When an accident happens at work, you might be overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. However, it is vital to understand what your options are and what kinds of benefits you may receive to handle any mounting medical expenses while going through recovery.
If you have been injured at work, a Defiance workers’ compensation lawyer could guide you through each step of filing a claim with an insurance company. A skilled personal injury attorney could also assess your situation to determine the validity of your claim and aid you in pursuing compensation for your expenses while you recover.
To file a claim, the injured party’s employer must have workers’ compensation coverage. Fortunately, the vast majority of employers have this coverage, excluding some entities—such as certain religious groups.
An injured claimant also must be a legal employee of the business to file for workers’ comp benefits. While independent contractors could be eligible, individuals working under the table or as volunteers may not qualify.
The final criterion is that the injury suffered by the claimant must be related to the scope of their work. Essentially, this means that workers’ comp usually applies in situations where an employee had an accident on the job, obtains an occupational illness stemming from work, or if the work-related injury causes someone’s death.
After an individual suffers a work-related illness or injury, the process to file a workplace injury claim starts when the person, their employer, or their medical provider files the First Report of Injury (FROI) with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Ohio Revised Code §4123.84 states that an injured worker or their employer has a one-year deadline to file this FROI.
From this point, the BWC has 28 days to notify the claimant of their decision, according to Ohio Revised Code §4123.511(B). The BWC considers various aspects of the individual’s claim when making their determination, such as the:
A knowledgeable Defiance workers’ compensation attorney could assist the injured party with filling out all the necessary paperwork to present to the BWC and offer vigilant representation throughout the claims process.
Unfortunately, the BWC may deny a workers’ compensation claim for various reasons. If someone files their claim late, if an employer disputes their employee’s claim, or if there is a disparity between the individual’s medical records and their claim, the bureau may reject giving any benefits for an injured employee.
When the BWC denies an injured party’s claim, they receive written notice and have 14 days following receipt in which to file an appeal. A skilled lawyer in Defiance could work to ensure that an injured employee’s workers’ comp claim does not get denied. However, in the event of a denial, an attorney also could help the claimant navigate the appeals process.
A workers’ comp claimant may receive a wide range of compensation depending on the severity of their injuries. For instance, an insurance company may award an injured employee full compensation to cover medical costs and some lost income if the individual is unable to work due to their injuries temporarily.
An injured worker may also receive benefits for lost wages if their injury or its after-effects cause a decrease in pay due to a role reassignment or required change in careers. Furthermore, if the individual must complete a rehabilitation program to get back to work, living maintenance is another type of recovery that they could obtain through a claim.
Unfortunately, workplace injuries can sometimes be so severe that they result in permanent disabilities. If an individual is unable to get back to work indefinitely because of a worksite illness or injury, they may receive permanent total disability for the duration of their life.
Injuries suffered at work can be highly complex and have long-lasting effects both for you and your loved ones. However, you have options and do not have to navigate the claims process alone.
A Defiance workers’ compensation lawyer could fight to protect your rights and provide tireless support throughout the entire arduous process. Contact an attorney today for your initial case consultation.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC