If you or a loved one have suffered a work-related injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from your employer or the state to cover medical expenses and time off work.
Some law firms can handle workers’ compensation claims, but the Hurm Law Firm is a dedicated advocate for workers in northeast Ohio that have been injured on-the-job. We know employers proclaim to treat you as ‘family’ when you are healthy, but it will shock you how your employer treats you when injured. We ensure our clients receive all the benefits owed and protect their jobs and livelihood. This is your career. It’s too important to leave to chance.
Book a free consultation today to learn more about how we can help you get the best outcome for your workers’ compensation claim.Get Started
Avoid common pitfalls that can threaten jobs by partnering with a firm that has a deep understanding of workers compensation, labor law, and employment law. We’re experienced litigators and dedicated advocates for northeast Ohio workers and their families.Get Started Learn More
Hurm Law Firm will help you pursue compensation for lost wages, medical treatment, and lump sum payments. We take pride in representing workers against Fortune 500 and international corporations and winning.
We have experience handling matters such as wage theft, employer discrimination, wrongful termination, unfair labor practice charges, grievance arbitration, and other labor and employment law issues.
“If you are in need of professional, ethical representation and someone who will fight for the best possible outcome for your case, Matt is the guy you want in your corner.” – Rick Riley
Can An Employer Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim? (NO!)
No! Ohio workers cannot be fired or suffer any other negative impact from filing a workers’ compensation claim or suffering a work injury. If you are an Ohio worker that suffered any kind of retaliation including but not limited to:
The State of Ohio takes retaliation against those that file workers’ compensation claims or suffer workers’ compensation injuries seriously. If proven true, the retaliation victims will both be reinstated to their previous job and get backpay for the time they would have been employed if not for the employer’s illegal retaliation.
If you have suffered retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim or for suffering a work injury, immediately call the Hurm Law Firm at (216) 860-1922. The consultation is free and we love making employer’s pay for their foolish vengefulness.
What if I am an Independent Contractor? (You probably are not)
It is a national trend that major corporations pretend that their workers are “independent contractors” instead of employees. These corporations claim they are giving their workers freedom, but what they are really doing is denying their workers unemployment, workers’ compensation, and other benefits and saving millions of dollars and shortchanging their workers.
Thankfully, many of these corporations are sloppy and while they call their workers “independent contractors,” they actually are treating them as employees. And if you are treated as an employee, you ARE an employee. There is a seven-factor test to determine if you are an employee or independent contractor. Construction workers have their own twenty-factor test. For both, the central question is who controls the work you perform and how you perform it.
For non-construction industries, the factors considered include whether the company or worker controls these aspects of work. The relevant aspects are:
Work processes and procedures;
Who is furnishing the material and goods;
Method of payment and how paid, whether by the hour, day, job, etc.;
If the work performed is performed outside the employer’s regular business;
If the worker has self-paid expenses and can incur a profit or loss; and
Whether there is a significant investment in a business and the worker is not merely providing labor.
If the company controls all these aspects, the worker is an employee. If the worker controls all these aspects, the worker is an independent contractor.
For construction workers, there is a twenty-factor test:
The person is required to comply with instructions from the other contracting party regarding the manner or method of performing services;
The person is required by the other contracting party to have particular training;
The person’s services are integrated into the regular functioning of the other contracting party;
The person is required to perform the work personally;
The person is hired, supervised, or paid by the other contracting party;
A continuing relationship exists between the person and the other contracting party that contemplates continuing or recurring work even if the work is not full time;
The person’s hours of work are established by the other contracting party;
The person is required to devote full time to the business of the other contracting party;
The person is required to perform the work on the premises of the other contracting party;
The person is required to follow the order of work set by the other contracting party;
The person is required to make oral or written reports of progress to the other contracting party;
The person is paid for services on a regular basis such as hourly, weekly, or monthly;
The person’s expenses are paid for by the other contracting party;
The person’s tools and materials are furnished by the other contracting party;
The person is provided with the facilities used to perform services;
The person does not realize a profit or suffer a loss as a result of the services provided;
The person is not performing services for a number of employers at the same time;
The person does not make the same services available to the general public;
The other contracting party has a right to discharge the person; and
The person has the right to end the relationship with the other contracting party without incurring liability pursuant to an employment contract or agreement.
Ohio Revised Code 4123.01(A)(1)(c).
If your answer to most of the questions is yes, then you are probably an employee. If your answer to most of the questions is no, then you are probably an independent contractor.
While these tests are not as simple as determining whether or not the majority of factors lead toward an employee or independent contractor, the more factors that lean one way or another the more likely the outcome will prevail. These tests are complicated and many questions can arise taking the test. If you have any questions, feel free to call the Hurm Law Firm at (216) 860-1922 and ask for a free consultation regarding this test and your status as an employee or independent contractor.
Does My Workers Compensation Claim Hurt My Employer? (Mostly No)
If your employer is complying with the law, then your workers’ compensation claim should not affect them much at all. Employer’s premiums they pay to the state are based on lost wage payments the state is required to make on their workers’ behalf. The employer completely controls how much they are harmed by your claim because they can avoid the state making any lost wage payments by simply continuing to pay you while you are out injured.
That said, many Ohio corporations still try to convince their workers not to file a workers’ compensation claim when they suffer a work injury. Many of the excuses they give are either lies, deeply disadvantageous for workers, or even criminal. But many corporations do not care. Some of their excuses are:
If your employer tries to convince you to not file a workers’ compensation claim, you should also know that retaliating against a worker for filing a workers’ compensation claim is unlawful and you are protected. These issues are serious, and if you face these issues you should contact the Hurm Law Firm immediately and get a free consultation by calling (216) 860-1922.
Can I Change Doctors After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim? (Yes)
Absolutely! Under Ohio law, a worker has the right to pick their own doctor. Period. The ability to switch doctors is important, especially if you are seeing the doctor your employer recommended.
Many employers will give you a recommendation that you should go to a doctor of their choice. Many of the employer-chosen doctors are employer-biased. These doctors get most of their patients from employer referrals and generally try and keep the employer happy by returning the worker back to work as soon as possible, regardless of the workers’ long-term wellness.
For an example, the Hurm Law Firm handled a case where an employer-recommended doctor told an employee with THREE broken bones that they could return to work in three days. This terrible medical advice could have caused the worker nerve damage and a long-term disability. Thankfully that workers’ union knew about the Hurm Law Firm and we sent him to a foot specialist that was not employer-biased. The foot specialist had the worker in treatments and physical therapy for over a year, all while the worker was paid benefits throughout the recovery from his work injury.
If you are going to the doctor your employer recommended, give the Hurm Law Firm a call at (216) 860-1922. We will give you a free referral to a doctor that is not employer-biased. It is vital that you trust your doctor and the only way you can do that is to speak with a doctor without a hidden agenda. Call the Hurm Law Firm today.
Can I Change Attorneys After Filing a Claim? (Yes)
You can absolutely change attorneys at any point during your workers’ compensation claim. That said, the Hurm Law Firm does not recommend doing so unless you are very unhappy and/or the attorney is showing signs of incompetence such as:
If none of these issues are present, it is generally best to keep the same attorney throughout the claim. This is because your current attorney should have formed relationships with the key individuals in your case such as the doctors, claim representatives, and the other side’s representatives. Those relationships should speed up the process and bring quicker results for you.
That said, if you ever want to make a change the process is as simple as filling out an R2 form [link: https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/r-2.pdf] and retainer agreement with a new attorney or law firm. If you have questions about this process or would like to switch to the Hurm Law Firm, feel free to call us at (216) 860-1922.
Can I Have Health Insurance Pay For A Work Injury? (Absolutely Not!)
If you injured yourself at work, insurance does not cover your injury. That is because the workers’ compensation system is built to help the victims of work injuries. If you lie and say a work injury is not a work injury so that your health insurance will cover it, then you have committed insurance fraud. Under Ohio Revised Code 2913.47, insurance fraud is either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the seriousness of your injury.
This is not a game worth playing. If you injured yourself at work, tell your doctor the truth. If your employer told you to lie, do not do it and find a better employer. The workers’ compensation system is nothing to be afraid of and is, frankly, a lot better for workers. If a work injury is covered by insurance, the worker loses their right to:
Having your health insurance pay for your claim is illegal and will cost you thousands of dollars in benefits. Do not do this.
Workers’ Compensation is extremely complicated. When you are injured at work, the last thing you want to do is spend countless hours trying to figure out how all your medical appointments get paid and how to apply for benefits. Here is a summary of the three main things you can expect when you file a workers’ compensation claim.
1) Lost Wage Benefits –When you are injured at work and you miss more than seven days on the job, you are owed lost wage benefits that are intended to replace the income you lost because you were injured. There are many kinds of lost wage benefits, but the most common benefit is temporary total benefits. These benefits compensate you for the time you are totally disabled and temporarily unable to work. Your benefit will be calculated based on your average weekly wage. There are many exceptions and caveats to this, but you can generally plan on receiving at least 66% of your average weekly wage as a weekly benefit. There are no withholdings on this benefit, so your take-home-pay is usually comparable to when you work. One of the main purposes of this benefit is to ensure you are not rushed back from your injury before it has fully healed.
2) All Medical Services Paid –
When you suffer a workers’ compensation injury, you will need medical treatment to heal. This can frequently mean surgery, doctor’s visits, specialist consultations, and physical therapy. Once your claim is approved, the state should pay for every penny of your care for the work injury. One important note to remember is that you have the right to pick your own doctor. Many employers will send injured workers to an employer-biased medical service provider. Do not allow your employer to pick your doctor, especially a doctor that is employer-biased and will rush you back to work before you are ready.
3) The Lost Payment: Ensuring Your Permanent Partial Disability Payment –
The majority of injured workers without attorneys do not know about—and don’t file for—the final lump sum payment almost every injured worker has a right to and that is your permanent partial disability payment. It can be a couple hundred dollars, a couple thousand dollars, or tens of thousands of dollars depending on a number of factors. After you have either healed from your injury and returned to work or reached the maximum improvement modern science can achieve, the clock begins. Once six months pass, you can file for a permanent partial disability payment. The purpose of this payment is to compensate you for the impact the injury had on your life. If you used to be able to throw a 90-mph fastball and now you cannot lift your arm above your shoulder, this impacts your life and a significant lump sum payment should be made. The size of your lump sum payment is decided by doctors who examine your injuries and determine what percentage of your livelihood is impaired. Having an attorney can greatly improve the likelihood you will get a large permanent partial disability payment. If you have any questions about workers’ compensation or want to secure the services of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, do not hesitate to contact the Hurm Law Firm at (216) 860-1922.