I got hurt on the job – What should I do?

worried_workerIf you are injured at work in Ohio, you should immediately complete and file a written accident report with your employer. So many times, we hear the Employer argue at Allowance Hearings that the Employee did not file an injury report. As a result, they argue that there could not have been a work injury because the “injured” employee never told anyone. We are able to overcome these arguments when you have gone for immediate medical treatment or you have told a co-worker that you have been hurt. To play it safe, you should always file an incident report with your employer. But, even if you failed to immediately report your injury, you should contact a Board Certified Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Specialist Attorney to assist you in pursuing your claim. Just because you failed to immediately report your injury doesn’t mean you can’t file and pursue a workers’ comp claim.

You should also file a First Report of Injury (FROI-1) with The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) as soon as possible. The First Report of Injury form may be completed and filed by an injured worker, a treating physician, or the injured worker’s employer of record. You can also file a report of injury with the BWC by calling (800) OHIOBWC. In order for an injured worker to receive benefits under the Ohio Workers’ Compensation system, the injured worker must file a workers’ compensation claim. It is the injured worker’s responsibility to ensure that a claim has been filed.

When filing the FROI-1 or calling in your claim by telephone, please remember to completely describe the accident circumstances and the injury to EVERY body part that you sustained. Don’t leave out any injury description.

Once the First Report of Injury form is filed, BWC will generate a workers’ compensation claim number and assign it to your claim. The BWC will also assign a case worker to your claim. The claim number identifies the claim and you should put your claim number on all documents filed with the OhioBWC or the Industrial Commission.

The claim number establishes an electronic file for the injured worker. The mere fact that a claim number has been generated, however, does not assure that any benefits will be paid in connection with the claim.

If you have not received a claim number, check with the OhioBWC at (800) OHIOBWC to make certain that your claim has actually been filed.You will be assigned a specific claim number pertaining to your accident date. The claim number will be used as a means to track the movement of your claim during the life of your claim. Your employer and your treating physician will receive a letter notifying them of your claim number.

Always carry your identification card with you as you will be asked for your claim number any time you contact BWC, your managed care organization (MCO) or your doctor. The identification card contains your claim number, the name of your claims service specialist, his/her phone number and your MCO’s name and phone number.

The claim number is a tracking number. Use it whenever you contact BWC, your MCO or your self-insuring employer. And give it to all of your doctors that are treating the work-related injury.

Make sure that the claim number you have is a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation claim number. Bureau of Workers’ Compensation claim numbers currently begin with the last two digits of the year of injury (for example, an 2000 injury claim would begin “00-“). If you do not have a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation claim number, check to ensure that a claim has actually been filed.

Also be aware that the BWC case worker (CSS) is not a lawyer and does not represent your interests!

Note that there are time limits for filing workers’ compensation claims. If a claim is not filed within the time limit it will be forever barred. Because the issue of statutory time limits is important and can foreclose your ability to pursue your BWC claim, you should contact a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist if you have questions about time limits and protecting your legal interests in your OhioBWC claim.

We have the experience to handle any type of workers’ compensation claim. Our cases over the years have included all of the following types of injuries.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Injuries, RSD – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, CRPS – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Amputation, Punch Press and Heavy Machine Injuries, Broken Bones, Crush injury to All Body Parts, Broken Back, Herniated Disc, Degenerative Disc Disease, Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions, Broken Neck, Cervical Injury, Broken Fingers, Toes, Crushed Hand, Crushed Foot, Broken Fingers, Broken Toes, Torn Ligaments, Torn Cartilage, Rotator Cuff Tear, Torn Rotator Cuff, Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, Eye Injury, Loss of Hearing, Broken Nose, Facial Disfigurement, Psychiatric Overlay Injury, Psychological Overlay Injury, Dysthymia, Major Depression, Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Violation of Specific Safety Rules, Death Claims