When an employee sustains an injury in the state of Ohio while on the job, the injured worker can file a claim for workers’ compensation and medical benefits. The injured person must file a claim with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“BWC”) within two years from the date of the injury. Otherwise, if the claim is not timely filed then the injured person will be barred pursuant to the statute of limitations from participation in the state workers’ compensation fund. If one contracts an occupational disease through the conditions of work then this is considered an occupational disease claim and, generally, the date on which the statute of limitations would begin running would be the date of diagnosis of the occupational disease. Malek & Malek are workers’ comp attorneys in Columbus, Oh who offer free consultations on all job injuries and workers’ compensation claims. Call now to schedule a consultation for your workers’ compensation case 614-444-7440.
It is also advisable that the injured worker follow the prescribed treatment plan of the approved provider or “physician of record”. If an injured person does not follow the treatment plan of the provider then this could have a detrimental impact on whether additional treatment and/or compensation is paid to the claimant in the underlying workers’ compensation claim.
It is always in the best interest of the injured party to seek the services of a professional workers’ compensation (BWC) attorney when he or she has sustained a work injury. A workers compensation attorney can complete the claim process pursuant to the specifications of the BWC and meet all the required deadlines.
Unfortunately, far too often when an injured worker is receiving treatment through his or her workers’ compensation claim, the Managed Care Organization (“MCO”) will deny requested treatment. The alleged reasons for denials is often based upon the Official Disability Guidelines (“ODG”), which basically indicates that almost all treatment deemed necessary by the treating physician, even when the injured worker is considered temporarily and totally disabled or permanently and totally disabled, is not necessary and/or not appropriate for the allowed conditions in the claim.
This will require that your workers’ compensation attorney file an appeal to the denied treatment and most likely will culminate in a hearing before the Industrial Commission of Ohio. If you, the injured worker, are not represented by a workers’ compensation attorney at this treatment or “ADR” hearing then quite likely the decision of the MCO to deny the requested treatment will be affirmed by the Industrial Commission; however, if a workers’ compensation attorney is present, legal arguments can be made and likely the treatment request will be granted by the Industrial Commission.
If your claim is denied by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and then after the Industrial Commission takes the proverbial “second bite of the apple” your workers’ compensation claim remains denied, it will be necessary to file an appeal pursuant to R.C. 4123.512 into the court of common pleas in the county in which you sustained your injury. At Malek & Malek, professional workers’ comp attorneys in Columbus, Oh, unlike many other firms in the Columbus, Ohio area, we will represent you at both the Industrial Commission and throughout the administrative process all the way through to a jury verdict in the court of common pleas. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have achieved great success this year in representing our clients in jury trials. Many other workers’ compensation firms will refer your claim out to a different attorney to handle the more difficult aspect of litigating your workers’ compensation claim through court litigation while your case is pending in the court of common pleas. This is unfortunate as often times these “trial attorneys” to whom the workers’ compensation case is referred either do not have much experience in the workers’ compensation realm or simply do not have the personal relationship with the injured worker. This is not the case at Malek & Malek.
If your workers’ compensation claim is allowed by either the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation or the Industrial Commission then likely you will receive compensation and medical benefits. The extent of one’s injury will be the determinative factor in the amount of workers’ compensation and benefits paid in the claim.
At some point in time during the course of litigating your workers’ compensation claim, it might be advisable to seek a settlement of your claim or lump sum payment in exchange for closing your claim. Having a workers’ compensation attorney present during any negotiations with the BWC will help ensure that any offer that they make to you as compensation for your injuries is fair and takes into consideration the likelihood of future compensation and/or medical benefits.
CASE: Employer and BWC contested allowance of a claim on the basis injured worker was a sub-contractor. The claimant sustained a serious left arm/upper extremity condition as a result of an approximate 30 foot fall. Fortunately there was no other injuries other than the injury to the arm. Prevailed in having claim allowed. After claim was allowed, Attorney filed an application for a Violation of a Specific Safety Requirement against the employer. Attorney prevailed in establishing a VSSR penalty against the employer at the maximum penalty rate of 50 percent. This entitled the claimant to not only receive compensation, but an additional award of compensation at 50 percent of the max rate for the year of his injury. Attorney prevailed in securing a loss of use of the arm award for the claimant, totaling over $200,000 with the additional compensation paid as a result of the VSSR penalty. Attorney eventually prevailed in securing permanent total disability compensation for the claimant. As a result of this, the BWC offered $420,000 to settle the claim. After the settlement was paid, there was over $1million paid in compensation and medical benefits.