How do I file a claim?
An injured worker can file a claim by completing the First Report of Injury (FROI) form. This can be done in our office on the day of your injury or shortly thereafter. Once it is filled out, we will fax it to the BWC. A claim number will be assigned in a few days and you will be mailed this information. Often times if the injured worker went to the hospital or emergency room first, the first report of injury is typically filled out there, however, most patients seem to be unaware of this at the time. This could be due to the stress involved with being injured or simply not being informed that a claim is being filed on their behalf.
Who can file a claim with BWC?
Most of our patients leave it up to us to file the claim for them, however, they can file it themselves if they wish, or the employer or authorized representative such as an attorney can file it for them. We highly recommend that if given the choice, patients let us help them fill out the paperwork necessary to file the claim since there is a section on the first report of injury form where the doctor is able to correctly diagnose the patient.
What time limits apply to workers’ compensation claims?
The most important time limit that you, as an injured worker should be aware of, is the two year Statute of Limitations for filing a claim, however, laws change all the time and you should check with the Ohio BWC to make sure. If you do not file within two years, it will be forever barred. Therefore, the sooner that you file your claim, the more likely you are to succeed in establishing the allowance of your claim. We have all the forms you need, especially the First Report of Injury Form, or FROI, in our office. So, when you come to see us, you don’t have to worry about where to find this form. We have them right here.
Should I settle my claim if the bureau has contacted me regarding a lump sum settlement.?
Believe it or not, we get many types of questions like these. And the way we always respond is, the settlement of your claim is entirely up to you. Neither your employer nor the bureau can force you to settle your claim and give up your right to future compensation. However, whether or not you settle your claims should be closely analyzed by your attorney representing you if you have one. They are in the best position to assess the future value of your claim and negotiate an appropriate amount to give up those future rights. We work with attorneys on approximately 90% of the cases we see, so you will have the confidence that we are all on the same team.
If I am hurt on the job, what should I do?
If you are injured at work you should report this to your employer and seek medical attention. You have the right to a free choice of physicians, which means that you can pick any workers’ compensation certified provider. The first report of injury, which is a bureau form, can be completed either by the injured worker, provider, or employer. After the first report of injury is filed, the bureau within a very short time will assign a claim number to your case. This does not mean that your claim is allowed, but simply is a number which the bureau will use to track information that comes with your claim. It is important that you obtain representation at this stage of the process since there are many technical time frames that may apply to your claim.
Has your workers’ compensation claim been denied?
If the BWC has denied your claim- an alleged preexisting condition or claiming you were injured somewhere else, or for any other number of reasons they can think of -their decision can be appealed before the Ohio Industrial Commission. This is where have a lawyer on your side can really ensure that the evidence, doctors’ records, test results, accident reports and other vital information is successfully presented on our behalf.
There is a relative fear of the unknown with many of the small details involving a work injury and finding the right attorney can make all the difference. We have had the pleasure with working with most of the BWC attorneys in some form or another, and we will be glad to assist you in finding one if you so choose.