When you sustain an injury at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer, through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), should cover your reasonable medical care. If you cannot return to work for eight or more days, the BWC will also pay you for a portion of your lost wages. But in order to obtain your benefits, you will need to follow a few simple steps. It begins with filing a work injury report.
Below, we discuss your responsibilities after a work injury and the basics of filling out a work injury report form. For help with forms or for legal advice about a work accident in Ohio, call a work injury lawyer at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. for a free consultation: 419-843-6663.
What do I need to do after a work injury?
When you sustain an injury on the job, the steps you need to follow are fairly straightforward:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Your first priority after a work accident is your safety and care. You can go to any doctor of your choosing for your first appointment for a work injury.
- Tell your employer about your work injury at the worksite or as soon as possible and complete an incident report as soon as possible. Also, if possible, get the names and addresses of any witnesses to your accident.
- Provide the medical provider with the name of your managed care organization (MCO) when you go for treatment. If you do not know the name of your MCO, ask your employer or call 1-800-644-6292 and follow the prompts.
- Report the injury to the BWC using the agency’s form. (More on how to file a report below.)
How do I handle my work injury report with the BWC?
Someone must inform the BWC of your work injury right away. Any involved party may file the report on your behalf: you, your employer, the doctor, or your attorney.
Failing to file a work injury report will nullify your rights to benefits, so we highly recommend submitting the report with your lawyer’s help, rather than relying on another party to do it for you.
The form you use to notify the BWC is called the First Report of an Injury,
Occupational Disease or Death (FROI). You can download a copy of the report online or come by our office for forms and help filling them out.
The one-page report requires you to fill in basic information including the following:
- Your name and gender
- Your Social Security number
- Your mailing address
- Your phone number
- Date of birth
- Date of the injury occurred or the date you realized you had an occupational illness or condition
- Your occupation/job title
- A description of the accident (The form wants you to “describe the sequence of events that directly injured the employee, or caused the disease or death.”)
- The type of injury or disease you have and the parts of the body that it affected
- Your employer’s policy number
How do I submit the form to the BWC?
You can file the FROI in one of five ways:
- Online: You can use the BWC’s online system to file the report.
- Phone: You can report the injury via phone by calling the toll-free number from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST: 1-800-OHIOBWC (1-800-644-6292).
- Fax: You can also fax the report to the agency at 1-877-520-OHIO.
- Mail: If you prefer mail, the address to use is: BWC, 30 W. Spring St., Columbus, OH 43215-2256.
- In-person: You can also turn in the form in-person at your nearest BWC office. To find the nearest office, you can use the BWC’s Automatic Office Locator. If you reside in Toledo, the service office’s address is 1 Government Center, Suite 1136. The office’s walk-in hours are between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
What happens after I file my claim?
After you submit the form, the BWC will send you an initial notification letter along with a brochure and a BWC identification card. The ID card contains your claim number, BWC contact information, and the name and phone number of your MCO. Keep this claim number handy; you need to provide it on all BWC correspondence and whenever you receive medical treatment.
The BWC explains: “If you have not received this information from us within two weeks of your injury, call 1-800-644-6292 to verify we received your filed claim before filing a duplicate.”
The agency or the self insured employer will review your work injury claim and either accept or deny it. It will make a decision within 28 days of receiving your report. If it accepts your work injury claim, it will pay for all of your reasonable and necessary work injury-related medical bills that you accrued from your BWC-certified health-care provider. It will also pay a percentage of your lost wages. For detailed information on exactly which benefits you are entitled to, you can call a work injury lawyer at 419-843-6663.
If the BWC denies your claim, you have 14 days to appeal the decision.
What do I do if the BWC or my employer denies my workers’ compensation claim?
There are a lot of reasons the BWC might deny a claim. Sometimes, it is because of administrative mistakes or missing medical information. In other cases, the employer may accuse you of exaggerating or falsifying your injury, or the insurer may claim that your injury was pre-existing and not work-related.
If the BWC has denied your claim, your first step will be to get advice from a work injury attorney if you have not done so already. It is important to act swiftly so as not to overstep the appeal deadline.
Your attorney can help you gather the information necessary to prove your claim and help you appeal the case and secure the benefits you need and deserve.
Call Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. in Toledo to schedule a free consultation. We can assist with a work injury case at any stage of the process — from initial report to appeals.
Our team has a passion for helping injured workers, and because we are diligent and aggressive in our approach to securing benefits for our clients, our cases typically have excellent results.
Contact us today at 419-843-6663.