Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Columbus & Throughout Ohio
Helping Thousands of Injured Clients – Learn about the full benefits to which you are entitled if you’ve been injured on the job
Are you an injured worker in need of workers’ compensation benefits? Is your claim being contested or denied, or are you in the middle of a dispute over benefits owed to you?
As a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney with over two decades of experience, I work exclusively with injured workers, and am certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in workers’ compensation. I represent injured workers not only in Columbus and the surrounding communities, including Westerville, Dublin, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, Galloway, Hilliard, Amlin, West Jefferson, Obetz, New Albany, and Lockbourne, but also throughout Ohio. If you or a loved one suffered a work-related injury, illness, or occupational disease, I invite you to call my office, Philip Gauer Law, to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your rights and options for securing full workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio.
Schedule a Free Consultation – No Fee Unless Compensation is Recovered
About My Ohio Worker’s Compensation Practice
I first became involved in worker’s compensation when I worked as an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. After several years as an AAG I entered into private practice in 1995. Over the years the majority of my practice has involved representing injured workers.
My experience includes thousands of hearings at the Ohio Industrial Commission, jury trials in the Courts of Common Pleas, and appearances in the Courts of Appeal and before the Ohio Supreme Court.
Schedule a Free Consultation With An Experienced Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorney.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. But if you don’t know the right steps to take, it can be difficult to get your claim approved. Most often employers are represented in workers’ compensation matters. You should be represented as well.
If you were injured at work and suffered an injury or illness as a result of your job duties, then you should file a claim with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation or the self-insured employer” – and we will work to ensure not only that you get the full lost wages to which you may be entitled, but also that you receive the other benefits (including treatment and reimbursement of medical bills) to which you also deserve.
At Philip Gauer Law, most cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, meaning that attorney fees are not paid upfront, but instead are only paid when compensation is recovered.
If you are looking for the best workers’ compensation lawyer for your case, I invite you to contact me so I can learn about your situation, and then explain the benefits to which you may be entitled. I appreciate that each client’s situation is unique, and you will be fully involved in all important decisions affecting your claim.
I invite you to read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Below for More Information About the Workers’ Compensation Process in Ohio.
Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits if I’m Partially at Fault for My Injuries?
Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system, meaning that an injured worker does not need to prove that the employer was at fault for an injury, and the claim is not automatically denied when the injured worker is at fault. So, short of intentionally injuring oneself, if you’ve been hurt on the job for an Ohio employer that is required to carry workers’ compensation, you will most likely be eligible for benefits if you are hurt at work and require medical attention and lost work time to recover.
What Are Ohio Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Ohio workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help individuals recover from a work-related injury or illness. They are available to most employees in Ohio, and they typically provide compensation for medical care, lost wages, disability payments, and death benefits (in cases involving wrongful death).
If you suffer an injury or illness at work that requires medical care and treatment, the employer is required by law to provide those services for free. The employer may also pay for time off from work that is related to your recovery. In addition, if an injury prevents a worker from returning to their previous employment and they have no other source of income, then Ohio workers’ compensation may provide disability benefits.
Are Companies Required to Pay All Medical Bills of Injured Ohio Workers?
Ohio employers with one or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and provide benefits, including medical care, for employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their occupation. The workers’ compensation system in Ohio is a no-fault system, meaning that injured workers are entitled to coverage for medical bills and other expenses regardless of who caused the injury.
Ohio workers’ compensation provides for payment of medical bills for treatment related to a work-related injury or illness, including (but not limited to):
- Doctor’s Visits
- Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Prescription Drugs
- Durable Medical Equipment
- Other Necessary Medical Expenses
There are some limits to the medical benefits that an injured employee can receive. For example, a worker may be required to choose a doctor from a list of approved providers, and the treatment must be necessary and reasonable. Additionally, the workers’ compensation system does not cover injuries and illnesses that occur outside of work, even if it impairs an employee’s ability to work.
How Much Do Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Charge in Ohio?
I am a workers’ compensation lawyer in Columbus, Ohio that represents clients in workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will not owe me any fee unless I am successful in recovering compensation for you.
Under Ohio law, attorney’s fees for workers’ compensation cases is typically equal to one-third of the compensation obtained for a client, regardless of the number of hours spent on a case. In some cases, the percentage fee may be lower; once I know more about your case, I can advise you of the percentage fee that may apply to your matter. Fees for worker’s compensation cases in Ohio must be approved by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Before I commence representation in a workers’ compensation case, I discuss the fee and provide a written agreement outlining what fee we will charge and what expenses will be recovered.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is a legal term used in Ohio’s workers’ compensation system to describe the point at which an injured worker has recovered as much as possible from their work-related injury or illness, and their condition is unlikely to improve significantly with additional medical intervention.
Under Ohio worker’s compensation law, injured workers who are temporarily disabled are entitled to receive 72% of their full weekly wage for the first twelve weeks. Thereafter, an injured worker may be entitled to 66 and two-thirds of their wages until they are authorized to begin working, or until they have reached MMI.
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) or a self-insured employer will have an interest in determining that an injured employee has achieved MMI as early as possible, as this will stop their payment obligations (assuming that the worker is not permanently disabled). As a Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer, I help workers in seeking to have their compensation continued as long as provided under the law, and I oppose efforts to prematurely discontinue cash benefits.
Can I See My Own Doctor if I Was Injured at Work?
If you were injured at work in Ohio and are collecting workers’ compensation benefits, you may be required to see a doctor selected by your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. However, you may also have the right to choose your own doctor to treat your work-related injury or illness.
Under Ohio’s workers’ compensation system, injured workers may be entitled to choose their own doctor if they initially received treatment from a company physician but are not satisfied with the care received. However, if an individual decides to seek treatment from a non-company doctor, the worker must notify the workers’ compensation insurance company and receive approval for the treatment beforehand.
It is critical to note that if an individual chooses to see their own doctor, the workers’ compensation insurance company may not be responsible for paying for the medical treatment if it was not approved in advance. As such, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney if you have questions or concerns regarding medical treatment and your rights under the Ohio workers’ compensation system.
What is an Independent Medical Examination (IME), and Do I Have to Submit to One if Requested?
An independent medical examination (IME) is a medical evaluation performed by a doctor who is not an injured worker’s treating physician. IMEs are often requested by employers or their workers’ compensation insurance companies to obtain an independent evaluation of an injured workers’ medical condition, treatment, and ability to work.
An injured worker may be required to undergo an IME if requested by their employer or its workers’ compensation insurer, but the employer (or its insurer) is generally responsible for paying for the medical evaluation. If an injured employee is asked to undergo an IME, it is critical to attend the examination, as failure to attend without a valid reason could result in the suspension of workers’ compensation benefits. However, the results of an IME may also be used to support a denial of benefits; as such, it is crucial to ensure that the IME is conducted fairly and appropriately.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Pay in Ohio?
The amount of workers’ compensation benefits paid to injured Ohio workers depends on several factors, including:
- The nature and severity of a work-related injury;
- A worker’s average weekly wage; and
- The length of time an individual is unable to work due to an injury, illness, or occupational disease.
Injured workers are generally eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses related to the work injury or illness, as well as wage replacement benefits if they are unable to work due to their condition. The amount of wage replacement benefits is calculated as a percentage of the worker’s average weekly wage. Temporary total disability (TTD) is generally 72% of the injured worker’s average weekly wage (AWW) for the first twelve weeks, and 66 2/3% of their AWW thereafter. If an injury or illness results in permanent disability, a worker may also be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.
Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits If a Family Member Died As a Result of Work-Related Injuries?
If an individual dies as a result of a workplace accident or illness, then the family members who depended on the decedent’s income may be entitled to receive death benefits from Ohio’s workers’ compensation program subject to regulatory requirements.
If an injured worker was receiving compensation (e.g., temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, etc.), the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“BWC”) will pay the unpaid portion of an award in an allowed claim, referred to as accrued compensation, to qualifying beneficiaries.
Individuals who may be entitled to worker’s compensation death benefits accrued compensation include:
- Dependents (i.e., surviving spouse, children);
- An individual or provider that rendered or paid for services pertaining to the death, such as funeral and burial expenses; or
- The estate of an injured worker (if other eligible dependents are unavailable).
However, qualifying beneficiaries only have a limited amount of time to file a claim for compensation. As such, it is critical to not delay. As a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney who has handled countless wrongful death cases, I help families navigate the claims process and monitor critical deadlines that can compromise death benefit eligibility.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Injuries In Ohio Workers’ Compensation Cases? What Types of Workers’ Compensation Matters Does Your Firm Handle?
Some of the issues that I frequently handle in Workers’ Compensation claims, include (but are not limited to):
- Initial allowance disputes (e.g., determining whether the claim will be allowed or found to be compensable),
- Additional allowance disputes (e.g., determining whether some additional diagnosis will be recognized and covered under the claim),
- Disputes over authorization of medical treatment and payment of bills, and
- Disputes over compensation awards (such as Temporary Total Compensation, Permanent Partial Compensation, Wage Loss Compensation, etc.)
The common theme here is “dispute.” Whenever there is a dispute in a claim, the matter is set for hearing at the Ohio Industrial Commission. This explains why I’ve had so many hearings at the Industrial Commission.
As your lawyer, I attend all hearings with clients. Many law firms employ a team of lawyers, and the lawyer who shows up for the hearing may not be the same lawyer the client met with before the hearing. That is not how I run my practice. The lawyer you meet with at my office, and the lawyer who attends your hearing with you will be one in the same; me.
How Much Does An Experienced Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?
The cost of hiring the best workers compensation lawyer in Columbus is something that a lot of people worry about when they are injured on the job and need to file an Ohio workers’ compensation claim. In Ohio, workers’ compensation representation is done on a contingency fee basis, meaning that a client only has to pay legal fees in the worker’s comp attorney is successful in recovering compensation. Further, as we provide a free consultation, there is no fee charged for calling us and learning about your rights and benefits if you’ve been injured at work.
Why Should I Choose Philip Gauer Law for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
I first became involved in this area of law when I worked as an Assistant Attorney General (AAG) at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. After several years as an AAG, I entered into private practice in 1995.
In addition to certification as a Specialist through the Ohio State Bar Association, I am also a member of the Workers’ Compensation Committee of the Columbus Bar Association and a member of the Ohio State Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Law Specialty Board.
I limit my practice in workers’ compensation exclusively to injured workers. Some lawyers choose to represent both employers/insurance companies and injured workers; this raises the possibility that a lawyer may represent a business (or the insurance company for the business) in one case, and an injured worker for the same company in a different case. I believe that this raises the possibility of a conflict so I do not represent employers or their insurance companies.
If you’d like more information about how we can help, please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Columbus workers’ compensation attorney.
 What is temporary total compensation, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/worker/claiminfo/benefits/TempTotal.asp.
 What Happens When an Injured Worker Dies?, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/death.pdf.
 Accrued Compensation, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/infostation/content/1/1.2/22.214.171.124.5.htm#:~:text=Accrued%20compensation%20is%20the%20unpaid,disease%20allowed%20in%20the%20claim.