Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Helping Work Injury Cases Throughout Ohio
If you have experienced a workplace injury and need workers’ compensation, navigating the complexities of Ohio laws can be a daunting task that potentially leads to missed benefits.
Our dedicated team of Ohio attorneys specializes in workers’ compensation claims, ensuring you receive the full range of benefits you are entitled to. From your initial consultation onward, you will have direct access to a partner at our firm who will personally handle your case, providing the support and guidance you need throughout the entire process.
Contact us today to secure the assistance of an experienced attorney who will be by your side, addressing any concerns and guiding you through every step of your workers’ compensation claim
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, also often called workmans’ compensation, is designed for workers who have been injured while performing their job duties. It is a type of compensation that helps them cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs resulting from work-related injurty or illness. Most workplace injuries or accidents are eligible for worker’s compensation claims but often require the employee to have support from legal representation to maximize their claim payment.
The laws surrounding workers’ compensation are designed to protect both employers and employees. They ensure that injured workers receive the necessary support and resources to aid in their recovery, while also providing employers with a system to address and manage workplace injuries. However, it is essential to note that many workers are eligible for more benefits than they realize. The complex nature of workers’ comp laws often leads to workers missing out on compensation they rightfully deserve simply because they are unaware of their entitlements.
Did you know that Ohio operates under a no-fault insurance system when it comes to workers’ compensation? This means that regardless of who is at fault for the injury, employees should receive compensation for their work-related injuries. While this may sound straightforward, navigating the workers’ comp process can be far from easy. Numerous factors can complicate the process, and it’s crucial to understand the intricacies involved. For example, if you work as a contractor instead of a general employee, you may not be entitled to the same benefits as a traditional employee. It’s important not to assume your eligibility based solely on your employment status; seeking legal guidance is advised.
At Cox, Koltak & Gibson, our team of legal professionals possesses extensive experience in successfully handling workers’ compensation claims. We understand the challenges and obstacles you may encounter throughout the process and are equipped to guide you through every step. Our attorneys will work diligently to ensure that your claim is properly evaluated, supporting you in securing the compensation you deserve. Don’t let complexities or lack of knowledge prevent you from obtaining the full range of benefits available to you. Contact our firm today and let us provide you with the legal representation and guidance you need for your workers’ compensation claim.
Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Workers in various professions may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits due to different types of injuries. Some of the most frequently encountered injuries include:
Hip, back, neck, and shoulder injuries:
- These injuries often occur in professions such as warehousing and assembly lines, which involve frequent heavy lifting and repetitive motions.
Construction accident injuries:
- The construction industry poses risks that can lead to various types of injuries, including falls, equipment malfunctions, and being struck by objects.
- Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back and neck problems, and mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure can develop over time and are common among workers in specific industries.
It’s important to understand that if you experience a job-related injury and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you typically cannot file a personal injury lawsuit (with very few exceptions). Workers’ compensation is the designated avenue through which you can receive the benefits necessary for your recovery.
In some cases, workers’ compensation claims may involve taking legal action against third parties. For example:
- If you are involved in a traffic accident while operating a company vehicle, you may have a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
- Similarly, if you are injured due to a scaffolding collapse at a construction site, you might have a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury suit against the manufacturer of the faulty scaffolding.
Understanding the nature of common workplace injuries and the legal avenues available to you is crucial in ensuring you receive the appropriate compensation and support for your specific circumstances. If you have suffered a work-related injury, consult with a qualified attorney to navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation and determine the best course of action for your case.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are literally dozens of categories of benefits that you may be eligible to receive after suffering an injury on the job. In general, these benefits fall in one or more of these broad categories:
- Medical benefits (including medical treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, or whatever other treatment your doctor prescribes)
- Temporary total disability: compensation for an injured worker’s lost wages while recovering from an injury
- Permanent partial disability: compensation for a permanent disability that partially impedes a injured worker’s ability to work
- Permanent total disability: compensation for a permanent disability that completely prevents a injured worker’s from performing work
- Wage loss: compensation for an injury that forces an injured worker to work at a reduced wage compared to his or her previous employment
- Violation of specific safety requirement: compensation awarded if the injured worker’s employer committed a specific safety violation which lead to the worker’s injury
Your Employer’s Responsibilities
In the state of Ohio, your employer has certain responsibilities under workers’ compensation law. Workers’ compensation law requires employers to purchase some form of workers’ compensation insurance in most cases. Certain exceptions can be made for very large companies, which have the option of acting as their own workers’ compensation insurance provider, and very small companies (typically with only three or four employees), which have the option of not purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer fails to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, he or she may face fines, civil liability, or even criminal prosecution.
If you are hurt on the job and your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, your employer might be personally liable for the benefits you should receive through workers’ compensation insurance. Alternatively, you have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer rather than pursuing a workers’ compensation claim if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
Other Duties Your Employer Must Perform
Employers typically must perform these duties in addition to purchasing workers’ compensation insurance:
- At every job site, post a notice of compliance with Ohio workers’ compensation laws
- Offer emergency medical treatment to any employee who suffers an injury while on the job
- Offer additional medical attention, including long-term treatment, if an employee is not able to seek out medical treatment
- File a report of any on-the-job injury to a workers’ compensation board office
- Comply with any requests for further information filed by the workers’ compensation board or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier
As you might imagine, workers’ compensation law is a complex web of rules, regulations, and subtleties. Being eligible for a particular benefit does not necessarily mean you will receive it if you do not file your claim correctly. Case managers at the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bureau do not go out of their way to help you file your claim, and if you go into this unrepresented, you may find your benefits delayed or missed entirely.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ohio Workers’ Compensation
What on-the-job injuries does Workers’ Compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation covers almost any on-the-job injury, including long-term diseases resulting from your work (asbestos, etc.), pre-existing injuries that were exacerbated by an accident at your job, and even injuries caused by a third party while on the job.
Who pays my Workers’ Compensation benefits?
Ohio law requires that virtually all employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage from the state fund or insure themselves. Therefore, either the state fund or your employer will be responsible for paying your compensation.
How long will it take to get benefits?
This depends on the specifics of your injury, whether your employer is self-insured or state funded, where you received medical treatment, and many other factors. Having an experienced lawyer on your team will help you receive benefits much faster, as you can be sure that your attorney has filed all the necessary paperwork to keep your claim moving. Ultimately, you must trust that your attorney is doing everything that he or she can to ensure that you receive benefits as quickly as possible.
Do I have to go back to work before I am ready?
Ultimately, your doctor’s advice determines when you are ready to go back to work. When you suffer an injury on the job, your employer or your employer’s third party administrator will likely suggest a doctor. However, you are free to go to any doctor you like who the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has certified. You do not have to return to work until your doctor believes you are ready.
Do I have to file my workers’ compensation claim within a certain time limit?
There is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you do not file your claim within two years of your injury, you will not be able to seek compensation. If you are in an on the job accident, you should move quickly to seek legal representation and file your claim so that you are sure to receive the benefits you need.
The BWC denied my workers’ compensation claim. Is there anything I can do?
You can appeal your claim before the Ohio Industrial Commission. You should absolutely hire an attorney if you are filing an appeal, as you need a legal professional who can gather and present the evidence necessary to prove that you were hurt on the job and deserve compensation. Do not attempt to appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim alone.
Can I get fired for filing a claim?
If an employee of a company is injured during the course and scope of their employment by an anticipated and foreseeable risk of that employment, they can seek benefits under the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Act. It’s generally against Ohio law for an employer to discharge an employee for filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. That’s known as a wrongful or retaliatory discharge. The same laws that protect an employee from a wrongful or retaliatory termination also prohibit an employer from demoting an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The Ohio Supreme Court has held that such a retaliatory termination is a clear violation of public policy based on statutes, regulations and case law.
What Disqualifies A Person Of Workers’ Compensation in Ohio?
Workers’ compensation injury claims can be complicated and are often strongly defended,. There is no common list of issues that could disqualify an injured worker, but there are some distinct material case factors that could impact whether a claim is legally allowable. This is usually based on what the injured worker was doing at the time the injury occurred and the actual nature of the working relationship.
Individuals who are earning an income by virtue of a private documented contracting agreement could have difficulty collecting on a work injury unless they carry personal workers’ compensation protection. Self-employed workers are usually responsible for maintaining their own workers’ comp coverage. When injured workers are clearly employed by a primary employer, the employer’s coverage is liable for protection. Also, many employers’ will conduct an investigation into the injury looking for a viable reason to deny the claim.
Location at the Time of Injury
Many workers are injured at a remote location performing job responsibilities. When injuries occur at a central facility, the question becomes what the injured employee was doing at the time of the mishap. Injuries that occur away from the facility could provide ample room for argument from the employer if they can prove within a preponderance of the material case factors that the injured claimant had the injury prior to arriving at work or had the same injury at an earlier date.
All states allow an employer to reject a workers’ compensation claim when the worker injured themselves. Many states such as Ohio also allow a defense when the worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury. Normally when the injured employee is in discharge of work duties in any manner at the time, the claim cannot be legally denied, even though the employer can contest any injury claim and make the claimant prove the claim. It is important to remember that the employee must prove their case.