I was injured at work! What now?
Updated: Jan 27
I got hurt at work. What should I do?
Tell someone! Inform your supervisor, manager, or boss that you were injured. If a supervisor is not present or unavailable, tell your co-workers, but make sure that someone at your place of employment knows.
Get medical attention! See your medical provider as soon as possible and inform your medical provider of ALL your injuries, no matter how minor it may seem. Sometimes minor injuries turn into a bigger problem later down the line.
Document it in writing! Make an accident or injury report as soon as possible and get a copy of it. An injury report form is specific to each employer and should be provided by your employer. If the situation is urgent, writing a written report is sometimes not possible to do immediately, or even that day, but you should try completing it a.s.a.p.
Do I need an attorney?
It is not required that you have an attorney representing you in a workers' compensation claim. However, an attorney has knowledge and resources that can help you navigate the complex workers' compensation system. Your employer has, or will, likely hire an attorney or a third-party administrator to look out for their best interests. Shouldn't you have that same advantage?
How do I file an Ohio workers' compensation (BWC) claim?
Ohio BWC injuries are filed by filing a First Report of Injury form (FROI). This form can be filed online or printout out and filled out on the BWC website here.
Although filing the claim can be done without an attorney, it is sometimes better to complete the application with assistance from someone who is knowledgeable about the BWC system. Contact Attorney Wendy Lee with any questions about this process.
What medical benefits does an Ohio BWC claim pay?
In an allowed BWC claim, only the medical treatment that is deemed necessary and related to your work injury is paid under the scope of the claim. Your workers' compensation claim does NOT replace your health insurance coverage.
All medical treatment is processed by a managed care organization, or MCO. MCO's are chosen by your employer to manage the medical treatment that is paid in a claim.
You have your choice of physician or medical provider, so long as the provider is Ohio BWC certified. Before seeking treatment with a doctor of facility for your work injury, you should make sure that they are BWC certified. If they are not, BWC will deny payment of the bill.
There are no co-pays associated with receiving medical treatment under your BWC claim. However, all treatment must be pre-approved or authorized by your MCO. If treatment is not authorized, BWC may deny payment of the medical bill.
What types of compensation benefits are payable in an Ohio BWC claim?
There are several types of compensation that can be paid in an allowed BWC claim. However, please note that each claim is unique and not all claims and claimants are eligible for all types of compensation.
Temporary total (TT) compensation – Compensates a worker who becomes disabled due to a work-related injury or occupational disease.
Permanent partial (PP) – Scheduled loss – Compensates an injured worker when a certain amount of permanent damage remains, such as the loss of your vision, hearing or an amputation caused by a work injury.
Percent of permanent partial (% PP) – Compensates an injured worker when a percentage of lasting effects or permanent damage remains, such as a broken arm that can no longer extend to its fullest degree.
Permanent total disability (PTD) – Compensates an injured worker for the inability to perform sustained remunerative employment due to the work-related injury. Remunerative means the injured worker will no longer be able to perform work for which they will be paid (compensated).
Wage loss (WL) – Compensates an injured worker for reduced earnings as a direct result of restrictions from the allowed injury condition(s) in the claim.
Living maintenance (LM) – Compensates an injured worker while the worker is actively participating in an approved rehabilitation plan.
Lump sum advancement (LSA) – Pre-payment of future compensation for financial relief and rehabilitation purposes only. It compensates an injured worker for things such as household bills, installing a handicap lift in your van, etc.
Lump sum settlement (LSS) – A written agreement that results in the closure of a claim, or part of a claim, as defined by the terms of the settlement agreement. A LSS agreement can be entered at an administrative level (BWC) or court level.
Change of occupation (COA) – Compensates injured workers, such as coal miners, firefighters, and police officers, who have been medically advised to change their job (occupation).
Facial disfigurement (FD) – A one-time award granted to the injured worker for visible damage to the face or head with the potential to impair the injured worker's ability to secure or retain employment.
Accrued compensation – The unpaid portion of a benefit award for a claim in Allowed status. It's paid to an injured worker's dependents at the time of his or her death, regardless of whether the death was a result of the allowed work injury.
Travel reimbursement – We'll reimburse an injured worker for reasonable and necessary travel expenses when certain criteria are met.
Death claim (Survivor benefit) – Filed by the spouse or dependents of an injured worker who died because of an industrial (job-related) injury or occupational disease.
Violation of specific safety requirement (VSSR) – Compensates an injured worker, or their dependent(s) if there has been a worker fatality, when there is evidence that a violation has (or may have) occurred from the failure of the employer to comply with a specific safety requirement.
Wages in lieu of temporary total compensation (Salary continuation) - A voluntary program where the employer continues to pay the injured worker's full salary and benefits in lieu of any compensation from BWC.
How long do I have to file a claim?
For injuries occurring on or after September 29, 2017, a claimant must file a notice of injury or death with BWC or the IC within one year of the injury or death.
For an occupational disease or death due to occupational disease claim, a claimant must file a notice of injury or death due to an occupational disease: Within two years after death. OR Two years from the most recent of the following dates (all three dates must have occurred before the statute of limitation begins to run):
The date the employee first became aware, through medical diagnosis, that he or she is suffering from an occupational related disease. OR
The date the employee first received medical treatment for such disease. OR
The date the employee first quit work due to the disease. OR
For a period beyond the two-year requirement, but within six months after the date of diagnosis of a disease as occupationally related by a licensed physician.
Have additional questions about your Ohio workers' compensation claim? Call Cleveland workers' compensation attorney Wendy Lee at (216) 777-6580. Not in the Cleveland area? No problem! I will represent you anywhere in Ohio.