Question

Do I face any risks if I speak to an Ohio workers’ comp lawyer?

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Jerald A. Schneiberg - Workers' Compensation - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Jerald A. Schneiberg

Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A.
Euclid, OH
Phone: 216-289-4740
Fax: 216-289-4743

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Answer

If you are referring to legal risks you might incur by speaking with an attorney after being injured on the job, the answer is no. However, it is easy to understand why you might pose the question. If you file a workers’ compensation claim and you are afraid your employer will disagree with your claim, bringing an attorney into the picture on your side can seem like you are creating an even more acrimonious situation than is necessary.

But all Ohio businesses with one employee or more are required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage for their employees, so if you qualify with a work injury under the system, there are benefits to which you are entitled. The state does not bar attorneys from helping injured employees navigate the process of filing a claim, challenging a denied claim, or ensuring you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

There are many benefits to hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to assist you with your claim. They can:

  • Help you fill out your original application for workers’ compensation and meet all important deadlines associated with the claim
  • Work with you to gather and present medical, work-related and disability information that is crucial to claim approval
  • Review any settlement documents that you are presented with, ensuring you will receive everything you need to recover
  • Communicate with third-party administrators on your behalf or advise you on what to say if you must speak with them directly
  • Guide you through filing an appeal with the Ohio Industrial Commission within 14 days of a claim denial
  • Represent you at the appeals hearing and present additional evidence to reinforce your original claim

If you are concerned about your employer firing you or taking retaliatory actions against you for speaking with a lawyer about a workers’ comp claim you have already filed, you should be aware that state law protects those who make claims from negative actions that are based on your workers’ comp status. If you face retaliation just for speaking with a lawyer and haven’t even filed your claim yet, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer to recover lost wages and other damages.

If you speak to an attorney about your workers’ compensation, be sure to ask how many cases of this type they handle per year. Worker injury law is complex, and many factors can impact the outcome of a claim. An attorney who is experienced in this area of the law will also have experience negotiating with the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and third-party administrators to provide the best possible outcome of your claim.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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