If you're like most of our clients, you never expected to have to worry about applying for workers’ compensation benefits. You probably thought “workmen’s comp” was for someone else—not for you.
But what you should know is workers’ comp is an important benefit and, if you are injured on the job or acquire an occupational disease, it's a benefit to which you're entitled. If you're still hesitant, look at our answers to these basic workers’ comp questions.
Quick Answers to Common Workers’ Comp Questions
When you're injured on the job at UPS, Honda, Ohio State, Walmart or elsewhere, you need immediate answers to some basic questions. We cut to the chase here, but you can click the links for more detailed answers.
- Do I need an attorney? If the injury is minor, your employer certifies it, and you don’t miss more than a few days of work, you can probably handle your claim yourself. However, if your claim is more complicated than this, call me. We may still decide you can handle your claim on your own but at least you can make a better-informed decision and know what to expect if you do.
- What if the accident was my fault? Ohio workers’ comp is a no-fault system. This means it doesn’t matter what caused the accident: if you're injured on the job, your medical treatment and lost wages should be covered by your workers’ comp benefit. However, if your employer can prove you behaved irresponsibly, you may be denied benefits.
- What benefits are available? The benefits you qualify for depends on the severity of your injury or illness. You'll be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages under one of several benefit options.
- Can I see my own doctor? For your first visit following a work-related injury, you can see any doctor. After that, you have to see a doctor certified by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). If your doctor isn't BWC-certified, you're required to be treated by one who is.
- What should I tell the doctor? Whether you see your doctor or an emergency room physician following a work-related injury, it's important to tell them where and how you were injured. Be completely honest and thoroughly describe how the injury occurred and what symptoms you are experiencing.
- Do I have to do the work my employer assigns when I return? The workers’ compensation program tries to get injured employees back to work quickly as that's usually best for you and your employer. However, your injury may prevent you from holding the job position you had before the injury. Your employer can offer transitional or modified tasks to get you back to work. However, if your physician determines that you're unable to do the job being offered, don't accept.
- Will my claim have a hearing? If you or your employer disagrees with the BWC’s initial finding regarding your workers’ comp claim, either party can file an appeal, which results in a hearing. Your workers’ comp attorney will help you prepare for the hearing to improve the chances of winning the appeal.
- Should I settle my claim? When you settle a workers’ comp claim in Ohio, you'll get a lump sum payment but have to give up ongoing medical coverage and wage-loss benefits. You also give up the chance of returning to work for that employer. This is a decision that shouldn't be made without the help of an experienced workers’ comp attorney.
Get More of Your Questions Answered
I hope this quick FAQ provided some general direction for your understanding. For more fascinating and helpful information you need to know, download a free copy of my book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio. This action-packed eBook teaches you how to handle filing a claim; steps to take to avoid contested claims; what to expect if you have preexisting conditions; and more valuable tips.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get the benefits you deserve. Fill out the form on this page to request a free case evaluation. If I can help, I will!