by Kara Dolan-West | Mar 23, 2022 | Workers' Compensation
Reasons a Workers’ Compensation Claim May Be Denied
Most people do not plan to be injured on the job. Unfortunately, a substantial number of Ohioans are forced to hire a workers’ compensation attorney in Ohio to fight through the workers’ compensation system and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to receive the compensation that they deserve. Many of these claims are denied for preventable reasons.
The following is a list of common mistakes employees make when working through the workers’ compensation program. This list does not cover every shortcoming, so it is important to speak with a qualified Ohio workers’ compensation attorney to ensure the best results. Each case is unique, and only an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will understand the nuances of the law.
Not Reporting the Injury
The longer an employee waits to report an injury, the greater the risk of missing out on compensation. Employers will usually provide potential claimants with paperwork to report the injury. It is important to fill out the paperwork and set up a clear timeline and notice of injury.
Workers must also prove that their injury was related to their job. This becomes more difficult if there is a long delay between the injury and reporting the injury. Delays will also prolong the process of getting compensation. The process can already be frustrating and slow even without delays by the claimant. So, it is best to report injuries promptly.
Additionally, Ohio has a statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims that bars employees from making claims beyond a certain date. In most cases, the time frame is one year. It is essential to begin the compensation process before then.
If you need assistance filing your claim, or if you believe your claim has been denied unfairly, contact the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at The Bainbridge Firm. As we will discuss later, waiting until it is too late to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in Ohio can be potentially devastating to your claim.
Not Seeking Medical Care
One of the workers’ compensation system’s main functions is to pay for medical care. As any experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will tell you, if a potential claimant does not visit a doctor, there will be no substantive proof of a medical injury.
It is not enough that an injured worker testifies to an injury that occurred. The injured worker must have a diagnosable injury or illness. If the BWC does not have evidence of an injury, it will almost certainly deny the claim, whether you have a workers’ compensation attorney on your side or not.
Failure to keep up with treatment or doctor visits is also a mistake because the BWC bases compensation on the information provided by doctors. So, even if a claim is accepted, the BWC will not be able to determine the proper amount of compensation to give out if you fail to provide supporting medical documentation to support your claim.
Failure to keep up with appointments is also an issue because of an oft-debated legal subject: causation. If a claimant does not go through proper treatment protocols, the BWC may argue that lasting symptoms are the fault of the claimant, un-related to the injury, or degenerative in nature.
Finding the correct physician who is BWC certified is not always easy. If you need help finding physicians who are able and willing to treat you for a BWC claim, contact the Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys at The Bainbridge Firm for a free consultation.
Not Telling the Truth and Not Cooperating
It is important to be truthful and cooperative when filing your claim. Having a workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner doesn’t mean you want to pick a fight if you don’t have to.
This does not mean that claimants should stand by and let the BWC or their self-insured employer “work it out.” Remember, the workers’ compensation system is essentially an insurance system. This means that the BWC and self-insured employers are reluctant to hand out money to claimants even when claimants have legitimate cases that deserve compensation.
Unfortunately, claimants will not always be able to count on the BWC or their employer to believe the claim is legitimate. Nor should they expect others to do the “right thing” when potentially huge sums of money are at stake. That’s why workers’ compensation attorneys like The Bainbridge firm exist in the first place, to make sure your rights are protected as an Ohio worker, from disability coverage to lost wages.
With this reality in mind, claimants should make sure they tell the truth and the whole truth. Workers’ compensation fraud is a crime. Providing inaccurate information or concealing records will not only risk the life of a claim; it may also result in jail time. Potential claimants should also comply with BWC requests for information. This means attending medical examinations and responding to requests for information in a timely manner.
Hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is the best way to ensure that a workers’ compensation claim is handled appropriately. Only then will a claim have the greatest chance of success.
Waiting Until You Lose to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Waiting until you lose your claim, or not hiring the right workers’ compensation attorney until it is too late, is a very risky decision. A lot of money is at stake in workers’ compensation claims. Usually, this money has a big impact on how claimants can live their lives for years to come.
Claimants that have sustained serious injuries with expensive and long-lasting treatment are usually better off seeking the help of an Ohio workers’ compensation attorney at the forefront. Many times, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to better prepare your presentation, ensure the medical support in your file is sufficient, and make legal arguments in your favor.
The most important reason to hire a workers’ compensation attorney is that employers have attorneys. Claimants that try to get compensation by themselves will be fighting against experienced attorneys for every dollar. These attorneys have every motivation to keep employees from being paid what they deserve.
Finally, waiting until you have lost to hire a workers’ compensation attorney can be harmful to your claim. Often, what has been lost cannot be recovered. That is not always the case, however. Even if you have lost, it is important that you seek legal counsel to ensure you have the best chance of retaining benefits and compensation under your Ohio workers’ compensation claim.
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