When should I file an appeal for a denied workers comp claim?

When should I file an appeal for a denied workers comp claim?

The workers’ compensation system provides certain benefits to workers who are injured while on the job. In a similar way to your personal auto insurance, businesses pay premiums for workers’ compensation insurance that will provide medical and wage payments to the injured party and provide a layer of protection to the businesses themselves.

Like any insurance claim, the rules are complex. You have filed for benefits and your claim was denied. Meanwhile, your medical bills may be arriving and your income may be lost while you are off work. What now?

Why was my workers’ comp claim denied?

The most common reasons are:

  • the injury didn’t occur while you were at work or performing a work-related task
  • the injury was the result of a preexisting injury or condition
  • if there is a dispute as to exactly when or where the injury occurred
  • a health professional concluded that you aren’t disabled as a result of your work injury and are therefore still able to perform your work duties
  • there is a dispute whether you sustained injuries at all

How can I appeal a denied workers comp claim?

While the exact methods of appealing the denial can vary among the states (unless you are a federal employee), there are a few things that everyone can do when seeking a review of a denied claim:

  1. Hire a workers’ compensation attorney to handle the appeals process.
  2. Don’t wait. In Ohio, you must file a formal appeal within 14 days of the receipt of the denial.
  3. Contact the BWC.

How can a Workers’ Compensation lawyer help me?

Workers’ compensation is all we do. As your lawyer, I will determine the reasons for the denial of your claim and gather documentary evidence, including contacting possible witnesses to your injury and retaining experts from the medical field as well as your work industry if needed.

Most workers’ comp claims are denied based on medical issues. I will have your injury or disability evaluated by an independent medical specialist and/or review your specific case with your present health care provider to determine if a more detailed medical report should be drafted. I will also determine if any additional proof is needed to demonstrate a disability or directly related injury.

Don’t wait to fight for the benefits you deserve. Contact Workers’ Compensation Attorney Tom Marchese today.  Call now.

If you’ve been injured at work, read this.

If you’ve been injured at work, read this.

A seemingly normal day at work can quickly become the start of a nightmarish ordeal if you get injured. A slip and fall (read about the difference between slip and fall vs. trip and fall here), machinery accident, lifting injury, and more can deter your life in a matter of minutes and leave you wondering how you’ll pay your bills and provide for your family now that you’re unable to work. In this situation, having a worker’s compensation lawyer to walk you through the steps of filing a claim is essential.

Let’s discuss three important things that you should know about a worker compensation claim.

1. You don’t need to prove your employer is at fault.

This is actually a very common misconception. The reality is that you don’t have to prove anything to be eligible for compensation as workers comp is regarded as a no-fault system in the US. In addition, the amount of compensation you’ll receive is not affected by your carelessness in performing your job, that is unless you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the injury occurred. In that instance, it’s important that you consult a professional compensation attorney before filing a claim.

It is also important to note that reporting your injury is not “punishing” your employer or jeopardizing your job. All employers pay into the Ohio state workers’ compensation system to make sure that anyone injured on the job can seek compensation to cover those and injuries, missed income, and related medical expenses.

2. Report your injury immediately.

This is extremely important. Don’t wait to report your injury, even if you don’t immediately think you’ve been badly injured. That slight tweak in your back could have you unable to get out of bed in a few days, and you can seriously hurt your case of getting compensation if you do not immediately report your injury to the employer.

In some cases, workers choose not to report an accident because they think the work either doesn’t fall within their scope of employment, or they weren’t on duty when the injury occurred. This conversation should be discussed with your lawyer to decide since things are not always that clear-cut when it comes to workers’ comp claims.

3. You can still file a negligence lawsuit.

While it’s true that filing a workers comp claim does mean you waive your right to sue your employer, this does not mean that you can’t file a negligence lawsuit against a third party. For example, suppose your injury occurred due to a defective piece of equipment, in this situation you can bring a case to court against the equipment manufacturer. Any amount you receive in this case will be in addition to the compensation received from your employer.

Hire a workers comp lawyer to guide you.
Getting injured on the job can result in serious consequences. You can greatly increase your chances of getting adequate compensation by hiring a workers comp lawyer. Thomas Marchese is a highly experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you file a claim and fight for what you deserve. Give us a call today for a free consultation.

Can working from home cause a repetitive stress injury?

Can working from home cause a repetitive stress injury?

When you think of work-related injuries, you probably think of visible traumatic incidents that cause injuries like broken bones, brain injuries, or spinal cord trauma. What you probably don’t think of, are repetitive stress injuries.

What is a repetitive stress injury?

Perhaps the repetitive stress injury (RSI) most people are familiar with is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a repetitive stress injury that occurs when the “carpal tunnel,” located on the lower side of a person’s wrist, is compressed for extended periods of time. This syndrome is most commonly associated with those who work at a computer and type on a regular basis. Something which we’re all doing more and more since our work lives has shifted to home.

Usually, employers provide training and enhanced ergonomic office equipment to employees in an effort to mitigate the risks that workers face in these situations. However, COVID-19 has significantly changed the workplace landscape. While working from home has been a welcome change for many people, particularly those who no longer have to battle Columbus traffic, most employees who now have to work from home don’t have the appropriate office setup to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

We can expect to see a rise in workers’ compensation claims related to carpal tunnel and employers need to seriously consider purchasing or lending their workers the equipment they need to perform their job safely. This can include ergonomic desks and chairs, as well as modified keyboards and other equipment designed to reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel?

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually start off as mild symptoms that gradually become worse. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Tingling or numbness. You’ll most likely notice this in your fingers or hand, usually in the thumb and index, middle, or ring fingers. You may feel a sensation like an electric shock in these fingers as well, that can travel from your wrist up your arm. You’ll most likely notice these symptoms while holding a steering wheel or your phone, or they might wake you in the middle of the night.
  • Weakness. You might experience weakness in your hand or notice that you’re dropping objects more than usual. This could be due to the numbness in your hand or weakness of the thumb’s pinching muscles.

Can I get workers comp for carpal tunnel?

  • If you or somebody you care about has sustained a repetitive stress injury and are having trouble receiving compensation, contact Tom Marchese today. Workers compensation in Columbus is all we do, and we work to secure the following on your behalf:
    Coverage of injury-related medical bills
  • Lost income if you’re unable to work while you recover
  • Possible long-term disability benefits

COVID-19 has significantly altered the way many people work. However, that does not lessen the responsibility that employers have to keep their workers safe. When you need a Columbus workers compensation attorney, contact us for a free consultation.

What Happens to my Workers’ Comp Benefits if I Lose My Job due to COVID-19?

What Happens to my Workers’ Comp Benefits if I Lose My Job due to COVID-19?

If you are an injured worker receiving workers’ compensation payments, you may also be worried about losing your job during the pandemic budget cuts.

Note: This article is a general overview of possible outcomes and should not be considered legal advice. Your situation is unique and should be discussed.

If you were already receiving benefits when you lost your job, you’ll continue receiving them since you were injured while working and approved for benefits while still employed. However, if you were fired for a cause, such as a disciplinary issue, you could lose your benefits. The same applies if your doctor determined you were fully recovered before you were fired, which in that case, your benefits would have stopped anyway.

If your layoff is due to your employer going out of business or filing for bankruptcy, this shouldn’t affect your benefit payments since they are paid out out of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

At-Will Employment

Most employees are hired on an at-will basis, which means employers don’t need a reason to fire them. A company can simply restructure and eliminate your position and there is nothing you can do about it. An exception to this is if you’re under contract, and the contract lists acceptable reasons for firing you. If you’re fired for some other reason, you may have a claim for breach of contract.

Can I Be Terminated for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Let’s be clear. It is illegal for an employer to fire you simply for filing a workers’ comp claim and your employer must provide another justifiable reason for your termination, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.

If you feel you were terminated solely for filing your claim, you might have additional actions you can take under the workers’ compensation law. In addition to this, you may also have a civil claim against your former employer for wrongful termination.

If you or someone you love was injured at work and was denied workers’ compensation benefits, you might be able to file an appeal. Call Tom Marchese today for your free consultation. Let’s get started.

What you need to know about workers comp and Telehealth.

What you need to know about workers comp and Telehealth.

There’s no doubt, life has dramatically changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Businesses have been forced to change the way that they operate, some restaurants are relying solely on take-out and curbside service, there’s now a limit on the number people allowed to grocery shop at one time, and doctors are now evaluating patients using “Telehealth.”

If you’ve been injured on the job, and are seeking restitution for missed work and mounting medical bills, it is vital to have your injury and treatment diagnosed. Most medical practices have adapted to COVID restrictions by offering Telehealth appointments. Using your mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or computer, you and your doctor can see each other just as if you would in a face-to-face appointment. You explain how your injury happened, what your symptoms are, and any medical treatment that you have received for your work injury.

How can a doctor diagnose me through Tele-health?

The doctor is unable to physically touch you, but he/she can still conduct an examination. For example, if you’ve injured your back, the doctor might ask you to walk a few steps to watch for a limp, touch your toes to gauge your range of motion or lift your legs while sitting to see if you feel pain in your back or legs. Although the doctor can’t test your reflexes, he/she can still gain valuable information from this modified exam.

Your doctor may provide you with treatment recommendations, which could include physical therapy, medications, or order a more thorough diagnostic, like an MRI. Most medical facilities have remained open during this pandemic and have continued to operate on a modified schedule to allow for the proper precautions to be taken. Staff members wear masks and gloves, wipe down equipment, and enforce social distancing.

How important is it that I see a physician after an injury?

If you injure yourself at work, the Industrial Commission of Ohio will give great weight to the reports of your doctors and the results of your diagnostic studies when determining whether to accept or deny your claim. If your claim is denied, a lawyer can file a petition on your behalf which will be heard by a workers’ compensation judge. An Industrial Commission Hearing Officer then carefully considers what conditions your doctor’s diagnosed and referenced studies. So, if your doctor orders an MRI and it shows herniated discs at two levels of your spine, there is a much better chance that they will conclude that you are truly disabled and therefore are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Here at Marchese Law, we can help you file to fight your denial. SInce 1985, defending the rights of Ohio workers is all we do. The business restrictions of the pandemic have added another layer of complexity. We fight the BWC on your behalf to get you paid. If you sustained an injury at work, call us.

Critical Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury

Critical Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury

A workplace injury can have devastating consequences for you and your family, not only in lost wages but depending on the severity, an injury at work could result in expensive medical bills, lengthy recovery times, physical therapy, and even emotional distress. That is why worker’s compensation is so important. However, it’s not always easy to get the benefits that you deserve. That’s where we come in. Here is a list of critical steps to follow to help you get the maximum benefits that you and your family deserve.

If you’re ready to fight for your worker’s comp benefits, give us a call. We’re here to help and the call is free.