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If a work-related injury or illness prevents you from working, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits—and you can apply for them on your own.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) website has information on how to file a claim, including the steps you need to take, how long you have to file a claim, who is eligible to file a claim on your behalf, and more.
However, just because you can file a workers’ compensation claim on your own doesn’t mean you should! Having an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer on your side as soon as possible after a work injury or illness is a good idea for several reasons.
One of the most common hurdles injured and sick workers face when applying for workers’ compensation benefits is uncooperative employers. Too often, employers are either combative from the moment workers get injured or develop an illness, or they become uncooperative after initially appearing helpful. In some cases, they may even deny that workers were injured or became sick at work in an attempt to make them ineligible for benefits.
Employers often think they can get away with such tactics when injured or sick workers are going it alone when filing for workers’ compensation benefits. However, they’re much less likely to attempt these tactics when they know their employees have legal representation. If your employer attempts to lie or misrepresent what happened, your attorney will quickly set the record straight.
Workers’ compensation applications can be complex and frustrating. They’re not actually as easy as simply filling out a form to request benefits for your work-related injury or illness. If you’ve never needed to file for workers’ compensation benefits before, you may be overwhelmed by all the requirements to fulfill and deadlines to meet—especially while you’re trying to recover from your injury or illness.
When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney, you can count on him or her to handle the entire application process for you from start to finish. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to focus on getting better and spending time with your family and friends. The last thing you need while you’re injured or sick is the stress of a complex and time-consuming workers’ compensation application hanging over your head.
Unfortunately, some people view workers’ compensation as a way to get out of work they are fully capable of doing while still receiving a paycheck. Because of that, the BWC is always on high alert for fraud. To reduce the number of fraudulent claims, the BWC has strict standards for reviewing and approving applications—and that means it’s common for workers to get denied when they apply for benefits out of an abundance of caution.
With an experienced lawyer on your side, you won’t have to worry about mistakes, oversights, and omissions costing you your chance of getting the benefits you’re owed. Your lawyer will ensure that every required form is completed in full, every piece of documentation is provided, and every deadline is met with plenty of time to spare.
When you’re injured or sick and can’t work because of a work-related injury or illness, you’re also not earning a paycheck. To make matters worse, you’re also accumulating medical bills for your treatment. The combination of these can quickly deplete your savings, max out your credit cards, and put you and your loved ones under significant financial stress.
One of the biggest benefits of having an experienced lawyer building your claim is knowing that the entire process will move quickly from beginning to end. Workers’ compensation attorneys know and have completed every required step many times for their clients, and yours can provide information to the BWC and clear up any issues immediately to prevent delays in you getting your benefits.
If you already applied for workers’ compensation benefits and were denied, you aren’t out of luck. Many claims are denied on the first attempt, but that’s not the end of the road. The BWC allows people whose claims were denied a chance to appeal the decision.
Winning an appeal requires experience and knowledge, as appeals are often scrutinized even more closely than first-time applications. Having a lawyer build your appeal can maximize your chance of getting it approved and receiving the benefits you deserve.
You have enough on your mind after a work-related injury or illness. You shouldn’t have to spend your days reading and filling out countless complex and lengthy forms, tracking down paperwork from your employer and doctor, calling the BWC, and crossing your fingers that your application will be approved.
The legal team at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy knows what you’re going through, and we want to put your mind at ease. We have the experience you need to get the benefits you’re owed after a work injury or illness. Relax and focus on getting better; leave everything else up to us. Contact our firm today for a free case review.
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