Some injuries just won’t go away. No matter how much time you take off from work, and no matter how closely you follow your doctor’s instructions, your injury never gets better—or, if it does, you just end up getting injured again. When this happens, what are your legal rights? Columbus workers’ compensation attorney Jim Malek explains:
You Have the Right to Benefits for All Job-Related Injuries
If you qualify as an employee, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits for all job-related injuries you suffer. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) cannot deny your claim simply because you have received benefits before.
Let’s say, for example, that you strained your back attempting to lift a heavy box in the office. You filed a claim for benefits, you received benefits, and you were eventually able to return to work. Then, a week later, you strained your back again. Whether you were trying to lift another heavy box, you slipped going down the stairs, or you were injured under any other circumstances, you are still entitled to benefits.
But, this does not mean that filing another claim will be easy. At this point, the BWC may claim that you have a pre-existing condition, or it may assert that you failed to adequately follow your doctor’s advice. Even though neither of these automatically bar you from receiving benefits, they can both make it more difficult to collect the benefits you deserve. As a result, if you are dealing with a persistent or recurring injury, we strongly recommend that you get help from an experienced Columbus workers’ compensation attorney.
Every Claim is Different
No two workers’ compensation claims are exactly alike. This is true even if you are seeking benefits for a recurring injury. For example, your medical needs might be greater (or less); and, while you may have been able to return to your old job previously, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to return to your old job this time around. Instead, you may need to transition to a different job that places less stress on the injured area of your body, or you may need to file for permanent total disability benefits.
Be Careful about Accepting a Settlement Without an Attorney
When dealing with a recurring injury, you need to be very careful about accepting a workers’ compensation settlement. Depending on the terms of your settlement, it could create challenges going forward. This doesn’t necessarily mean that settling with the BWC is a bad idea, but it does mean that you will need to make informed decisions based on the advice of an experienced Columbus workers’ compensation attorney.
Talk to a Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorney about Your Legal Rights
If you are dealing with a recurring injury and need to know more about protecting your right to benefits, you can contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To schedule an appointment with a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney at your convenience, please call 888-444-7440 or tell us how we can reach you online today.