The Reality of a Work Related Injury 

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 A workers’ comp claim is not a lottery ticket. For an individual that was injured ‘on the job’ a compensation claim is essential to relieving medical and financial burdens for the duration of your injury. When workers’ compensation was originally outlined, the world was a much different place! Rising medical costs, higher costs of living and more physical and emotional demands in our lives have altered the compensation landscape.

The Reality of a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Understanding the basics of a workers’ compensation claim is essential. For those without a clear understanding, it is a common misconception that workers’ compensation claims are ‘scammers’ or ‘get rich quick’ strategies. It could not be further from the truth. For those that have suffered an injury, this is the harsh reality of the long road ahead.

13% Pay Cut (Average)

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation pays 67% of your salary, but since that salary under Ohio BWC is not taxed, it is an average of 13% reduction.

  • If you made $40,000 annually, your compensation salary is cut to roughly $26,800

While workers’ comp payments are not subject to tax, there is a wage cap. The maximum benefit in Ohio is $902 per week in 2017.

This is particularly concerning if you or someone you love was injured and they make over $47,000 a year.  This means that regardless if they make $47,000 or $100,000+ the benefit remains the same. Can your cost of living and way of life adjust to that decline in income?

Waiting Periods – Why 14 days is the magic number

In Ohio, 14 days has become the magic number for good reason. If you are injured and miss more than 14 days of work, the clock for compensatory pay goes back to day 1.

If you are injured and miss 13 or less days of work, essentially you forfeit 7 days of compensation because of the 7 day waiting period per the Ohio BWC.

The Worst Injuries have the Worst Compensation

For someone that has suffered an injury that is deemed to be a ‘career ending’ injury, the outcome is very grim. On top of a painful, expensive and tragic injury – The injured party has two typical options according to Ohio BWC guidelines:

Option A: 67% of lost wages for up to about 4 years

Option B: A modest lump sum compensation offer for partial disability.

This means that if you have suffered an injury and you cannot return to work, the Ohio BWC will grant you compensation (67% of your wages, un-taxed) for up to 4 years – Nothing beyond that time period.  If you are medically treated and you can return to some form of work (regardless of pay loss or position) you may be offered a small lump settlement.

Hiring an Expert Workers’ Compensation Attorney is Critical

I have over 36 years of experience navigating the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and can help you every step of the way.  Your future livelihood, health and financial wellness depend on it.

If you or someone you loved was injured at work, you must seek expert legal help. Contact my offices immediately!

I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

Workers’ Comp Injury Treatment

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Where to go for Treatment After a Work Injury

After an injury at work, it is important to seek treatment by a BWC certified provider .  This can be confusing with the plethora of options we have today! Understanding the difference now can play a large role in the future.

Different Medical Care Options

  • ‘Take Care’ or ‘Minute’ Clinics
  • Urgent Care
  • Hospital Emergency Room
  • Physician Office

Following an injury at work, proper care and diagnosis are critical. Determining the severity of an injury can be incredibly important! If in doubt, call 911 immediately.

Choosing Care for a Work Related Injury in Ohio

As stated in the “Injured Workers’ Pledge of Service” every Ohio worker has the right to prompt medical care, provided by a BWC approved healthcare provider of your choosing.  This is the absolutely first step in selecting medical care following an injury – You must receive care from a BWC Certified provider.

Here are the top 3 questions to ask yourself, and the healthcare provider. In serious injuries or in unsure scenarios, it is best to call 911 to seek emergency medical attention.

Question 1: Does my injury need medical attention?

Question 2: How severe is my injury?

Question 3: Are you a BWC Approved Provider?

If your injury is severe, emergency responders or emergency room workers will be able to provide immediate and necessary care. In other types of injuries, you may be able to go to the ER without transport, or urgent care may be a sufficient place to start.

Why Early Care Matters in a Work Injury

The Ohio BWC requires that every single workers’ compensation claim is filed along with the proper documentation.  Naturally, a large part of that is medical information that comes directly following an injury! The care you choose can truly determine how your case is handled, including the type of injury, what the cause was determined to be, and even proper documentation for time off work.

The best case scenario is to go to an approved BWC Provider within your health network, that can work directly with your primary care physician now and in the future.

If you or someone you loved was injured at work, you must seek expert legal help. Contact my offices immediately!

I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

Top Four Fatal Construction Accidents

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Four Leading Causes of Death in Construction Accidents

The ‘Fatal Four’ named by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), are responsible for over 60% of all accidents that result in a construction worker’s death.

While governed by strict OSHA safety standards, compliance failures and improper safety initiatives result in these 4 leading causes of death.

The Fatal Four:

  1. Falls
  2. Struck by an Object
  3. Electrocution
  4. Trapped in Between / by an Object

A 2015 OSHA report determined out of 4,300 fatalities about 21% or 1 in 5 deaths were in the construction sector.  Reducing or eliminating the “Fatal Four” can save more than 600 lives per year in the US!

OSHA Statistics Cite:

  • Falls — 39% of total deaths in construction (364 our of 937 deaths in 2015)
  • Struck by Object – Almost 10% or 90 deaths
  • Electrocutions – 9% or 81 deaths as a result of electrocution
  • Caught-in/between equipment or job site objects – 7% or 67 deaths in 2015 study

Top OSHA Violation Citations Contributing to Fatal Four

Of the top 10 OSHA violation citations in 2016, several can easily be identified as contributing factors to the Fatal 4. Violations occurred in the following areas:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication standard
  3. Scaffolding, general requirements
  4. Control of hazardous energy (lock out/tag out)
  5. Ladders
  6. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment
  7. Electrical systems design, general requirements

Proper safety initiatives and safety training are absolutely critical in any workplace, but exponentially important in the construction industry. Hardworking men and women should expect safety on any job site!

What to do if you were injured or a loved one was killed

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a construction job or was killed as the result of an accident at work – You must contact me immediately.  Having an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney is critical.  From medical care to living expenses and more – Your rights will be protected and we will fight for the justice you deserve.

I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

What’s Covered Under Ohio Workers’ Compensation?

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Workers’ Compensation Scope: Do you know what may or may not be covered?

Understanding what is or is not covered under a workers’ compensation claim is very important – Particularly if you or a loved one has suffered an injury!  As a general rule, if your injury resulted from something work related, it would be covered under a workers’ compensation claim. Work related illnesses, such as occupational cancers, can also be covered under Ohio workers’ compensation laws.  Unfortunately, in some complicated situations an injury or illness can be difficult to prove or substantiate, particularly if your employer is less than supportive.

The Rules of Thumb for Workers’ Compensation in Ohio

  1. Typically, an injury at work that can be treated successfully with a general first aid kit is not an injury that is eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. This could be cuts, bruises, fall injuries – If it subsides and your injury is able to be treated successfully, then you may not file a claim.  However, it is important to remember that even something that may seem minor now can have serious repercussions down the road!
  2. Offsite injuries may also be covered under workers’ compensation claims. For instance, if you are driving from an appointment back to the office, or if you are sent on a work related errand, an injury would be covered.  If you are commuting to or from work, your injury would typically not be covered in the event of an accident or incident. This is known as the ‘Coming and Going Rule” The general rule here is if you are being paid to do what you are doing at the time an injury occurred then it would be covered under workers’ compensation.
  3. Illnesses and long term injuries, like carpel tunnel, may also be covered. Occupational illnesses can be covered in instances where a person is continually exposed to toxic chemicals such as if a fire fighter or miner.
  4. Mental and psychiatric conditions may also be covered. If you experienced a traumatic event and suffered PTSD – You may be eligible for worker’ compensation benefits.
  5. Voluntary events, like fitness challenges or group activities are typically not compensated in the event of an injury.
  6. Natural deterioration is not covered – but aggravating an existing or past injury may be covered under Ohio law. This is different for a pre-existing illness and the rule is that a disease will not likely be compensated if it was not contracted as a direct result of employment – aggravating or causing re-occurrence may not be covered.

Overall, it is very important that everyone understands what may or may not be covered in the scope of workers’ compensation.  It is not uncommon for many individuals to have suffered an injury or illness, only to fail to report it because they did not believe it was covered.

If you or a loved one was injured at work, you must contact my offices immediately. Worker’s compensation claims can be incredibly complicated! I will be there to support you, every step of the way.

I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

 

Top Ohio Workers’ Comp Myths

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Top Ohio Workers’ Comp Myths & Why You Need a Good Lawyer

Workers’ compensation law is complicated, to say the least.  As an injured individual, the last thing on your mind is likely to be related to policing your employer and making sure your claim is handled fairly.  Unfortunately, for long term impact, this must be a top priority. Having an experienced workers’ comp attorney can make all of the difference for your claim!

Myths in Ohio Workers’ Compensation cases are common. Understanding your rights and having an expert help is critical!

Myth #1: My place of employment is small and I do not get workers’ compensation insurance.

This is false! Ohio employers are required to provide compensation coverage for ALL employees as stated in ORC 4123.01.

Myth #2: I only worked a short time before I was injured and I am not covered.

Not true in Ohio. Every single employee must be covered, regardless of the duration of employment.

Myth #3: Few injury costs are eligible for compensation.

The facts: All injury costs related to lost wages and related to medical expenses can be compensated.

Myth #4: I feel pain at work so I am entitled to a compensation claim.

This is not true. You must prove your claim meets the requirements and is related to a specific injury or illness that occurred as a result of employment.

Myth #5: Most comp claims are fraudulent and an attempt to “stick it to the man”!

This is false. In 2014, the University of Michigan reported that only about 2% of all comp claims reported are fraudulent in nature.

Myth #6 My employer will file everything for my claim and handle all of the paperwork from here.

The truth is, your employer is only required to file the initial claim and notification.

Myth #7 My employer and their comp insurance will be fair.

Unfortunatelycompensation insurance works like any other insurance coverage. You cannot expect anyone to advocate for you!

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at work, you must call my office now. The Ohio BWC can be very complicated and confusing. As your Ohio workers’ comp attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

Workers’ Compensation Fines – Profit Versus Safety

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When Big Fines Aren’t a Deterrent

Recent workers’ compensation fines are making the headlines, but is it really enough?  Unfortunately, every single day in Ohio and across the US, individuals are asked to perform work related duties that have very real dangers.  For many, common sense safety is enough – But unfortunately, accidents do happen! This is exactly why companies are required to have safety measures in place, to prevent tragedies in the first place. Lack of training and proper safety procedures can yield the ultimate price tag. Unfortunately big corporations pay the fines, and go about their day as if nothing happened.  This is unacceptable!

A recent story about a gentleman in Oregon is the perfect example.  An Ohio auto manufacturing company operating an Oregon facility was fined $570,000 as a result of safety violations that led to an employee suffering severe injuries on the job. Due to an unsafe machine, the 46 year old suffered the loss of his hand and partial loss of his arm, changing his life forever.  The simple fix?  Proper guards on the machine for which he was assigned to work.  This company clearly chose profit over safety!

Protecting Your Rights in a Work Related Injury

Every time a person goes to work there is a level of expectation regarding safety.  Sadly this wasn’t the case for the individual mentioned above; his life was forever changed.  The company in Ohio was fined $570,000 and the gentleman likely pursued a workers’ compensation claim for benefits and reparations. Nevertheless, nothing will replace his missing limbs!

Unfortunately, the claims process and injury recovery can be incredibly overwhelming.  If you allow your place of employment to determine the path to your claim and recovered benefits, your path may come up short!  Hiring an expert to navigate the complicated claims and benefits process is essential.

Your workers’ compensation claim for an injury such as loss of limb could include medical care, reconstructive surgeries, therapy, prosthetic, medication, lost wages and more.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at work, you must call my office now. The Ohio BWC can be very complicated and confusing. As your Ohio workers’ comp attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

Hurt at Work – Now What? Top 3 Workers’ Comp Questions

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Navigating through a Workers’ Comp claim can be incredibly grueling.  I recommend contacting our offices to begin the claims process correctly from the start.

Here are the Top 3 Questions our Clients ask Regarding a Workers’ Comp Injury Claim.

1. What are the Statutes of Limitations for a Workers’ Comp Claim?

The date a work injury, work related illness or death occurred is incredibly important. This date is used to determine the statute of limitations for your case.  Properly documenting your case is critical to a successful Workers’ Comp claim.

Based on the date of occurrence, the statute of limitations for an injury claim or for occupational related disease/illness is as follows;

  • Two years after the date of disability (When you first became aware of, and/or treated for and/or quit work due to the illness)
  • Six months from a physician’s diagnosis
  • Two years after a death

2. What Constitutes a Claim of Workers’ Comp?

Top insurance reports indicate that the 5 most common types of work related injuries comprise over 70% of worker’s comp claims.

  1. Material handling
  2. Slips, trips and falls
  3. Object contact
  4. Tool accidents
  5. Overexertion / long term traumas from repeated use

Common worker’s compensation related injuries:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Cuts or wounds
  • Contusions
  • Inflammation
  • Breaks 

Unfortunately, this list is largely void of some of the more serious injuries – Although may be less common, the impact can be arguably more severe.

  • Amputations
  • Brain injuries
  • Eye or hearing
  • Shocks and electrocution
  • Crush injuries
  • Multilevel or high level falls

3. Payment Eligibility?

Once your claim has been approved or allowed by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, there are 5 common payment eligibility terms you may qualify for.

  1. Temporary injury compensation for time missed if you were completely unable to work for a certain amount of time.
  2. Payment to compensate for a reduced income if you are now restricted due to an injury.
  3. Percentage of partial disability payment (PPD) which is for long term impairment that was caused by an injury or work related illness.
  4. Permanent total disability (PTD) payment if you have been declared permanently and completely disabled.
  5. Lump sum settlements that are awarded as a settlement to a worker’s injury claim.

Determining where you fall in the payment eligibility pools and ensuring you have followed all proper protocol, is essential to any successful Workers’ Comp claim and subsequent award.

View more common questions at the Ohio BWC site, and call our offices today.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at work, or suffers from a work related illness, you must call my office now. The Ohio BWC can be very complicated and confusing. As your Ohio workers’ comp attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

The Steps After a Workers’ Compensation Claim Appeal

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What Can I Expect After I File My Workers’ Compensation Claim Appeal?

Navigating the process of a workers’ compensation claim appeal can be an arduous task! Once your workers’ compensation claim appeal is filed, there are three appeal levels with the Ohio Industrial Commission.

Acquiring legal representation is highly recommended at this point in the process. Moving forward on a workers’ compensation claim can be a daunting, exhausting process without expert legal help in your corner. As your workers’ compensation attorney, I have the resources and experience necessary to advance your case and get the justice you deserve.

Here are 3 levels of workers’ compensation appeals and what to expect during the process:

Level 1— District Hearing

  • This will be heard by an attorney, so attorney representation is highly recommended.
  • Any information that supports the injured worker’s dispute will be presented here.
  • The OIC reviews this information and makes a decision to deny or approve the appeal.
  • If the appeal is denied, it will move into level 2.

Level 2—Staff Hearing

  • Injured workers and employers have a right by Ohio law to appeal the DHO’s decision.
  • Disputes are presented to the Staff Hearing Officer, or SHO.
  • It is then reviewed and if the appeal is denied, written appeals must be filed within 14 days of this decision.

Level 3—Commission Hearing

  • A Commission level hearing is granted on a discretionary basis, and not as a right through the appeals process.
  • Reaching the level of a Commission hearing with legal representation is strongly recommended
  • Commissioners can refuse the appeal or accept it

If you have just filed a workers’ compensation claim, or you are beginning the process of appeals, call my offices immediately.  The Ohio Workers’ Compensation Commission and the claim and appeals process is not an easy system to navigate. As your Ohio workers’ comp attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

 

Ohio Workplace Accidents—What to Do If Your Claim is Denied

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Many workers injured on the job do not initially think they will need an attorney’s help in filing a workers’ compensation claim. And, all too often, employers may even discourage workers from hiring legal representation because they simply want you to go into this alone.

It may not be until after your claim was denied by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation that you realize an attorney is necessary. What happens next? Does this mean a denied claim is simply a denied claim and nothing more can be done?

If you find yourself asking these questions, it may be time to call an experienced work injury lawyer.

You received a letter in the mail that your worker’s compensation claim has been denied by the bureau but you are not ready to call it quits. What happens next in this process?

An injured worker may file an appeal if the claim has been denied.

An employee has 14 days from the denial to file an appeal in writing or online. You or your attorney can file the appeal with the Ohio Industrial Commission online here.

Make sure to include all of the necessary information on your filed appeal.

This includes: Contact/mailing information, employer, workers’ compensation policy number, incident details, medical diagnosis, any medical documentation supporting your diagnosis, and any information regarding your disability.

Once the appeal is filed, there are three appeal levels with the OIC.

These 3 levels include the District Hearing, the Staff Hearing, and the Commission Hearing. Each of these levels requires a hearing with the Ohio Industrial Commission. It is highly recommended that the injured worker finds legal representation for this portion.

I cannot stress enough how important it is that anyone filing a workers’ compensation claim or appeal seeks an experienced attorney to represent them.

An attorney will be the best source to defend your rights as a worker and gain you fair compensation for your workplace injury or illness.

All too often I see employers taking advantage of their employees and leaving them high and dry. When this happens, it will not only affect the injured worker but will affect the families depending on them as well.

Do yourself and your family a favor by calling me today if you’ve suffered a work-related injury. As your Ohio workplace accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 855.800.0384.

Ohio is the 5th Highest State for Work-Related Fatalities

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The 2015 statistics for workplace deaths has been released, and Ohio made the unfortunate top 5 list. While workplace incidents have been on a slow decline, fatalities have risen both statewide and nationwide in the last few years.

According to the 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, there were 202 workplace fatalities in Ohio last year.

Nationwide there were 4,836 work injury fatalities in 2015. And,

The number 18 may not seem like a big number, but it is devastating when we comprehend this as 18 Ohioan lives lost. Out of the 168 hours in a week, we spend an average of 40 of those hours at work.

Workers should feel safe during their time spent at work, but even with safety precautions taken there are certain work industries with higher risks for injury.

Here are the report’s highest fatality-risk occupations in 2015 nationwide:

  • Transportation-related fatalities: 2,054 deaths (tractor trailer drivers accounted for 745 of these deaths)
  • Construction industry: 937 deaths
  • Slip & falls: 800 deaths

If you have experienced a workplace injury or have lost a loved one to a work accident, there are several steps you should take.

The most important is to make sure your employer is aware of the incident so it is documented, and you receive medical treatment immediately. If you feel your workplace safety is threatened, you may want to consider reporting any safety hazards to OSHA.

Contact me immediately if you or a loved one was hurt in a workplace accident. You and your family owe it to yourselves to find an attorney who will fight for your justice.

As your Ohio workplace accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373