Zanesville Court Appeals Attorneys
Getting injured on the job can have a dramatic impact on your life, health, and overall well-being. If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim and it has been denied, you may still be entitled to compensation.
If you or a loved one has had a workers’ compensation claim denied, Graham Law is here to help. We have been helping Ohio employees with workers’ compensation matters since 1923, and our attorneys may be able to help you navigate the complexities of filing a court-related appeal. Contact us today to book a free consultation.
Who Is Entitled to Workers’ Compensation?
The state of Ohio is home to one of the country’s largest workers’ compensation systems. Almost every business in the state must have worker’s compensation insurance for the protection of their employees, though there are some exceptions to the rule.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is the state-run insurer that oversees almost all workers’ compensation claims. Ohio workers’ who get injured on the job file a claim through the BWC online, through mail or fax, or over the phone. It is important to note that while there is a 24-hour time limit for a doctor to file a claim on your behalf, this time limit differs for the worker or a third party.
A claim could be filed by the injured worker, a notified medical provider, an authorized representative, their employer, or any interested party, such as the spouse of the injured worker. Once the BWC receives the claim, the worker will receive a letter and ID card in the mail to signify that their claim is being processed.
What Could Workers’ Compensation Look Like?
The BCW receives around 97,000 claims per year and approves about 85,000 of those, paying out approximately $1.5 billion annually in benefits. Two-thirds of this amount goes towards compensation benefits for missed work, rehabilitation, or reducing earning capacity, and the final third pays out medical benefits.
There are quite a few types of workers’ compensation benefits available to workers in Ohio. Some of these include:
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD): Awarded to workers who are unable to work at all at any job because of injuries sustained while working. Some injuries are automatically put in this category, including loss of both hands, legs, arms, or feet.
- Lump Sum Settlement: Any type of workers’ compensation claim can pursue this option. This lump sum payment should take into account all future medical expenses and impacts of the injury. It is an alternative option to ongoing medical and wage loss benefits.
- Wage Loss/Lost Wages: Awarded to workers whose workplace injury has directly resulted in reduced earnings. There are two types – working wage loss and non-working wage loss.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): This is an option for workers who have faced permanent damage to a body part. A PPD’s distribution may vary in formatting and structure.
- Death Benefits: Entitled to surviving dependents of an employee who has died because of an injury or illness that occurred at work.
If you think you are entitled to any of these or other workers’ compensation benefits and your claim has been denied, contact our Zanesville workers’ compensation attorneys today.
Reasons Why a Claim May Be Denied
A claim can be denied for many different reasons. The BWC states that sometimes, claims may be rejected because there was not enough evidence provided or what was provided is not sufficient. Other reasons a claim might be denied include:
- The injury did not occur in the workplace
- The filing deadline was missed
- There were discrepancies between the documented injuries and accident report
- The employer has disputed your claim
- The injury is not serious enough to collect benefits
- The medical provider was not on their certified list
- You did not seek medical treatment
- And more
The claimant will always receive a letter that details why their claim was denied and how to appeal.
When Should You Appeal?
If you decide to appeal, it is important to make sure you do so within the strictly allotted timeframe. The order issued to you will explain how long you have to file. Because the turnaround time tends to be short, contact our Zanesville workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as possible.
How to File an Appeal
The BWC must receive the appeal in writing. Once they do, they will forward it to the Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC). A separate agency that works with the BWC, the IC holds the appeals hearings and makes the final decisions.
Your attorney can help you build a strong appeal by ensuring you meet filing deadlines, fill out all paperwork correctly, collect all medical information, and secure witnesses if necessary.
In Ohio, there are four levels of possible workers’ compensation appeals. The first level of appeal is the district level, where a district hearing officer (DHO) will hear your appeal within 45 days from the appeal’s filing. If the worker wishes to appeal the decision made by the DHO, they will then move into the second level of appeal, otherwise known as the staff level.
The staff hearing officer (SHO) may request witnesses and evidence from both the worker and employer to support their sides and will then issue a decision. From there, a worker can move onto the third level, which is known as the commission level. The request to appeal at this level can either be approved or refused by the IC.
If the worker wishes to appeal the decision made by the commission level, the fourth and final opportunity to appeal your claim is with the Court of Common Pleas.
Consult With Our Zanesville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
Obtaining workers’ compensation can be the key to maintaining your health and vitality when you have experienced a workplace illness or injury. Having your claim denied can be stressful, which is why you should speak to a knowledgeable attorney who can help you and your family secure the benefits to which you are entitled.
If your initial claim was denied, it is possible to change the outcome through a successful appeals process. At Graham Law, our workers’ compensation attorneys may be able to help you through every step of the appeals process, from determining which benefits and compensation you are owed to presenting your case at the appeals hearing. Contact our workers’ compensation attorneys today for a free consultation.