The Defense Attorney

I don’t know how it is in other states, but it’s always entertaining to attend an Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation hearing at the Industrial Commission.

You’ve never seen so many neck braces, wheelchairs and crutches in your life…  But the sad thing is that if the work-related injury was truly legitimate, it should never even end up at a hearing, in my opinion.

Over the years, the employees I’ve dealt with who were truly hurt on the job were my top priority.  We took care of them and got them back to work.  Unfortunately, it’s the fraudulent claims and/or the companies that fight every single claim to the death that are ruining the system.

And let’s not forget the strange formula system by which premiums are calculated.  Many HR Professionals that I know believe that it’s possible for a small business to go bankrupt due to their BWC premiums.

But do you want to know my favorite part of attending a hearing?  Watching a defense attorney stand up and call out, “John Doe?  John Doe?”  Then a claimant comes forward, and the attorney says, “Hi.  I’m your attorney.”  That’s right; they’ve never even met.

Investigate claims.  Use a TPA.  Use an MCO.  Talk to the BWC.  Talk to your injured worker and get them back to work.  With the latter being the key.  You can always fight a claim if you need to, but if you’re doing everything else right, those will be far and few.

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