Frequently Asked Questions
I was hurt while working, but I didn’t lose any time from work. Does that mean I do not have a workers’ compensation claim?
Answer: If you were injured at work (and in certain situations even if you were injured away from your job or worksite) you have a workers’ compensation claim, regardless of whether or not you are able to return immediately to your job.
Can I get fired for filing a workers’ compesation claim?
Answer: Absolutely not. Any employer who does such a thing has broken the law. Section 4123.90 of The Ohio Revised Code prohibits an employer from doing this and subjects them to payment of your lost wages and attorneys fees you incur attempting to obtain those lost wages.
Who pays for treatment related to my work injury?
Answer: Medical benefits related to your injury are paid by a large pool of money which consists of pooled premiums Ohio employers contribute to, the Ohio State Insurance Fund. However, some large employers are “self-insured”. These employers are responsible for paying for all claim costs including costs for treatment. Unfortunately, injured employees of some self-insured employers are subject to blanket denials of all treatment requests. The State of Ohio authroizes self-insured employers to deny treatment for any reason. Oftentimes these same employers who deny most treatment requests fail to advise an injured employee of his or her rights. The injured worker may not be told that he or she can actually get the employer overturned at a hearing and have the denied treatment approved and paid for by the employer.
Can I afford to hire an attorney to help me with my workers’ compensation or social security claim?
Answer: For social security disablity and workers’ compensation claims, we work on a contingent fee basis for our fees. This means that there are no fees unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. In addition, we also represent you in workers’ compensaiton treatment hearings and many other types of workers’ compensation hearing that do not generate a fee as part of this contingent fee agreement, such as hearings to obtain authorized treatment through your claim.
In other words, as part of our representation of you, we do not charge any additional fees for hearings that do not involve the payment of money to you. Many workers’ compesnation attorneys do charge a fee for this type of hearing, and once you receive an award through your claim, these attorneys obtain a fee (usually 1/3), and also a seperate fee for their attendance at your hearings that did not involve money to you. That separate fee can add up to several hundred dollars and oftentimes even more.
How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim?
Answer: For injuries that occur after September 29, 2017, a claim must be filed within one year from the date of injury with your self-insured employer and/or the BWC, or with the BWC if your employer is not self-insured. While you have up to one year from the day you were hurt to file a workers’ compensation claim, you should not delay in reporting your injury, seeking treatment and filing your claim. The vast majority of claims are filed within days of the injury. Delays of even a couple of days are often reasons why workers’ compensation claims are denied! Given the right guidance by counsel, delayed reporting or treatment for a work injury can often be overcome at a hearing
Sometimes injuries take place over time, especially for indiviuals who work at jobs that are very repetitive. It is important to advise your employer and ask for an incident report once you come to the conclusion your job duties are causing an injury to you. You should then seek treatment as soon as possible. Make sure to be as specific as possible to the doctor about the job duties you believe are hurting you. It may even help to write your job duties down before you see your doctor and provide your doctor with your written job description.
What is a settlement of my workers’ compensation claim?
Answer: You are able in Ohio to settle your workers’ compensation claims. This means you agree to never seek further treatment or compensation through your claims for a lump sum of money. There are often times when doing this makes sense to both parties. But there are also times when it only makes sense to one party.
Can I settle my workers’ compensation claims even if I have old claims against prior employers or I’m no longer receiving medical treatment in my claims?
Answer: Yes. Oftentimes the employer or even the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation are interested in lump sum settlements of these types of claims.