The Ohio workers’ compensation system was designed to ensure that injured workers had access to necessities such as medical care associated with the injury and replacement income in the wake of an on the job injury or occupational illness.
However, workers’ compensation benefits are not automatic. Failure to follow proper procedures and comply with workers’ compensation requirements can result in a diminishment in value of the claim, or even loss of the claim.
4 Common Workers’ Compensation Mistakes
Some common workers’ compensation mistakes that can delay, reduce, or even result in denial of a workers’ compensation claim include:
1. Failure to notify the employer of the injury in a timely manner.
Unlike some other states, Ohio does not have a statutory deadline for reporting a work-related injury to the employer. However, failure to promptly report an on-the-job injury can result in a variety of complications.
For example, the delay may result in delayed processing of the workers’ compensation insurance claim, leaving the injured worker without access to critical benefits.
Delayed reporting may also make it more difficult for the injured worker to demonstrate that the injury was work-related, potentially resulted in a contested claim or even denial of the claim.
2. Providing inaccurate or misleadingly incomplete information.
Workers’ compensation fraud can result in denial of a claim, but that’s only the beginning. Providing inaccurate information or concealing records during the process is one of the most serious workers’ compensation mistakes because workers’ comp fraud is a crime.
In addition to hurting your claim, making material misrepresentations in the workers’ compensation process may result in jail time and court-ordered reimbursement for any benefits paid.
While it may be tempting to omit mention of a previous injury you fear may complicate the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s (BWC’s) assessment, or to change the story of how the injury occurred to make it more likely that you’ll qualify for benefits, this type of misrepresentation can have serious consequences.
In fact, workers’ compensation fraud can result in denial of benefits even in situations where you might have been qualified if you’d been honest.
3. Failure to provide requested information or cooperate with the BWC.
An injured worker or victim of occupational illness who is seeking workers’ compensation benefits must comply with requests for information, attend medical examinations, and otherwise cooperate with the BWC in investigating and processing the claim. Failure to fully cooperate with the BWC may result in denial of a claim.
Alternatively, injured workers who fail to provide complete information may find that their benefits are reduced or denied because they have provided inadequate information or documentation to support the claim.
4. Failure to follow medical advice or complete treatment.
Failure to cooperate with treating physicians can impact your workers’ compensation benefits in two ways.
First, those making the determination regarding your benefits rely on medical information from your providers. If you have failed to keep doctor appointments, participate in physical therapy, or otherwise follow the regimen your medical providers prescribe, the BWC may have inadequate information on which to base appropriate benefits.
Second, failure to pursue treatment and follow doctors’ recommendations can aggravate your condition or slow your recovery, making it difficult to determine whether lingering limitations and symptoms are the result of the original injury, or are attributable to your own actions.
Avoid Critical Workers’ Compensation Mistakes
If you’ve been injured on the job and are facing physical limitations, pain, and other obstacles, winding your way through the workers’ compensation bureaucracy maybe daunting. However, in order to protect your benefits, your health, and perhaps your ongoing employment, it is essential to follow the regulations to the letter and fully participate in both treatment and the administrative process.
If you are uncertain about how to proceed with your workers’ compensation claim, are having difficulty getting your employer to cooperate, have been denied benefits, or are facing other obstacles in the workers’ compensation process, an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help. You can schedule a free consultation right now by calling 216.861.4211 or filling out the contact form on this site.
The information presented in this post is not legal advice and does not form a lawyer/client relationship. Laws and circumstances can differ and change.
Please contact us for a personal review of your situation