Sometimes, when an employee gets hurt at work, they assume their employer will take care of everything. They don’t realize that they are personally responsible for making sure their workers compensation claim is filed properly. They are also responsible for making sure it is filed on time. One simple mistake in the claims process can cost you the benefits you deserve. This is why we always recommend that workplace accident victims meet with a Cincinnati workers compensation lawyer before they do anything. They’ll make sure you meet the filing deadline. They’ll also make sure your claim is handled properly from the start.
Here, we’ll discuss why it is crucial that you file your claim in time. We’ll also explain the other deadlines you’ll need to meet if you expect to be compensated for your workplace injury. If you have specific questions about your own workers compensation case, feel free to give us a call. You can schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.
Your Workers Compensation Claim Will Be Dismissed if You Don’t File it in Time
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to file your workers compensation claim late. This means that you can’t wait too long to report your workplace accident to your manager or Human Resources department. Technically, you don’t fill out the actual paperwork for workers comp. However, you do need to fill out an incident or accident report. This is the only way your employer can submit it to their workers comp insurance carrier.
Most companies have a policy that states how long you have to report your injury. However, according to the state of Ohio, you have up to one year to report it. Up until 2017, you had two years to file your claim. This was recently shortened to the one-year period.
If your employer refuses to submit it because you didn’t report your injury according to their policy, you may need a Cincinnati workers compensation lawyer.
You Only Have a Short Window in Which You Can File an Appeal
If your workers compensation claim is denied, you do have the option of filing an appeal. However, you have a very show window in which to do this. In fact, you only have fourteen days from the date on your denial letter. Considering that it probably took a few days for the mail to arrive at your house, this doesn’t leave you much time at all.
In our experience, very few people know how to file a workers compensation appeal. Even attorneys who don’t specialize in workers compensation have no idea how the process works. What we do know is that, if you miss the 14-day window, your appeal will be rejected. This will leave your Ohio personal injury lawyer’s hands tied. They’ll still have the option of filing suit, but whether your complaint will be accepted is not guaranteed.
Your Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Will Need to File Suit Before the Statute of Limitations Period Expires
As stated above, the State of Ohio gives workers one full year in which they can file a workers compensation lawsuit. The year starts on the date of your injury. This is important for several reasons.
First, it will take time for you to file your initial workers compensation claim. By the time your employer or their insurance company gets back to you, it could be another few weeks. Let’s say your claim was denied and you had to file an appeal. We’re looking at another two to three weeks minimum before you receive their final order.
By this point, two or three months could’ve easily gone by. And that’s assuming that you reported your injury right away. If you waited weeks or months to report your workplace accident, then several months will have gone by before you seek out a Cincinnati workers compensation lawyer.
If this is the case, you won’t be giving your lawyer much time to prepare your case. Typically, Ohio personal injury lawyers like to have at least two or three months before the statute of limitations will run. This gives them time to review your paperwork, talk to witnesses, and depose your employer. The last thing you want to do is wait until the last minute to retain an attorney. If there isn’t enough time for them to adequately prepare your case, they may not be able to help you at all.
At Some Point, Your Benefits Will Expire
One thing to keep in the back of mind is the fact that you can’t collect workers compensation benefits forever. In Ohio, the maximum number of weeks you can receive benefits for is 200. This comes out to be just under four years.
If your injuries were serious, there’s the chance that you may not be ready to go back to before the 200 weeks are up. If that’s the case, your Cincinnati workers compensation lawyer will have to negotiate a long-term settlement with the insurance company. They can either agree to continue paying benefits for a certain period of time or they’ll have to offer a lump sum payout.
Reach Out to an Experienced Cincinnati Workers Compensation Lawyer Right Away
It may sound strange, but we always recommend that workplace accident victims speak with a skilled Cincinnati workers compensation lawyer right away. Some people like to wait to talk to an attorney until after their workers comp claim has been denied. However, if you had an attorney there to help you during the filing process, your claim may have been approved. Rather than risk losing your benefits due to a costly mistake, give us a call.
When you call our office, you can ask to schedule your free, initial consultation. You can also reach out to us through our website. The goal of this first meeting is to evaluate your case and see if has merit. It also gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have about your claim. Since this first consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.