New Ohio Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations Reduces Time to File

Sep 22, 2017 Workplace injuries

Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC

Beginning in October of 2017, Ohio workers’ compensation claims will have a statute of limitations of one year. This The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time between when an injury occurs, and when the injured person can make a claim for compensation. Thus, if you have been injured on the job, you must now file your benefits application with the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) within one year of the injury.

Why Would the Ohio Legislature Move to Shorten the Statute of Limitations?

The new Ohio worker’s comp statute of limitations restricts the time that you have to make an injury claim. Why would the Ohio state legislature want to make it harder for people to claim benefits after an accident at work? Those who voted for the change offered the following rationales:

  • Reduce the number of claims filed– The state government wants to save money and resources by limiting the amount of claims processed by the BWC. Shortening the filing time frame will result in fewer claims.
  • Lessen the strain on employers– Workers’ compensation claims can take time and money from employers, who must sometimes go through a lengthy investigation and even hire lawyers to dispute the BWC’s findings.
  • Decrease the amount of questionable claims– The legislature believes that the longer someone waits to file a workers compensation claim, the higher the chance that the claim will be unsubstantiated.

The decision to decrease the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims was based on several assumptions, such as the value of a claim being related to the amount of time a person waits to file it.

Fortunately, the new one-year statute of limitations does not apply to the following types of claims:

  • Occupational Disease (OD) Claims– These claims concern illnesses that develop as a result of repeated work-related exposure to harmful conditions or chemicals. For example, a worker who gets mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure in an obsolete factory, can wait two years after learning of the illness before filing a claim.
  • Violation of Specific Safety Requirements (VSSR) applications– If you get injured because of your employer’s failure to stick to workplace safety practices, you can file for benefits up to two years after your injury.

Even with these longer statutes of limitations, it’s in your interest to file your workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after your injury. Most workers’ compensation lawyers agree that the sooner you file your claim, the better your chances of getting compensation.

When Do I Need a Lawyer for a Worker’s Compensation Claim?

When you get injured on the job, you must report the injury to your lawyer, seek medical treatment, and make sure to keep all records that relate to your injury and your treatment. Then you must file a First Report of Injury (FROI) with the BWC. Within 28 days of filing this report, the BWC will investigate your claim and award or deny you compensation. Both you and your employer have 14 days to appeal the decision.

Kisling, Nestico & Redick Can Help

The workers’ compensation process can be stressful, especially if you are suffering as a result of your injuries or occupational illness. Hiring an Ohio workers’ comp lawyer can ease the stress of the process while increasing your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. The lawyers on our team can review all of the records pertaining to your injury and argue that your injury was caused by your workplace/employment.

If you’ve been injured on the job, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW for a free consultation.

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