What to Expect

Court Actions



In trials, a jury hears and decides the case, and they are limited to “right to participate issues”. Basically they answer the question “Is the claimant entitled to participate in the Ohio workers’ compensation system? The "participate" is based on medical conditions such as “lumbar sprain” or “herniated disc at L4-5” or “torn medial meniscus, left knee”. In workers comp trials juries do not award money damages and there is no "pain and suffering" amount ever given. There are never any "million-dollar verdcits". The jury answers the above "yes" or "no" question, and that is all. This is because the law tries to help juries (who are lay-peole) to streamline and simplify issues that are in many cases rather complex. If a jury allows a claim it is then referred back to the BWC for processing of medical bills, and any requests for compensation. The trial process is more-better explained by your attorney as it is very fact-specific to your own case.

You should seriously consider seeking the advice and help of an attorney if a party to your workers’ compensation claim appeals an Industrial Commission decision up to Common Pleas Court. The Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Ohio Rule of Evidence are both applicable, as are many Local Rules and legal customs. As a result the entire way the case is presented and decided is different than in the administrative arena.

One common characteristic about trials in a workers’ compensation case is that they are very expensive. Another is that it takes a long time. While the Ohio Supreme Court has issued guidelines on how long a case can be pending without a trial date, it is usually a year or so to prosecute a workers’ compensation appeal from start to finish. Health care professionals will definitely have to testify in support of your case. This is not easy, and it is not cheap. Be forewarned of the potential costs involved in litigating a workers’ compensation case, on either side, be it worker or employer.


Gibson Law Offices
Main Office: 545 Helke Road, Vandalia, Ohio 45377 | Phone: (937) 264-1122 | Fax: (937) 264-0888
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