Serving Ohio's Injured Workers since 1993
Should I Communicate with My Employer during my Workers’ Comp claim?
It is generally best to communicate with your employer if you are still working for it, and with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation when necessary. If you are no longer working for your employer, it is best to communicate with it through your attorney.
Understand the workers’ compensation claim process is adversarial. That is, your employer and the Bureau are often not looking out for your interests – they are protecting their own. Some communication in a workers’ comp claim will be necessary because securing medical treatment and bill payment requires contact with the Bureau or employer. However, cooperation has its limits.
Using a common sense approach to employer communications will enable you secure faster payment for your injuries while not providing ammunition to use against you in a hearing. You should be respectful and dignified to your employer and the Bureau during the process, even if your employer is not. If you feel your employer has taken an adverse employment action (like demotion) against you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you should contact your attorney quickly. If you were fired while your claim is pending, contact your attorney as soon as possible. Usually, there is a very small window of opportunity to challenge an employer for an unlawful firing.
Contact your attorney immediately if your employer hires a fraud investigator, or asks you to meet with a private rehabilitation counselor. This may be an attempt to secure damaging evidence against you, irrespective of your condition or the circumstances surrounding your injury. Your attorney will likely want to be present for communications between you and this third party. Remember, ultimately, the workers’ compensation process is adversarial. Your attorney is looking out for your best interests; the Bureau and the employer is likely looking out for their best interests. When in doubt about communicating with your employer or the Bureau about your claim, call your lawyer for advice.
Law Office of Thomas Tootle Co., LPA
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