by The Bainbridge Firm, LLC | Jan 16, 2017 | Hearing Process
If you are injured on the job, the first thing you should do is notify your employer. This step is critical to your pursuit of worker’s compensation benefits. By doing this you not only give your employer notice that a workers’ compensation claim may be filed, but also you will start the development of important evidence that may be necessary to prove the compensability of your claim. Often, the employer upon being notified of an accident will have procedures in place that will call for the recordation of facts relating to what occurred on the date of the injury, this often comes in the form of an accident report. Accident reports stand to prove that an accident did in fact occur from which injuries did result. If an employer ever tries to contest an alleged accident, proper reporting of the injury can stand to combat such assertions.
The same reporting measures must be taken in relation to the development of an occupational disease. Immediately upon receiving a diagnosis of a possible occupational disease one should report that diagnosis to their employer with whom they were working when the disease developed. The longer an individual waits to report their injury or occupational disease to their employer the greater level of scrutiny they will face upon filing the claim. Employers and claim administrators work tirelessly to prevent the allowance of fraudulently filed claims. When you delay the reporting of an injury or occupational disease those investigating the compensability of your claim may be more likely to assert that the alleged accident and subsequent injuries were fabricated or not related to work. So, again, it is extremely important to report an injury or occupational disease as soon as occurs.
When you inform your employer of the injury, your employer will likely give you the appropriate claim forms to fill out to start your claim.
The next step is to seek immediate medical attention. Obviously, in order to be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you must show that you suffered an injury. Injuries must be diagnosed by a proper medical practitioner. By getting medical attention you produce medical records that will be used to establish that you are in fact injured. Regardless of how minor your injuries maybe you should always seek immediate medical attention that will produce medical evidence that proves an injury exists. You should never try to just “tough it out,” always have your injury treated.
Next, you should file your workers’ compensation claim. Under Ohio law, an individual injured at work has one year from the date of the injury to file an application for workers compensation benefits. When an individual contracts an occupational disease as a result of their employment the individual has two years from the date they are diagnosed to file a claim. As with reporting an injury, it is critical that the application for workers’ compensation benefits be made in a timely fashion. The longer one waits to file the claim the higher level of scrutiny they are likely to face upon filing.
A claim can be started by the completion and filing of a First Report of Injury (FROI-1). The FROI-1 requires information related to who the injured worker is, the injury or occupational disease alleged, and what occurred that caused the injury. Once completed said form can be faxed or mailed to your local BWC service office. Your FROI-1 can now also be completed and submitted online through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation website. Within 28 days of receiving the FROI-1 the BWC will complete an initial investigation.
This does not guarantee that you will be receiving benefits; it only means that your claim has been successfully filed. At that point, you should wait to hear from the BWC. The BWC may make an initial determination on your claim or it may arrange for a hearing with the Industrial Commission.
If you have been injured on the job and are wondering what should be done next don’t hesitate to contact the Bainbridge Firm for assistance. Our team of experienced attorneys can help guide you the process of seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
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