There are countless scenarios that may arise following a work accident. This article attempts to highlight some areas that commonly affect Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) claims.
ONE: Get Medical Attention Right Away
While this first point may appear to be a “no-brainer,” all too often clients inform me that they decided to wait days, weeks and sometimes even months to have an injury checked out. This can be detrimental to bringing a successful workman’s comp claim. Our firm always advises those hurt on the job to at least get their injury checked out by a professional immediately following an accident. This makes good sense for one’s physical well-being, and also ensures that the injury is documented by a professional. Waiting to get checked out can make an injury worse as well as complicate one’s ability to bring a successful claim.
TWO: See a Certified BWC Provider With Experience
One problem I commonly see is that injured indivduals who need ongoing care seek such services with medical professionals who have little to no experience with the Ohio workers’ compensation system. This can be very problematic. Generally the biggest problems I see is that injuries are not well diagnosed nor are they properly documented. One must bear in mind that decisions in the Ohio work comp system are based significantly off of medical records. Providers who have experience with the system do a much better job ensuring that their documentation is accurate and clear with respect to the specific work injury at issue.
THREE: Get Diagnostic Testing Performed Early
Another problem I routinely see is that people suffer significant injuries (particularly to their spine) but do not have the proper testing to make sure such injury is recognized in his/her work comp claim. For example, say you suffer a significant low back injury in a car wreck while making a delivery for your work. X-rays are performed, no fractures are found, and you take medication for six to eight months. Then the problem just continues to get worse. Your claim is allowed for lumbar sprain. Finally you ask your doctor to order an MRI to see if something more significant is going on. You request that the MRI be paid for via workers’ comp. You are then surprised to find out that the MRI is denied and you are told that this is because it is no longer warranted for your allowed condition (i.e., the sprain) which typically heals in 6 to 8 weeks. This presents yet another problem, because if you are truly suffering from a herniated disc, for example, you will not likely be successful in having such condition recognized in your workers’ comp claim because you are now unable to prove its existence. Get the testing performed early; better safe than sorry.
FOUR: Do a Home Exercise Program If Warranted
I see this point having dual benefit time and time again. First, those persons who stick to their prescribed home exercise program generally fare much better physically after an injury. This seems to be particularly true of those who continue to work while they heal. Second, being compliant with a home exercise program demonstrates one’s desire to get better and return to work. This can have a beneficial impact at the Industrial Commission where decisions are made regarding treatment and allowances of additional conditions.
FIVE: Hire an Experienced Cincinnati Work Comp Lawyer
This last one is definitely self-serving. However, all too often potential clients seek my services months or even years after an injury. While I still may be able to help such people, it is much easier to effectively counsel a claimant where I have the luxury of monitoring the case at the early stages. Waiting until problems arise in one’s claim to hire an attorney often makes the claim more difficult than need be.
Feel free to call 513-737-5180 or use the form below to contact our firm regarding your claim.
Andy Tobergte is a partner at McKenzie & Snyder LLP. We represent workers’ compensation claimants and personal injury victims in the Greater Cincinnati Area, Dayton, Montgomery, Springfield, Fairborn, Hamilton, Fairfield, Cheviot, Colerain, Mt Healthy, College HIll, Batavia, Amelia, Loveland, West Chester, Westwood, Reading, Forest Park, Middletown, Monroe, Ross, Oxford and more.
Written by Andrew Tobergte