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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    3

    Default Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    I received a denial letter for additional allowances from the BWC. Now I have a hearing with the Ohio Industrial Commission. Do I need a lawyer? This all came up very fast and I have no idea what I am doing. I see on the letter from the OIC there will be at least 3 lawyers present and not working for me I guess.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,009

    Default Re: Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    Do I need a lawyer? This all came up very fast and I have no idea what I am doing.
    Come on - of course you need a lawyer.
    Without a lawyer, they'll chew you up and spit you out - you may as well not attend the hearing and forfeit your claim.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    Yes, you really should consult a lawyer. While the hearing officer will try to help you out if you don't have the right paperwork (or if its not filled in right with the right legally-required information) there is nothing they can do. Getting an attorney for a workers' comp claim isn't like getting an attorney for a divorce or criminal matter - we don't charge up front. We do all the work to make sure things get allowed and set up right, then we get paid on future awards we get for you - so its no harm to get an attorney. Please call me or any other workers' comp attorney.
    Kristin A. Cool
    Ohio Workers' Compensation Attorney
    Practicing in Northeast Ohio, Central Ohio, and Mahoning Valley
    www.TheFriedmanLawFirm.com
    Workers' Compensation Blog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    Quote Quoting ep75 View Post
    I received a denial letter for additional allowances from the BWC. Now I have a hearing with the Ohio Industrial Commission. Do I need a lawyer? This all came up very fast and I have no idea what I am doing. I see on the letter from the OIC there will be at least 3 lawyers present and not working for me I guess.

    One thing they are NOT telling you about getting an attorney is that they will get 33 1/3% plus expenses of ANY compensation you receive. I am currently having to file an appeal to an IC denial in Common Pleas in Ohio and I live in Florida. Can NOT get a single attorney to handle this (it is cut and dry, lots of evidence as per several attorneys already) without them wanting my ENTIRE case despite the fact if we prevail in Common Pleas BWC, if requested, can be made to pay all expenses and attorney fees for it. I have even tried to get several to take it if I pay upfront however NOT A SINGLE ONE WILL DO IT!! There is NO way I'm signing over a significant portion for nothing!! Yes, it would be out of any settlement or back pay owed (even if they did not help to get it) as well as any new continued pay. I have recently been approved for SSDI for my work injuries so of course these attorneys are seeing easy money!!! I have handled it myself for the past 6 years. This is the FIRST time I have needed to appeal any denial for an additional allowance. The dx just happens to be Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and the BWC's only stance is that I only have 6/8 not all 8 symptoms!!! They are using the AMA 5th Edition Guidelines to Impairment instead of the universal criteria used for diagnosis which is the Budapest Criteria (used since 2004 and I even meet the requirements for the previous criteria). The MCO themselves have noted that the "non-allowed condition is related to the allowed diagnosis". I can't even get an attorney to send me just a guideline of how to prepare the complaint (I even offered to pay for it) and the Courts are no help. Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    5,009

    Default Re: Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    shaunaandlonny
    One thing they are NOT telling you about getting an attorney is that they will get 33 1/3% plus expenses of ANY compensation you receive.
    One thing you're not mentioning is in contested cases like the OP's, they have a zero chance of prevailing without representation.
    I'd rather sacrifice the 33% and come out with something than to end up with nothing.

    It's true, in some cases a lawyer isn't needed, for example.
    If you have an accepted claim and the carrier is cooperating, you probably don't need a lawyer.
    If there's a disagreement on a single issue and you know what you're doing, you probably don't need a lawyer.

    In a case where the claimant receives a denial and he has no idea of what he's doing (like the OP) you definitely need a lawyer.

    They are using the AMA 5th Edition Guidelines to Impairment instead of the universal criteria used for diagnosis which is the Budapest Criteria
    That would be because the AMA 5th Edition Guidelines are the only guides recognized by the BWC for the determination of Permanent Impairments.
    The Budapest Criteria is for medical purposes only, it's subjective and not admissible as objective evidence.

    American Medical Association's (AMA's) Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment
    BWC requires that the fifth edition of the AMA's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment be used for the basis of injured worker disability evaluations. This publication may also be referred to as the AMA
    Guides or Guides.
    https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/basics/guid...xamreviews.asp

    the dx just happens to be Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
    There is no definitive diagnosis of CRPS, it's strictly subjective.
    There are no objective medical test to confirm or exclude a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, the diagnosis is based on patient complaints and responses to stimuli.
    Claims based on subjective evidence only are hard to win - The reason being, if they allowed claims based on worker complaints only, every disgruntled worker in America would be on comp.

    Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet
    How is CRPS diagnosed?
    Currently there is no specific test that can confirm CRPS. Its diagnosis is based on a person’s medical history, and signs and symptoms that match the definition. Since other conditions can cause similar symptoms, careful examination is important. As most people improve gradually over time, the diagnosis may be more difficult later in the course of the disorder.
    https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/...ome-Fact-Sheet

    Diagnosis of Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is made primarily on a clinical basis, and no specific test is known to confirm or exclude CRPS diagnosis. That is, there aren't specific diagnostic tools and instrumental tests are made only for identifying an etiology at the basis of the CRPS. Numerous therapeutic methods have been introduced, but none have shown definitive results.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29409405

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    Quote Quoting shaunaandlonny View Post
    ...despite the fact if we prevail in Common Pleas BWC, if requested, can be made to pay all expenses and attorney fees for it. I have even tried to get several to take it if I pay upfront however NOT A SINGLE ONE WILL DO IT!! There is NO way I'm signing over a significant portion for nothing!! Yes, it would be out of any settlement or back pay owed (even if they did not help to get it) as well as any new continued pay.
    A few things:
    First, the attorney fee that the BWC can approve is a set amount and usually does not account for the amount of work required in pursuing to (and winning at) trial. And not to mention that if the attorney doesn't win at trial, they are no out all of the court costs that it sounds like you would not want to be subsumed by any other awards in workers' comp. Yes attorneys who do this work take a risk that they won't win and won't get paid. But if the CRPS does not get allowed at trial and you get a settlement in the remainder of the claim the attorney should be entitled to (and it sounds like all are demanding) a portion of the settlement to pay for the time and expenses in pursuing the CRPS. This is very standard.

    Second, you mention that the attorneys would want a fee on back pay "even if they did not help to get it". Well if there is back pay due and the CRPS is currently denied, I have to presume that the back pay is related to the CRPS. So if an attorney gets the CRPS allowed, then they definitely helped get the back pay - and again should get a fee on that.

    Third, if you are trying to litigate this yourself you are in for a world of trouble - especially living in Florida. The courts set multiple court dates which you would need to attend (but if you had an attorney they would attend for you). Unless you love driving for days for a 10 minute status conference you will probably end up losing more money than your back pay in travel costs. Also, do you have any experience with litigation - or actually trying a case? There is a lot involved and a reason that attorneys go through so much schooling and training before getting to trial.

    Bottom line, you should have probably gotten an attorney for the IC hearings - if its as cut and dry as you say an attorney could have won it for you and avoided the need for litigation. Either its not that cut and dry or there was something legally that was missing - a correctly worded report, a form, or an argument that should have been made. And if you try to pursue it to court on your own I am sure you will not end up getting the CRPS allowed on your own. Get an attorney and stop arguing about the potential fees on potential awards.
    Kristin A. Cool
    Ohio Workers' Compensation Attorney
    Practicing in Northeast Ohio, Central Ohio, and Mahoning Valley
    www.TheFriedmanLawFirm.com
    Workers' Compensation Blog

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    831 East Morehead St., Ste 355, Charlotte, NC 28202
    Posts
    3,749

    Default Re: Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    A dispute in a workers' comp case is never "cut and dried." If it was that simple, there would be no need to go to court to resolve the dispute. Get yourself a good lawyer there in Ohio near where the hearings will be held. Minimize the lawyer's travel time.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney and Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Ohio Industrial Commission Hearing

    Thanks for the advice, I did get a lawyer and prevailed in my first hearing. Of course the city appealed saying they dont agree. We dont have a date yet for the next hearing. I was truly surprised at how the cities lawyer went after me. Dr. Murphy's report was a joke, if anyone is forced to see him just expect to be proven wrong.

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