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Things Clients Want to Know:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Q.   In a system where the Employer must always be reactionary
how can Employers move towards proactive and take control of the claim?      

A.  Prior to any decision about the compensability of a claim an
employer must investigate whether the Employee was injured in the
course of and arising out of his or her employment.  It is becoming
more frequent that injured workers do not disclose all prior medical
treatment and yet it is this very documentation that is crucial to the
determination of whether a claim is compensable.  As the number of
Industrial Commission hearings continues to plummet, hearings are
being set sooner, forcing employers to participate in hearings where
increasingly they don’t have all the facts. The single most effective
thing an employer can do to control the timing of the processing of the
claim is to immediately send out a medical release and begin to
request medical records. This places the ball so to speak in to the
Employee’s court. 
Without a medical release AND a list of medical providers the Employer
has the right to stop processing of the claim and file a motion to suspend
until the requested documentation is received.  While a suspension does
nothing more than delay benefits and processing it allows the employer
the adequate time to mount a successful defense. While most use the
BWC release, many providers have their own release and those will also
need to be secured from the Employee.  The Hearing Administrator
presides over any failure to provide a medical release and failure to
respond to medical records request.  By the Employer doing their due
diligence, they insure that claims are not processed prior securing all the
facts.  Once again, preparation is always key to being successful at the
hearing table. If you have having difficulty securing either medical
releases or medical records please contact  us.

An amendment to R.C. 4123.512 extends the court appeal deadline where the parties intend to settle a claim.

Monday, January 28, 2019

RC 4123.512 sets for the procedure to appeal a final order from the Industrial Commission into the court of common pleas. A notice of appeal must be filed within 60 days of receipt of the Industrial Commission Order.

This 60 day appeal deadline can now be extended by either the claimant or employer upon the filing of a notice of intent to settle the claim. The notice of intent to settle the claim must meet several requirements:

  1. It must be filed with the administrator of the BWC;
  2. It must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the final Industrial Commission Order; and
  3. It must be served on the opposing party and the party’s representative.

If these criteria are met, the deadline for filing an appeal into common pleas court is extended to 150 days UNLESS the opposing party files an objection within 14 days.

WARNING!  The intent of this provision is to allow parties time to settle claims.  BUT it also sets up a scenario where benefits will otherwise be extended for an additional 150 days in a claim being appealed by the employer.

 

Not every workers’ compensation claim requires the help of an attorney. But if you need one, choose experience, reputation, and most importantly, someone who understands how you do business.

LL Patterson LLC is founded on the principle of providing clients with exceptional and results oriented service. The singular mission of LLP is to aggressively and exclusively protect Ohio Employers’ rights in workers’ compensation, OSHA, VSSR, and employment related issues. Whether you’re in the medical or healthcare industry, the construction field, education, the corporate world, or small business, the goal remains the same: to reach final closure of your workers’ compensation claim in as little time as possible while minimizing cost.

Lisa L. Patterson understands the complex intricacies of the Ohio workers’ comp system and has sixteen years experience working with this very specific and sensitive form of law. A seasoned Ohio employers’ advocate, she will work to ensure that all parties’ claims are fairly and efficiently executed to protect your interests and assets.