Understanding the Appeals Process in Columbus
It is important to realize that even though your workers’ compensation claim has been denied by the self-insured employer or the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, you do have appeal rights. When appealing a claim, it is important that you take immediate action since there are time limits as little as 10 days to file an appeal. Therefore, it is critical to contact our office immediately so that we can take the appropriate steps.
At the Law Offices of Charles W. Kranstuber, LPA, in Columbus, we can help you with every aspect of your workers’ compensation claim and appeal. With nearly three decades of experience handling workers’ comp claims in Central Ohio, we understand the process and can provide you with the advice and representation you need at every stage.
Contact our workers’ compensation law firm for help in appealing your denied claim. Attorney Charles Kranstuber was formerly a Hearing Officer for the Ohio Industrial Commission and has been certified as a Specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association in the area of workers’ compensation.
Stages of Appeal
If either the employer or the injured worker disagrees with a decision made by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, that decision may be appealable. If the decision of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is appealed, the matter will be scheduled for a hearing before the Industrial Commission of Ohio.
If your claim is scheduled for a hearing before the Industrial Commission of Ohio, it is highly recommended that you obtain counsel to represent your interest. Please keep in mind when you attend this hearing, the Hearing Officer is an attorney. The employer often will attend with an attorney and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation often has an attorney from the Law Department appear at the hearing. It is therefore vitally important that you have an attorney to protect your interest.
There are three levels of appeal before the Industrial Commission. The first level is a District Hearing. The decision of the District Hearing Officer may be appealed to a Staff Hearing Officer. It is also possible that the Staff Hearing Officer’s decision may be appealed to the Ohio Industrial Commission. These third-level appeal hearings are discretionary.
After the Industrial Commission issues a final decision, it is possible that decision may be appealable to Court. Issues such as the allowance of a claim or the allowance of a condition are considered “right to participate” issues and are normally appealable to the Court of Common Pleas.
Issues concerning “extent of disability” are normally not appealable to the Court of Common Pleas, but may be reviewed in Court through a Writ of Mandamus. In order to be successful in a Writ of Mandamus lawsuit, the injured worker must establish that the Industrial Commission “abused its discretion” in reaching this decision.
It is extremely important that you follow any applicable time limits in connection with your appeal. Appeal time limits can be as little as 10 days. It is extremely important that you contact an attorney immediately to discuss your rights.
With over 30 years of workers’ compensation experience, I can help you file the necessary appeal and gather all relevant documents and medical evidence to support your case. As a Certified Specialist and former Hearing Officer, I have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goals in connection with your workers’ compensation claim and appeal.