Why should I hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney vs. trying to settle the case myself in Ohio?
There are several reasons to hire an attorney to represent your worker’s compensation claim in Ohio. Ohio is not exactly like other states when worker’s compensation cases are settled because they use a two-tier system. Some employers carry worker’s compensation insurance through the state program administered by the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, but other employers choose to be self-insured. Employees who work for self-insured employers should always know the status of their worker’s compensation claim. However, an attorney will still provide legal advantages in both situations.
Filing a Claim with a Self-Insured Employer
Self-insured employers must file an application requesting designation from the state that they can implement their own worker’s compensation claim payout structure. These are always major corporations that find this arrangement to be cost effective for the business. However, this also adds an entity outside of the state bureau evaluation program that can deny the approval of a claim. In addition, self-insured companies will almost always have a legal team, and any insurance provider they have chosen to pay the claims will have legal input also. While they are legally required to provide the same benefits as the Ohio BWC, a denied claim can become complicated quickly with several litigants involved. This is no undertaking for a non-professional injured worker. Legal representation will always be necessary for a maximum claim benefit.
Filing a Claim with BWC
While this is sometimes the better position to be in for worker’s compensation insurance coverage, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation denies claims regularly in borderline or questionable cases. They also have the power to prosecute for fraud when they find erroneous claims for work-related injuries. In Ohio, a worker’s compensation claim can be filed by the MCO health provider who treated the injury, by the employer, by the employee claimant, or by the injured claimant’s representative. It is always important to retain an Ohio worker’s compensation attorney who understands the BWC operational system. Having an attorney who has investigated the injury claim and taken the case can help prevent the BWC from being suspicious about an injury that an employer will not acknowledge. It may seem simple at the beginning of filing a case, with the claimant thinking they can handle it, but the claim can get complicated quick if the BWC or the designated employer wants a second opinion on the injury.