Clearly, not all claims involve serious injuries and not all claims need attorney involvement. If an injury is relatively minor, requiring maybe a trip to the emergency room and a stitch or two with no residual impairment, it may go through without a hitch. If your employer certifies your injuries, and the BWC doesn’t find something to object to, even if they result in a few days lost time and no ongoing impairment, you should be fine handling it yourself.
There’s lots of free information and links to forms on this website and on the BWC website to make handling your own claim easier. The BWC will also assign a Claims Service Specialist to assist you once you file a claim and many are very helpful (remember, though, that they don’t represent you as they are employees of the state insurance fund or BWC).
Who Should Speak with a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
It’s likely you will want to talk with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation claims if your injury is serious, will likely involve lost-time from work and/or is being contested by your employer and/or the BWC. Remember, your employer will probably have a representative appear on their behalf should your contested claim be scheduled for hearing before the Industrial Commission of Ohio. The BWC also has staff attorneys who appear at these hearings to represent the interests of the state insurance fund.
As I often say, you aren’t having a good day when you have to contact an attorney (I know this myself from first-hand experience–after going through a divorce, I understand why people detest lawyers!). However, it’s often wise to talk with someone if for nothing more than to put your mind at ease by learning of your options. I don’t accept all cases that come through the door and it doesn’t cost you anything to call us to look at your situation. If I think we or someone else can help you, I’ll tell you that and I’ll explain why. If I think you don’t need us or we can’t help, I’ll tell you that. The decision for us to represent you is mutual. We’ve represented folks for many, many years. Along the way, we’ve made many lifelong friends and been able to help them through very difficult and discouraging times. Some friends have been kind enough to relate their experiences in our testimonials section. I hope your injury is not that serious. If it is, or even if your situation is one you just like discussing person-to-person, perhaps we can help guide your decision-making process. Give our Upper Arlington office a call at (614) 334-4649.