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Legal help is key for appealing workers' compensation denials


When an Ohio worker has a workplace accident and is injured, they will undoubtedly seek and expect to get workers' compensation benefits. However, not every case is as simple as filing the application, getting approved and receiving the medical care and other benefits that are part of workers' compensation. It is not unusual for the case to be denied for a variety of reasons. While this might instill fear in the worker who believes that the process is over and there is no alternative to get benefits, appealing can be effective. Having legal assistance is vital toward this goal.

When the claim is denied by every possible level of the Ohio Industrial Commission, the worker can appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. When the worker is appealing in this way, it is referred to as right-to-participate. If the matter relates to the workers' compensation benefits or workplace injuries, it generally means that the case will be filed in the 10th District Court of Appeals located in Columbus, Ohio. With this, it is a question surrounding extent-of-disability.

Although the right-to-participate issues are commonly heard in the Court of Common Pleas located where the injury happened, this can be changed contingent on the facts. An appeal to the Court of Common Pleas is known as "de novo." This signifies that the court will hear evidence, and the decisions made by the Industrial Commission will not factor in with the court. The process is more formal than previous administrative hearings. For extent-of-disability, the case must go to the above-mentioned Court of Appeals. The goal is to order the Industrial Commission to perform its duty through a writ of mandamus.

Obviously, with a worker suffering after a workplace injury and concerned about getting workers' compensation benefits, these terms and options might seem a bit intimidating if not outright confusing. Fortunately, there is legal help available from the beginning of the process all the way through to its conclusion and, hopefully, the granting of workers' compensation benefits. A worker who is injured or suffers a condition due to the work should understand their right to appeals with assistance from an attorney experienced in workers' compensation.

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