If you are injured on the job, it is critical to understand the basics of the Ohio workers’ compensation claims process and how to file for benefits. The Ohio workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, and it is also an exclusive remedy for workplace injuries. What this means is that, in order to be eligible for benefits, you will not need to prove that anyone was negligent or that your injury resulted from another party’s negligence. Further, even if your own negligence contributed to the accident in which you were injured, you will not lose your ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, and your compensation will not be reduced because of your own negligence. Since workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, it is also an exclusive remedy, which means you cannot sue your employer for negligence if you are injured. As such, you need to be sure that you take all necessary steps to file your workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner.
The following are the steps you should take when you are filing for workers’ compensation in Ohio.
Report the Injury to Your Employer
While many states require injured employees to report the injury to an employer within a specific period of time, Ohio does not have this type of requirement. Nonetheless, it is essential to begin documenting your injuries as soon as you can to ensure that the workers’ compensation claims process goes as smoothly as possible. By reporting your injury to your employer as soon as it happens (or soon after) in writing, you will have more evidence to support your workers’ compensation claim and the fact that your injury is work-related. Moreover, your employer may have a policy that requires injured workers to report an injury within a particular period of time, and it will be important to follow workplace rules and procedures as they are outlined in an employee handbook or other documentation.
Seek a Medical Evaluation
Next, you should seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible. The Ohio workers’ compensation system allows you to see any healthcare provider for your first medical visit after your injury, but after that, you will need to select a physician who is a certified medical provider according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Seeing a healthcare provider quickly after your injury is extremely important because your doctor can provide information for your medical record that can help to prove that you have a work-related injury.
Complete the First Report of Injury (FROI)
To officially get your workers’ compensation claims process started, you will need to file a First Report of Injury (FROI) document and submit it to the BWC. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, your employer may have already submitted the FROI if you reported the injury or the managed care organization (MCO) may have submitted the FROI if your healthcare provider notified the MCO of your injury.
Wait While Your Claim is Decided
After you file the FROI, the BWC will begin investigating your claim. Within 28 days of receiving the FROI, you should receive a decision about whether your claim has been allowed or denied. If your claim is denied, an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with the appeals process.
Contact Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Do you need help filing for workers’ compensation benefits? An experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney at our firm can assist you. Contact Groth & Associates today.