why you need an experienced legal team that has successfully handled claims like these for workers across the state.
At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., our team has been helping friends and neighbors in Northeastern Ohio since 1985. Our attorneys grew up in this area, have served this community, and we know how much your paycheck means to you and your family. Don’t let a workplace injury leave you sidelined without a way to support yourself and those you love. We are here to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Don’t go it alone. Contact our team at (330) 792-6611 to schedule a free case evaluation. Time is limited, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.