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Tips for Documenting Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Journey

May 6, 2024

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If you were recently injured at work and are thinking about applying for workers’ compensation benefits, it’s important to document your journey. Doing so not only helps you organize your case, but it can also maximize your chances of getting approved for benefits, especially if you decide to hire an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you.

By documenting your journey, your lawyer will know exactly where your case stands and be better able to hit the ground running the day they start working for you. In this blog, we’ll provide important tips for documenting your journey and reasons why doing so can help your lawyer get a favorable outcome for you if you decide to hire one.

Start Documenting Your Journey Right Away

Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible and obtain a copy of their report of your injury or accident. This serves as an official acknowledgment of the incident and is a crucial piece of documentation when you begin seeking benefits. It’s also necessary for filing a workers’ comp claim and failing to do so early on could mean your claim is thrown out.

As soon as you’re able to do so, start documenting what happened. You should also take photographs of your injuries, the place where the injury occurred, and anything else that might be relevant to your claim. These initial details are often the most critical and can be forgotten if not recorded immediately.

Start a diary to log how the injury affects your daily activities, work capabilities, and quality of life. Note any pain, discomfort, emotional distress, and activities you can no longer perform. You should also track your symptoms and note any progress or setbacks in your recovery.

Create and maintain a physical or digital file containing every piece of documentation related to your claim. This includes medical records, correspondence with your employer or their insurance company, receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses (like medication, travel to medical appointments, etc.), and a log of any related conversations (including dates, names, and summaries).

If you’ve already started the workers’ compensation application process on the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) website, be sure to write down your login information and how far you got in your application. Your lawyer will need this information if you hire one so they can take over managing your claim.

Keep a detailed record of work absences and how your injury impacts your earning capacity. This includes lost wages, lost opportunities for advancement in your career, and any other financial losses incurred as a result of your injury. Ensure that you have detailed records of all medical treatments received due to your work-related injury, including doctor visits, medications, therapies, and any other medical interventions.

How Documenting Your Journey Can Help Your Lawyer

When you hire an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer to assist with your workers' compensation claim, the documentation you've compiled over the previous days, weeks, or months becomes invaluable. Here's why:

  • It Creates Evidence to Build Your Case. The detailed documentation provides your lawyer with the necessary evidence to build a strong case on your behalf. It helps to establish the severity of your injury, the negligence (if any) on the part of your employer, and the financial impact the injury has had on your life.
  • It Increases Your Lawyer’s Efficiency and Effectiveness. With comprehensive documentation, your lawyer can more efficiently navigate the legal process. This includes filing paperwork on time, presenting evidence effectively, and communicating with the BWC about your claim.
  • It Can Maximize Your Compensation. Detailed evidence supports your claim for maximum compensation. Whether it's proving your injury happened at work or presenting your case during a hearing, the more evidence you have, the stronger your position.

What If I’m Too Injured to Document My Journey?

If you're too injured to document your workers' compensation journey yourself, there are still ways to ensure that your claim is properly documented and handled. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Seek Help from Family or Friends. Ask a trusted family member or friend to help with the documentation process. You can guide them on what needs to be recorded, such as details of the injury, medical treatments, and interactions with your employer or their insurance company.
  • Use Voice Notes. If writing or typing is difficult, consider recording voice notes. Most smartphones have built-in voice recording apps. You can verbally document your symptoms, medical visits, and any significant interactions or thoughts related to your claim.
  • Start Documenting Yourself When You’re Ready. If you don’t have anyone to help you, start documenting as soon as you're physically able to. Even if you begin partway through your recovery process, capturing ongoing expenses, treatments, and the impact on your life is valuable.

Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Ready to Help

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we know that getting approved for workers’ compensation benefits is extremely important to you and your family right now. Whether you’re able to fully document your journey or not, know that our experienced Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers have the resources and know-how to maximize your chances of getting the benefits you need.

Our firm has nearly a century of experience helping injured Ohioans during their times of need, and we want to help you, too. Contact us today for a free case review.

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