Most injured workers don’t know that a denial of their claim from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“BWC”) and the Ohio Industrial Commission (“IC”) does not eliminate their right to argue for the compensability of their claim. Under Ohio Law injured workers have the opportunity to argue the merits of their claim in common pleas courts throughout Ohio.
Say someone files a claim for compensation benefits and initially the BWC denies that claim asserting that there is no right to receive them. Say the injured worker appeals that decision and receives a hearing before the IC but they too disallow the claim and deny benefits. Once that denial is received from the IC the injured worker then has a right to file their claim into court.
Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.512 provides that an injured worker, denied benefits from both the BWC and IC, has the right to file into common pleas court to establish their right to participate in the workers compensation fund. In making this filing the injured worker is essentially asserting that the BWC and IC got it wrong and that they should have received compensation benefits.
In order to make this filing there are some steps that must first be taken by the injured worker to ensure that they preserve their right to file in court. First the injured worker must make timely appeals to all the orders of both the BWC and IC denying their claim. Second the injured worker must exhaust all their administrative appeals. This means that an injured worker must go through each appeal level afforded by the workers compensation system. They have to request a hearing before a District Hearing Officer, a Staff Hearing Officer, and finally the Industrial Commission itself. Lastly, once the claim is denied by the Industrial Commission the injured worker then has sixty (60) days to file their claim denial challenge in court.
Once the claim is filed in common pleas court the injured worker has their final chance to argue the merits of their claim. Theses case can be tried before a jury of the injured workers peers if so requested.
If you feel as though you are unjustly being denied workers’ compensation benefits don’t hesitate to contact the Bainbridge Firm so that we may help you obtain compensation. We want to do everything we can to help you obtain all the compensation you deserve.