What to Expect at a Workers Compensation Hearing

What Can I Expect During My Workers Compensation Hearing?

Columbus Workers Comp Lawyers Advise How to Prepare for Your Court Date

Columbus workers comp lawyers explain the workers compensation hearing process after a work injury.If you are hurt on the job, you should file a workers comp claim with your employer as soon as possible. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) considers that claim and either approves or denies it. If approved, your employer is able to dispute the claim. If denied, you may dispute the decision. In either situation, you must attend a workers compensation hearing to prove your case.

A hearing can be a frightening thing. However, having an attorney on your side can help ensure that you receive a fair decision. At Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC, our workers comp lawyers have been standing up for the rights of injured workers for nearly a century. We can explain the entire Ohio workers compensation appeal process to you. We can then represent you at your hearing.

How Many Workers Compensation Hearings Do I Get?

After the BWC has made a decision about your initial workers comp claim, you and your employer each have 14 days to request an appeal. If the Industrial Commission (IC) receives an appeal, it will schedule a workers compensation hearing within 45 days. You may appeal a decision more than once, meaning that you could attend several hearings before a final decision is made. The possible hearing levels are:

  1. District Level– This is your initial workers compensation hearing. You may be required to give a statement, and possibly get a second medical examination. Either you or your employer may appeal the decision.
  2. Staff Level– If you lose your first appeal, you can request a Staff Level Hearing. You may choose to argue your case in front of a different officer who may or may not reach a new decision. You can appeal this decision if it is not in your favor.
  3. Commission Level– Before this hearing, the IC will consider whether you have grounds for your appeal. If it rules against you, there will be no hearing. If it rules for you, you will attend a third hearing and can argue your case again. Whether you are denied a Commission Level Hearing or not, you can appeal once again. This time the appeal goes to the Ohio state courts.
  4. State Court– After the third hearing, your case will transfer to the state and you will have to prove your case in court. These proceedings tend to be complicated. Consequently, it is best if you consult with workers comp lawyers before proceeding if you do not already have one.

What Can I Expect During My Workers Compensation Hearing?

The IC oversees your initial hearings, which means they will likely take place at the nearest Commission office. You will need to submit your previous workers comp claim information for consideration before the hearing. You should also bring any relevant evidence with you. This evidence could include your medical records, witness statements or a report from your doctor.

You will present your case, and the hearing officer or other party involved may ask you questions. The hearing officer is not on your or your employer’s side; he or she is there to make an impartial decision. Depending on your work injury, the questions asked could be very technical. This can work against you, especially if your employer has legal representation and you do not. The best way to ensure someone looks out for your best interests is to find an experienced team of workers comp lawyers to represent you.

Need an Attorney for Your Workers Compensation Hearing? Call Today for a Free Review

For many, workers comp payments make a big difference when it comes to medical expenses, rent and even grocery bills. At Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC, we understand how important your workers comp hearing is to you and your family. We are proud to help injured workers throughout central Ohio, including Zanesville and Portsmouth. If you need help with a workers compensation hearing in the greater Columbus area, contact us online or call one of our offices today to schedule a free consultation.