Questions From the Average Joe – Workers’ Compensation III

by NPHM | August 21st, 2020

Q: I’m a delivery driver and I was in a car accident while working. Is workers’ compensation my only option for compensation?

A: You may have heard that workers’ compensation makes it impossible to sue when you’re hurt at work, but that is not always the case. Though the state Workers’ Compensation law does usually prevent you from suing your employer when you’re hurt at work, it does not apply to negligent acts committed by third parties. The classic example of this is an auto accident while you’re driving for work. The person that caused the accident, as a third party without any relationship to your employer, is not protected by the immunity granted under workers’ compensation.

As a result, you may have a valid workers’ compensation claim alongside a valid claim against that driver’s insurance. This concept applies to any accident at work that may have been caused by any unrelated third party. Many situations aren’t as clear cut as an auto accident though. If you were hurt at work and think there could be a potential claim against a third party, an experienced accident attorney can evaluate your situation and make sure you are able to pursue all possible means of compensation.

Q: My employer told me not to file a workers’ compensation claim when I was hurt, but I haven’t been able to work so they fired me. What can I do about my bills?

A: For a number of reasons, including insurance rating, OSHA certifications, or other personal reasons, an employer may prefer if you do not file a workers’ compensation claim. None of those reasons, however, benefit you in any way. In order to function as an employer in Ohio, your employer has already been paying for workers’ compensation coverage. When you are hurt at work it is your right to file a claim to receive payment for your time off due to injury and to have your medical bills covered by workers’ compensation.

If you were hurt at work, your last priority should be preserving your employer’s safety record or insurance rates—you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself so you can continue to provide for your family. Thankfully, you have up to a year after an accident to file a workers’ compensation claim—if it’s been less than a year since you were hurt, it is not too late to file a claim. Especially if you are not going into work anymore, you might not know what to do to file and pursue a workers’ compensation claim. Don’t let the perceived difficulty in doing so stop you from getting what it is your right to receive. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process and help you access all of the benefits to which you are entitled.

Q: I was hurt at work last year. At first, I thought I didn’t need a workers’ comp attorney but now my doctor wants me to have a surgery and it was not allowed by the workers’ compensation administration. Is it too late to hire an attorney?

A: Though an attorney can help the initial phase of your workers’ compensation go smoother, it is not a requirement that you hire an attorney immediately. Even so, by the time you’re through with your claim, it’s not uncommon that you’ll find yourself needing one. No need to worry though—though a denial letter can be a scary thing to receive, you still have time to hire an attorney. There is a one-year period in which to file your workers’ compensation claim, but once it’s filed, an attorney can step in at any stage. A denial letter is often the perfect time to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

With an experienced attorney on your side, an appeal to the denial can be filed, and you’re much more likely to win your appeal if you don’t have to argue it on your own. If you’re in the midst of a Worker’s Compensation claim and you don’t think you can’t do it on your own anymore, a conversation with an experienced attorney could be the first step you need to take to get the right result.

Get to Know

Zachary Belcher joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and ensures that every individual who contacts the firm receives outstanding service and support throughout the intake process. He understands the stressful and life-altering situations clients face before seeking a personal injury attorney.

Contact Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

The claims process can be complicated, and you may hit some roadblocks along the way. Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help, contact our workers’ compensation attorney today. We can assist you with filing a claim and fight to make sure your employee rights are protected. Fill out a free initial consultation form or call (216) 230 – 6352.