Many people injured on the job in Ohio are entitled to compensation. Section 4123.65 of the Ohio Revised Code allows injured employees to apply for workers’ compensation settlements following a workplace injury. If you suffered a workplace accident, it is imperative that you contact an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer to protect and preserve your rights to compensation.
While workers’ compensation settlements will vary from case to case, below are a few of the items you can expect to discuss with your attorney when you wish to settle a claim.
How Soon Can I Settle My Claim?
Application for settlement of a workers’ compensation claim can be made at any time after an injury occurs, up to the statute of limitations. This means that beginning the settlement process could conceivably begin immediately.
There are many reasons, however, that applying for a settlement may not make sense in your particular case. For example, if you are still receiving medical treatment for your injuries but those medical treatments are expected to end, then settlement probably is not right for you. However, if future treatment will be required, starting the settlement process sooner may be advantageous.
As you can see, the answer to “How soon can I settle my claim?” will vary depending on the specifics of your case. One of the advantages of representation from a workers’ compensation lawyer is that your attorney can help you understand and decide what settlement timeline will likely lead to the highest level of compensation.
How Do I Apply for Workers’ Compensation Settlements?
There is a formal application that an employee must file with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (or, in some instances, the Industrial Commission). This application must include a settlement agreement signed by the employee and (in most cases) the employer, and describe why the settlement is appropriate and agreed upon. Preparing this application without the assistance of experienced legal counsel is not advised.
Will My Settlement be Approved?
Workers’ compensation settlements are not simply rubberstamped with approval. They are reviewed by the BWC or IC to ensure that they conform with the law. At a very minimum, a settlement must be a final compromise of the claim in an amount acceptable to the BWC or IC. This means that a settlement will necessarily be less than the potential full value of the claim.
Having a workers’ compensation attorney guide you through the settlement process can increase the likelihood of an approved settlement. By negotiating a fair compromise and avoiding the pitfalls of the application and settlement process, an experienced lawyer can help you achieve the best outcome in your case in the most efficient and speedy manner possible.
When Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Following a workplace injury, your life can feel like it is falling apart. But contacting an attorney as soon as possible can help relieve your burden and allow you to focus on your recovery. To preserve your legal rights and to reduce the stress of dealing with the complexities of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system, it is recommended that you speak to a lawyer as soon as practicable.
Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA represents countless individuals like you who were injured on the job. No matter your profession, if you have suffered an injury or illness related to your employment you have rights under Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws. Protect those rights. Call Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA today.