The laws governing Workers’ Compensation in Ohio are complex, confusing, and fraught with strict deadlines. Without proper legal guidance, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the system. The attorneys at Wiles Richards are experts in Workers’ Compensation and can help you to understand how these benefits work. If you have suffered a work injury, an occupational disease, or the death of a family member, we can assist you in obtaining Ohio workers’ compensation benefits, such as treatment, which includes payment of doctors’ bills, physical therapy, surgery, and medications. We can also help you receive money benefits, such as temporary total disability (TTD) compensation, permanent partial disability (PPD) compensation, working wage continuation (WWC), and permanent total disability (PTD). Benefits do not happen automatically, however; and if you do not act within a proscribed time period, your claim might be barred forever.
How to Start the Process
To qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits, you must follow the appropriate steps set forth by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). If you suffer a work injury, you should immediately complete and file a written accident report. Additionally, you should also file a First Report of Injury Claim with the Ohio BWC as soon as possible.
When you file the First Report of Injury Claim, the Ohio BWC will issue a claim number, which creates an electronic file for your claim.
If your employer contests the claim, the BWC will refer the claim to the Ohio Industrial Commission for a hearing. You, your employer, and your employer’s appointed representative will receive a hearing notice. In some cases, a BWC attorney will also appear on behalf of the BWC at an Industrial Commission hearing. Most Workers’ Compensation claims are medical-only claims, are certified by the employer, and are allowed routinely by the BWC.
Contested claims require Industrial Commission hearings. If you are an injured worker and receive a hearing notice, this means your claim has been contested. Hearings before the Industrial Commission are attended by the employer, who will most likely have an attorney present. It is also possible that the BWC will have its own attorney at the hearing. Thus, it is highly advisable that you contact an attorney to discuss protecting your legal interests if your claim is scheduled for a contested hearing.
Act Quickly to Secure Your Benefits
Each claim has a two year statute of limitations. This means that if you do not file your claim within two years of your injury, it may be forever barred.