The Role of an Attorney in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Like most states, Ohio has workers’ compensation laws that provide income for workers injured on the job and cover the cost of medical treatment. Workers’ compensation in Ohio has some unique features that make it different from most other states.
Although the Ohio workers’ compensation system was designed to simplify the process for both workers and employers, getting the benefits you need after you have been injured on the job can be a bureaucratic nightmare. There are difficult rules, strict filing deadlines, and complications that may arise when there is a dispute with your employer. You may choose to file an appeal if your claim is denied.
If you are looking for assistance with a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio or if you want to file an appeal, having the right Cleveland workers’ compensation lawyer by your side can make a big difference.
How a Cleveland Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help
Workers’ compensation is a form of private insurance that all employers in Ohio are required to purchase. It’s no-fault insurance, which means that workers are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries without having to prove fault against their employer.
One thing that’s different about workers’ comp in Ohio is that most employees in the state are covered by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). The BWC, also known as the state fund, underwrites about two-thirds of the workers in Ohio using the managed care system called the Health Partnership Program (HPP).
There are several advantages to enlisting the services of an Ohio workers’ comp attorney. Your attorney will make sure that all your paperwork is in order and properly submitted. Additionally, your attorney can take legal action if there is any type of dispute, and they may file an appeal if your claim is denied by the underwriter.
Your workers’ comp lawyer in Ohio can assist you with the following types of hurdles and challenges you may face when filing a workers’ compensation claim:
- Filing requirements. There are several ways to submit a claim, including by mail, fax, phone, or online, but there are strict time limits and other filing requirements that have to be met.
- Denial. The underwriter may claim that your injuries are not severe enough for you to receive compensation, or they may argue that your injury is due to a preexisting condition. If so, you will have to demonstrate that your injury was caused by your current working conditions.
- Permanent disability claims are the most costly for underwriters, and they are also the ones most likely to be denied. It’s important to make sure you have all the evidence you need and that it’s properly presented in your claim.
- Retaliation. It is illegal for employers to make any type of threats to prevent an employee from filing for workers’ compensation. It’s also illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker who files for workers’ compensation by termination, demotion, payment reduction, or reassignment.
- Your employer refuses to acknowledge a key aspect of your claim. This includes situations where they are exposing workers to unsafe working conditions such as toxic chemicals.
Getting Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Third Party
If you were injured on the job by someone other than your employer, your attorney may be able to file a claim or a lawsuit that provides compensation in addition to your workers’ comp benefits. This is known as a third-party injury claim. For example, if you were making deliveries for your employer and you were struck by a driver who ran a red light, your attorney may seek damages against the driver.
You are allowed to seek compensation against a third party whose negligence contributed to your work injuries, but there are some exceptions. In Ohio, contractors other than your employer may be immune from liability for injuries they cause on a job site.
There are several third parties that may be held liable for your work injuries, including:
- Property owners
- Equipment vendors
- Animal owners
- A coworker who assaults you
- Manufacturers of defective equipment
- Companies with service contracts to fix equipment
Were You Injured on the Job?
At George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law, we’ve been helping workers in Ohio get a fair shake since 1984. Our Cleveland attorneys are rated Distinguished by Martindale-Hubbell, and we’re listed by Super Lawyers.
Your initial consultation with us is free— call (216) 621-3930 today for assertive and responsive legal representation.