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workers' comp

Workers’ Comp Laws in Ohio: What Are They?

If you are one of Ohio’s teeming employees, you will be exposed to many possible hazards. If you get involved in a workplace injury, understanding the key provisions of Ohio workers’ comp laws is crucial. Ohio law says that you should fill out and submit an Employee Accident Report Form.

Workplace injuries occur every day. While some jobs are less prone to workplace mishaps, preparing for the worst while hoping for the best is wise. That’s where worker’s compensation laws come in.

A workers’ compensation lawyer in Columbus can help you understand the work comp laws. But first, this article discusses the basic regulations to know and how they affect your claim.

Ohio Workers’ Comp Law

Ohio’s workers’ compensation law protects both employers and employees. However, before recent reviews, the regulation seemed to have prioritized employers. At the moment, several amendments and new provisions appear to have balanced the scale.

However, as far back as 1912, Ohio had decided to run a monopoly in a significant aspect of its workers’ comp system, which is insurance provision—producing a critical turning point in Ohio workers comp laws. Since then, the state has stuck to its guns, and the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) seems to have come to stay.

Other vital players or entities empowered by the Ohio workers’ compensation law are the Managed Care Organizations (MCO) and the Industrial Commission of Ohio.

Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is a significant feature of Ohio’s workers’ compensation. The BWC is the state-approved compensation insurance provider for workers in Ohio.

Ohio workers’ comp laws mandate the Bureau to act as the sole workers’ compensation coverage provider to the millions of employees in the state. Therefore, this mandate excludes private insurance providers, and if you file a workers’ compensation claim, the BWC will play a significant role in it.

Some of the primary functions of the BWC are:

  • The provision of medical insurance coverage to injured Ohio workers
  • Collaborate with Ohio employers to ensure the safety of workplaces across the state. The BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene (DSH) performs this role.
  • Investigate and make decisions on the merits of workers’ compensation claims.

The BWC has its head office in Columbus and operates through ten other outlets distributed across the state.

The BWC-Employer Relationship

As an employee or prospective employee in Ohio, your private employer’s BWC relationship matters to you. First, your employer must institute and maintain a working relationship with the BWC.

Then, after signing up with the BWC, your employer should pay yearly premiums. The BWC provides several installment plans for employers to choose from.

The Claims Service Commission (CSS) is the arm of the BWC responsible for verifying the merits of your compensation claim. When the CSS reaches a decision, it relates its verdict to every party in the case, that is, you and your employer.

The Role of the Industrial Commission (IC) of Ohio

Ohio law envisages disputes between employers and injured workers over BWC verdicts. For this reason, you have a chance to appeal an unfavorable BWC decision that you disagree with. The Industrial Commission of Ohio receives such appeals and either uphold or upturn them.

The Ohio IC reviews over 130,000 cases every year. A vast majority of the IC verdicts come within sixty days after the claim. Your Columbus workers’ comp lawyer will help you file an appeal at the IC.

If you aren’t satisfied with your IC appeal decision, you can instruct your lawyer to proceed to the regular courts. Unfortunately, Ohio law only allows traditional courts to entertain workers’ comp cases after it has gone through the IC process.

The Role of Medical Care Organizations (MCOs)

Every worker’s compensation claim has a medical side to it. In Ohio, the MCOs have the job of handling the medical aspects of a worker’s claim. Therefore, your employer should work with any Ohio MCOs of their choice. Their role? Ensuring that injured workers receive the best medical attention and care is satisfactory.

The MCOs receive part of your employer’s BWC premiums. The MCO will pay your health care provider to foot your medical bills from this portion of your premium. Ohio law specifies that these reports are made within twenty-four hours.

Critical Points in Ohio Workers’ Comp Laws

Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws are hydra-headed and could be quite a handful. You may need a Columbus workers’ comp attorney to explain the portions that apply to your case. However, some aspects of the law are fundamental to every compensation-seeking worker.

  • The No-Fault System

Ohio law empowers the state to run a no-fault workers’ compensation system. This provision of the law implies that if you are injured as an Ohio worker, you should receive compensation even if your employer isn’t at fault for your accident.

  • Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations under Ohio law is one year for workers’ compensation. This means that you have one year from the day of the accident to file a valid claim. In cases of occupational disease, you have two years to file a claim.

  • Employer Retaliation

Ohio workers’ comp law protects you from any retaliative moves from your employer. In addition, your employer cannot relieve you of your job because you requested compensation. Your lawyer will help you enforce these rights.

  • Duration of Medical Benefits

You are entitled to receive medical care and benefits until your healthcare provider can confirm full recovery.

  • Points of Contention

To merit compensation under Ohio law, there are three significant hurdles you need to cross. Firstly, you must have a direct relationship with your employer. There have been cases where the BWC or court have struck out requests for compensation after an employer argues that an employee is a contract staff.

Secondly, your lawyer may have to convince the BWC or the courts that the accident in question happened in the course of duty. Only accidents that occur at your workplace or during official assignments can count in this case. For example, you can qualify for compensation if you get injured during an official task in another state.

Thirdly, your lawyer should prove that a workplace accident was the causative factor even when an accident occurs on duty. Finally, your employer will not be responsible for accidents resulting from any medical condition you may have.

Hire Ohio Workers’ Comp Lawyers

Call us at Ohio Workers ‘ Compensation if you need an attorney. Our team of workers’ compensation lawyers will listen closely to your case. In addition, we will provide you with a breakdown of every Ohio workers’ comp law that applies to you.

Finally, if you need legal experts to join you in navigating through every compensation recovery process, you should give our Columbus personal injury lawyers a call now. The first consultation is free!

workers' compensation

Workers’ Compensation: Most Common Reasons for Needing It

While everyone is prone to accidents and injuries now and again, work-related injuries are typically debilitating and deserve compensation. From overexertion to slips and falls, harmful chemicals exposure, contact with objects, etc., on-the-job accidents can result in fatalities. Workers also develop occupational diseases or illnesses. If you’re affected by either situation, you’ll need a Columbus worker’s compensation attorney to guide you on the next steps.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 4,764 fatal work injuries in the US in 2020. In the same year, the private industry reported 2.7 million on-the-job injury and illness cases. While injury cases witnessed a decline from 2019, illness cases quadrupled in 2020.

Due to the high work-related injuries and death rates, Ohio mandates employers provide workers comp insurance for affected employees, even if they have only one worker in their employ. However, there are exceptions for domestic workers, babysitters, and gardeners earning less than $160 per calendar quarter.

This article explains why workers’ compensation is necessary for both employers and employees in Ohio.

Reasons Why Injured Employees Need Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a laudable system for Ohio employees. Injured workers need this system of compensation for the following reasons:

  • The Benefits

Many times, injured employees can’t foot their medical bills and other costs out-of-pocket. As such, they need workers’ compensation for the financial help it offers. Ohio workers’ comp benefits include medical benefits, scheduled loss awards,  temporary total disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits. It also encloses job change awards for employees who must switch jobs and death benefits for deceased workers’ dependents.

If you’re qualified for temporary total disability, you’ll receive 72% of your pre-injury earnings weekly for the first 12 weeks. At the expiration of the 12 weeks, you’ll get two-thirds of your pre-injury wages. However, they cannot exceed the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) at the time of your injury. Meanwhile, permanent disability benefits are calculated based on scheduled losses, percentage losses, or disfigurement.

Factors like whether you’re receiving security retirement benefits can affect your compensation sums. As such, it’s essential to consult your workers’ compensation lawyer to ascertain the exact amount you’re entitled to.

  • A No-Fault System of Compensation

Generally, a person is only liable for your injuries if you prove that they caused them. As such, for personal injury cases, the success of your claim depends on whether you can establish the defendant’s fault.

It can be challenging to provide evidence to show your employer’s liability when it comes to employment injuries. Also, limitations like assumption of risk, contributory negligence, etc., may impede your rights to compensation benefits. Again, workers typically don’t have the finances to file lawsuits against employers while also managing their injuries.

Therefore, employees’ chances of getting settlement benefits are pretty low without workers’ compensation. The work comp insurance system offers workers higher compensation opportunities by eliminating the fault requirement.

  • Faster Process

Since workers’ compensation doesn’t require proving fault, workers don’t have to wait too long for their benefits. The workers’ comp insurance process is faster than filing a lawsuit to prove unsafe work environments.

Ohio workers' comp form and injured hand

 

How Does Workers’ Compensation Benefit Employers?

Workers’ compensation transcends a more effective claims process for employees. As a result, the system is also called the “grand bargain” because it’s a win-win for workers and employers alike.

Here’s why employers need workers’ compensation:

  • It Protects Them From Lawsuits

Under workers’ compensation insurance, employees get timely benefits on a no-fault basis. However, they give up their rights to sue their employers for negligence in exchange for these advantages.

This protects employers’ businesses from the harsh consequences of dealing with numerous lawsuits. Court actions take time, energy, and financial resources that the company would have invested into its growth. It can also affect the business’s relationships with workers, clients, and investors.

  • The Workers’ Compensation System Reduces Business Owners’ Financial Risks

Lawsuits are costly. Since every business aims at profit maximization, they benefit financially from the work comp system that forbids lawsuits. Also, workers’ compensation insurance is a great way to avoid paying out-of-pocket for employees’ injuries. It ensures employers don’t have to brainstorm ways to pay off settlements whenever a worker sustains an on-the-job injury.

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Columbus, Ohio?

You can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio only when you meet these criteria:

  • You Are an Employee

To be eligible for workers’ compensation, you must be an employee of an existing business. Workers’ compensation benefits are not available to self-employed persons and independent contractors.

  • Your Employer Has a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy

While Ohio’s laws mandate employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, some flaunt the rules and don’t pay into workers comp. In such cases, you step outside workers’ compensation and file a negligence lawsuit against them.

Such employers are also at risk of severe penalties from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). To ensure that your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, speak with the human resources manager.

  • You Sustained Injuries in the Course of Your Employment

For your injuries to qualify as work-related, it doesn’t have to occur in your place of work. However, it must have happened in the course of your employment. That means that you were performing official functions when you sustained the injuries.

If you were in an accident in your company’s vehicle while heading to meet a customer, you’re eligible for compensation. However, if the traffic collision happened on your way from work, you may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

  • The Injury You Sustained is a Qualifying Condition

Not all work-related injuries will qualify you for workers’ compensation. For example, you will not get financial benefits for minor bruises or injuries. In addition, you may not get a settlement if your injuries don’t keep you away from work for a significant amount of time.

Qualifying injuries include burns, amputations, fractures, hearing loss, etc. You may not also be eligible for workers’ compensation if your wounds were self-inflicted or due to your intoxication.

Sustained an On-the-Job Injury in Ohio? Give Us a Ring Now!

Are you suffering from an occupational disease or job-related injury in Ohio? Then you need competent legal assistance as soon as possible.

Our experienced Columbus personal injury attorneys can help you get maximum compensation. We will protect your rights under the workers’ compensation system and ensure that you get nothing less than you deserve. Schedule a free case review with us immediately.

workers' compensation

Workers’ Compensation: What Is It?

Columbus employees expect to perform their duties without any accident or injury. They also want their workplace to be free of hazardous conditions. However, workplace accidents happen, and workers sometimes develop occupational diseases or illnesses.

Ohio law mandates employers to pay workers’ compensation benefits to the injured worker when this happens. This article discusses what this settlement means and what to expect.  If you or a loved one suffer a workplace injury or illness, contact a Columbus work injury lawyer immediately.

Workers’ Compensation Under Ohio Law

Workers’ comp is an insurance policy held by employers that pays settlement to workers who suffer work-related injuries or contract an occupational disease. The coverage keeps business owners from paying out-of-pocket when their employees get injured at work.

Workers’ compensation insurance is quite helpful considering the number of injuries sustained by employees yearly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private industry employers reported 85,300 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Ohio in 2020. This resulted in an incidence rate of 2.4 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.

Under Ohio law, employers with one or more employees must carry workers’ comp insurance. However, there are exceptions. The following people are not covered under workers’ compensation:

  • Domestic workers like cooks, gardeners, housekeepers, and babysitters who earn less than $160 per calendar quarter;
  • Most volunteer workers; and
  • Business owners like sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, and members of limited liability companies.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is the state agency responsible for work comp claims. Unlike other states in the U.S., workers’ compensation in Ohio is not provided by private insurance companies. Instead, the state handles it, and employers can purchase a policy by completing the BWC Form U-3 Application for Workers’ Compensation Coverage online.

What Injuries Are Compensable Under Ohio Workers’ Comp?

As mentioned earlier, injuries sustained in the course of employment are compensable. This applies whether the wound occurred in or outside the business premises. So, for example, if a driver gets into an accident while making deliveries, they will receive workers’ compensation.

The law considers that the employee was working for the company and not on a personal errand. The following are injuries covered under workers’ compensation:

  • Injuries from falls, broken staircases, falling objects, icy sidewalks, and other unsafe work conditions
  • Wounds caused by a moving object or people like in a hospital or nursing home
  • Injuries resulting from a co-worker’s negligence
  • Wounds or illnesses from toxic exposure
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and other repetitive stress injuries

Some wounds that fall within the above categories are brain injuries, back injuries, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, limb loss, etc. It is essential to hire a work injury lawyer to help you get the maximum benefits.

Ohio work injury lawyer meeting man with broken arm

What Injuries Are Not Compensable?

Workers’ compensation insurance does not cover some injuries. The following wounds are not covered by Ohio work comp law:

  • Injuries sustained due to drug or alcohol use
  • Wounds from behaviors that violate company policy, e.g., fighting injuries
  • Pre-existing injuries or illnesses unless the work accident worsens the pre-existing condition
  • Short-term or common injuries like the flu or cold
  • Self-inflicted wounds (especially in an attempt to commit work insurance fraud)
  • Injuries that occur outside the workplace or work hours, e.g., when driving from or going home from work

If the injury resulted from a third party’s negligence, for example, a parts manufacturer, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Here, you will receive a financial settlement in addition to the workers’ compensation from your employer.

What Benefits Are Covered Under Ohio Work Comp Law?

To receive work comp benefits under Ohio law, you must inform your employer and get medical treatment. Once you’ve done this, follow up to ensure your employer files a report with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. If there is no contention, you will receive one or more of the following benefits:

Total Temporary Disability (TTD) Benefits

If your injury keeps you completely away from work, you’ll receive TTD benefits. But it won’t start until you’re away from work for two straight weeks. The amount you’ll receive is dependent on your average earnings before injury. However, the maximum and minimum amounts are determined by the statewide average weekly wage (SAWW) at the injury time.

Wage Loss Benefits

You’ll receive wage loss benefits if you sustain a temporary partial disability. This applies when you cannot continue your previous employment because of an injury or illness but can still work in some capacity. The wage loss benefit covers two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury weekly wages and your weekly earnings up to the amount of the SAWW.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits

After attaining maximum medical improvement (MMI), you’ll undergo a test to determine if you have a permanent disability due to the injury or illness. A person is permanently and totally disabled if they cannot:

  • Use both hands, arms, feet, legs, eyes, or any combination of two or more body parts; or
  • Cannot hold any long-term gainful employment.

With PTD, you’ll continue to receive weekly payments at the TTD rate for the rest of your life.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

If there’s permanent disability, but it is not total, you’ll get PPD benefits. Ohio law calculates this disability based on:

  • Loss of certain body parts;
  • A percentage of overall disability; and
  • Presence of serious disfigurement.

The BWC will consider what’s fair and the SAWW before awarding compensation.

Other benefits provided under Ohio workers’ compensation law are:

  • Medical Benefits: Workers’ comp pays for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to the injury or illness.
  • Mileage Reimbursements: You’ll receive reimbursement for travel expenses incurred from traveling for medical treatment.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: Ohio offers vocational rehabilitation services to help injured workers stay on their old job or get new employment.
  • Living Maintenance: If you get enrolled in a vocational rehabilitation program, you may receive living maintenance benefits for up to six months. It can be longer if the BWC chooses to extend it.
  • Survivor Benefits: When an employee dies from a work injury or illness their dependents get survivor benefits. The amount depends on the extent of their financial dependence, usually two-thirds of the deceased’s average weekly wage, up to the maximum or equal to SAWW.
  • Funeral Expenses: Work comp pays up to $7,500 in reasonable funeral expenses for the deceased worker.

Book a Free Consultation With Us Today!

The workers’ compensation process is easier when working with a Columbus personal injury attorney. Contact us today for a free case review.

benefits in ohio

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio: Am I Eligible?

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio is a great way to help cover medical expenses and lost wages if you were injured or became ill at work. This includes payments for medical bills and some lost wages. You will receive compensation if you are eligible regardless of who was at fault for the injury. But once you get the compensation, you can no longer file a lawsuit against your employer for damages.

There were 4,764 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2020 alone. But were they eligible for the claim? Let’s find out.

Generally, there are some eligibility requirements if you want Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio:

  • You should be an employee
  • Your employer should have workers comp insurance in place
  • You get a work-related injury
  • You have met the respective state’s deadline to file the injury claim

Let’s discuss all these eligibility requirements to get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio:

You Should be an Employee

When talking about workers’ compensation eligibility, not all workers are employees. In particular, independent contractors normally aren’t entitled to workers’ comp benefits. Employers often try to misclassify their employees as contractors in order to avoid paying them for workers’ compensation in case of injury.

Workers’ compensation laws in Ohio protect employees by requiring employers to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance to cover the costs of work-related accidents or injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to provide certain wage replacement benefits and medical care while the injured worker recovers from a temporary injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are not available for all types of injuries.

Remember, even if you signed the 1099 tax form, you would still be eligible as an employee – often, such disputes end up in court. Normally, courts look at the amount of control you have over your work. At the same time, volunteers are not eligible for the workers’ comp benefits.

Your Employer Should Have Workers Comp Insurance in Place:

Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. The employer is bound to provide coverage depending on the type of business and the number of employees it has.

Some states have different agricultural or construction businesses requirements. Oftentimes, employers buy workers’ comp insurance even if it is not legally binding on them. Typically, state laws allow such employers to “opt-in” to the workers’ comp system. In that case, their employees may get benefits for injuries that occurred at the workplace, but they cannot do legal proceedings against their employers.

You Get a Work-Related Injury:

In simple words, if you are performing job-related activities to benefit your employer and some injury occurs, this is termed as the work-related injury. For example, if you were lifting boxes as part of your job at the workplace, and you injured your back, then you are eligible for the workers’ compensation in Ohio.

In some cases, these issues are difficult to conclude. For instance, if you were injured during a lunch break or while spending time with your colleagues at the worksite.

Meeting the Deadline to File a Claim to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio:

If you get a work-related injury and file the claim within the given deadline, then you will be compensated. Workers in Ohio and most other states must file a Workers’ Compensation claim within one year of the date of injury.

Once your claim is approved, you can receive benefits for medical treatment and care (including hospital stays and medication), lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. Workers’ comp benefits in Ohio may also include death and survivor benefits (for the spouse and children of a deceased worker). However, workers’ comp benefits are often paid for a limited time, and your employer is required to try to get you back on the job.

Special Exceptions:

If you fall into all the above eligibility requirements, there is a chance that you will not qualify for the Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio. , if you fall in one of the below special categories:

  • Agriculture Workers
  • Domestic Workers
  • Loaned or Leased Employees
  • Seasonal or Casual Workers
  • Undocumented Workers

Speak With Your Lawyer Today to Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits:

Suppose your employer says that you’re not eligible for workers’ comp benefits because of the independent contractor exemption, fitting into one other category like being a volunteer or seasonal employee, etc. In that case, it’s important to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you get your compensation.

Call us if your employers or insurance company has denied your valid workers’ comp claims and Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Ohio.

ohio workers' comp

Ohio Workers’ Comp Insurance And Personal Injury Lawsuit

If an employee is injured on the job, the employee is typically required to contact the Ohio workers’ comp system to receive reimbursement for medical care and receive other benefits, including partial wage replacement when they are injured or absent from work due to their injury.

According to Ohio’s employers, workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in 2020. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 85,300 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in Ohio in 2020, resulting in an incidence rate of 2.4 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.

Do Employers Need to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Most employers in the United States are required to have workers’ compensation coverage, either through an employee compensation program or through a third-party insurance company. Some employers also choose to self-insure. The majority of states require employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance when only one employee is hired. In other states, they are only required to purchase insurance when between two and five employees are hired.

Nevertheless, what should you do if your employer does not carry this type of insurance? A personal injury claim is generally available for employees in your situation.

Are Self-Employed Individuals Covered by Ohio Workers’ Comp?

A sole proprietorship or a member of a partnership must carry workers’ compensation insurance for all employees of the business, but it is optional for business owners to purchase insurance coverage for themselves. Nonetheless, covering yourself is always a good idea.

You may have to pay for expensive medical bills out of pocket if you do not have Ohio workers’ comp, since personal health insurance policies do not usually cover work-related injuries. In addition to paying for some of your lost wages while you recover, workers’ compensation can compensate for some of your lost wages if an injury takes a long time to heal.

Are Part-Time Employees Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Ohio?

When an employee is injured on the job, Ohio employers are required to purchase indemnity insurance. If the employee was injured on the job, benefits would be calculated according to a formula that takes into account how many hours the employee normally works each week.

The Following Are Some of the Advantages of Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit:

Filing a personal injury lawsuit on a workers’ compensation claim has a few advantages. For one thing, you can collect the full amount of your losses (or “damages,” according to lawyer speak) without being constrained by arbitrary statutory limits. In most states, temporary disability benefits are limited to about two-thirds of a worker’s lost wages, only up to a set maximum amount and for a limited period. Another benefit of a personal injury lawsuit is that you can collect damages for the pain and trauma suffered from your injuries.

The competition does not provide rewards of this kind, including punitive damages, intended to punish the employer for causing your injuries. Punitive damages are an additional option that cannot be recovered in a labor lawsuit.

Potential Disadvantages of Personal Injury Lawsuits:

Litigating, however, has disadvantages. It can be a very slow process. Although a worker may receive workers’ compensation benefits within weeks, it could take lawsuit months or even years to give you any money.

You need a lawyer immediately so that you can initiate the process and ensure that your case is filed within the appropriate legal deadlines, as opposed to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. However, you will need to prove that your employer was at fault for the injury incident.

Employees Who Are Injured May Also Be Able to Recover Through These Other Methods:

If you have been hurt at a job that is not insured, there are several options for claiming compensation. Many states have special funds set aside for employees whose employers are uninsured (called “uninsured employer funds”). Depending on the fund, you may be able to get the medical invoices paid or receive compensation for the income loss.

A Lawyer Can Help You:

Whenever you have been injured at work and your employer does not have Ohio workers’ comp insurance, your first step should be to seek legal advice from an experienced workers’ compensation or a personal injury attorney. Whether your case is inside or outside the workers’ compensation system, an attorney can help you get the financial settlement you deserve. Our attorneys provide free consultations and do not charge a fee unless you win.

ohio workers' comp

Ohio Workers’ Comp: Changing the Treating Doctor

Ohio workers’ comp requires you to see a doctor for treatment. You should maintain a good relationship with your doctor during recovery from a workplace injury. As well as providing you with essential medical care, your doctor will refer you to specialists, define your limitations at work, and decide if you are permanently disabled. Insurance companies typically deny Ohio workers’ comp benefits when the attending physician is not supportive of the claim.

You may be able to change doctors if you are unsatisfied with your care, but this depends on the workers’ compensation laws of your state. Make sure you understand the worker’s compensation laws in your state before making a change in your physician. You may be denied any reimbursement for medical bills by your insurance adjuster in the case where your medical specialist discourages your workers’ comp claim.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 91,000 nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses among private-sector employers in Ohio in 2019. The incidence rate was 2.4 cases per 100 full-time equivalent employees, the bureau said.

Who Chooses My Doctor for a Workplace Injury?

People with emergencies can seek treatment from any doctor or hospital as long as they follow their state’s workers’ comp rules. However, you will be required to comply with the Ohio workers’ comp laws in case of non-emergency medical treatment.

The doctor who provides your continuing medical care is selected by your employer or their insurance company in most states. However, in others districts, you are entitled to shortlist your doctor entirely by yourself. Some states have more complex rules, such as requiring you to select a doctor from a network of doctors approved by your employer.

Can I Change My Workplace Accident Doctor?

Your occupational health physician may sometimes appear to be more vested in the financial success of your employer than in your full recovery. Depending on the insurance that you have, you may be able to switch doctors if you don’t feel your condition has improved or if you are unhappy with your doctor’s care.

The compensation system for workers varies from state to state, but you generally have the option of changing doctors at least once. In some states, changing your health care provider may not be allowed due to other restrictions.

  • The Insurance Company Chooses a New Doctor:

The insurance company may be able to verify all medical care in a worker’s compensation case in some states, like Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia. In these states, you may request a new doctor, but the carrier is responsible for choosing your new physician. The insurance company can usually be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation agency in your state.

However, you may consider retaining a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance as appealing medical treatment is a complex procedure.

  • Observe The Following Waiting Period:

The waiting period varies by state (from one appointment to 90 days) but some states, like Pennsylvania and Michigan, do allow workers to change their physician after a waiting period. After the waiting period, you can see whichever doctor you want. Until you notify your insurance company of a change in doctor, you may be charged for services received before notification. Otherwise, you might be charged for services received before notification.

  • Number of Changes to Be Made:

In Illinois, you can change your doctor twice without your insurance company’s permission. However, in another group of states, you are allowed to change your doctor more than twice.

Ohio allows one doctor change (after the second change, you will need a court order or insurance company approval). In the event that you are no longer receiving automatic changes and still are not satisfied with how you are being treated, a workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with assistance to request a new treatment plan.

  • Licensed Medical Providers:

In some states, such as New York and Washington, workers are free to choose their physicians, but they must get their injuries treated by state-licensed providers. There are usually online lists of licensed physicians in these states, so you can change your doctor but must see a licensed provider. Your insurance company can very conveniently refute all your complaints if you seek medical assistance from an unauthorized doctor.

Contact Us for Ohio Workers’ Comp:

An Ohio workers’ comp lawyer can recommend a doctor if you need to choose from among your employer’s network of doctors. If you need help selecting a doctor, you can consult a workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance. Lawyers who specialize in workers’ compensation are often familiar with occupational doctors and can recommend those who are fair and open-minded.

Ohio workers' comp form and injured hand

Ohio Workers’ Comp: What Happens If You’re Hurt on Your Lunch Break?

Workers’ compensation is designed to help employees who have been injured while doing their jobs. So what happens if you have an accident during your lunch break? In some cases, you may still be able to claim Ohio workers’ comp benefits.

In most instances, an insurance company will automatically refute a claim for workers’ compensation after an accident that occurred during lunch. While accidents during lunch are generally not covered by workers’ comp, there are exceptions which we’ll look at in this article.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in Ohio in 2019, there were more than 91,000 non-fatal injuries, much more than the national average of 2.8 injuries per 100 full-time employees.

Ohio Workers’ Comp Generally Doesn’t Cover Injuries During Lunch

Employers should not request that their employees complete tasks during their lunch break or after hours, as they are usually permitted under labor laws to use their lunch break as they please, whether it is for lunch or not.

Injuries are covered by workers’ compensation if they occur because of the work you’re performing and if they arise in the course of employment. An injury in the course of employment simply means that you were on the clock and performing the duties you’ve been paid to do.

Injuries during a lunch break generally don’t meet these criteria and are therefore not covered by workers’ compensation. However, there are certain exceptions.

There May Be a Few Exceptions:

Most lunch break accidents are not covered by Ohio workers’ comp. However, there are certain exceptions.

When you suffer a workplace injury at lunch, you can still seek compensation if:

  • You Were in the Break Room:

The employer is still responsible for maintaining all parts of your workplace, including the breakroom. If you were injured in the breakroom during your lunch break, you might be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Courts have previously ruled that injuries that occur during lunch at the workplace qualify for compensation.

The best course of action is to contact an Ohio workers’ comp lawyer who can evaluate your case and advise you on your options.

  • You Were Injured by a Coworker:

The respondeat superior also obligates your employer to be accountable for the actions of their on-duty employees in a reasonable manner. Your employer may still be responsible if you are injured because of your coworker’s mistake while having lunch. Such an act effectively triggers the employers’ liability to provide compensation to their workers.

  • Your Job Required You to Run an Errand:

Sometimes, bosses and employers send employees on errands during lunchtime. For example, you might have been asked to pick up sandwiches from the rotisserie next door. Regardless of whether you are on duty, if you are performing a duty that could be reasonably considered work-related; such as picking up a food order for your boss, you would be covered by workers’ compensation.

Contact Us for Your Ohio Workers’ Comp:

You should always contact an Ohio workers’ comp lawyer after a workplace injury to better understand your options. Whether you were injured during your lunch break or not, our law firm would like to hear from you. Please call us to speak to one of our friendly professionals and schedule a free consultation or send us an email.

asbestos and mask workers' compensation in Ohio

Workers’ Compensation in Ohio and Occupational Disease

Several odd jobs in the state of Ohio can cause breathing issues, impaired lungs, torn skin, and even cancer for workers. This is because of the extremely poor working conditions provided to these employees. In order to avoid claims for workers’ compensation in Ohio, employers should provide a friendly environment to their workers at all times so that they are able to fully function and are not exposed to severe health risks. This act will also increase their productivity and make them less prone to errors.

As per the data collated by Policy Matters Ohio, with 3,227 cases of COVID-19 on August 16, more than one in every 10 individuals has contracted the virus in Ohio.

When a worker has been a victim of such inhumanity, they may face a lot of difficulty in successfully establishing a connection between their injuries and the working conditions they have been constantly been exposed to. Generally, a worker may not be fully aware of the procedures involved in fighting such cases in court, therefore, it is required to consult a professional lawyer to oversee your case of workers’ compensation in Ohio. Fully comprehending the smallest details of the case will help your chances for a better win.

What Is an Occupational Disease?

Any illness or disease caused while executing employment duties is termed an occupational disease. Depending upon the nature of the job, some industrial processes might involve poisoning from toxic materials such as lead, mercury, asbestos, etc. Non-scheduled diseases may also entitle you to claim financial compensation in the event of an injury or syndrome. Following are the elements that may cause an occupational disease according to The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC):

  • Toxic gases, fumes, or dust
  • Harmful substances and toxic chemicals
  • Chemical radiation, industrial procedures involving constant physical pressure, and stringent movements
  • Severe pressures, high pitched noises, and constant temperature changes
  • Emission of radioactive rays

A Link Must Be Established:

When filing a suit against the employer for workers’ comp in Ohio, you are liable to prove that exposure to a toxic material had an adverse impact on your health, making you eligible for benefits. You have to provide adequate medical documentation in court to validate your claim. You should also be able to prove that such adverse environmental circumstances were much more severe than what the general public is normally exposed to. To prove your case in court, the following are the things that should be made clear:

  • Your injury or disease is diagnosed by a health professional certified by a reputable institution
  • Your workplace primarily caused you to be exposed to such risks
  • You must be able to prove your disability to work along with any lost earnings

Only after a court has granted you a financial award by your employer, you will be reimbursed for any of the costs you incurred for any medical examination or diagnosis in order to be treated for your disease.

Timeframe for Compensation Related to Work-Related Disease:

In most cases, even the slightest symptoms triggered by such occupational diseases may take several years to evolve. Due to this fact, the BWC has set out a time frame of two years for a victim to file a lawsuit. Because of the concept of a statute of limitations, any complaint filed after the lapse of two years will be invalid. However, to give additional relief to the tax-paying citizens, the BWC permits an individual to file a suit up to six months after diagnosing the disease, in the case where such diagnosis is performed by a licensed physician. Another mandatory condition to this exception is that this six-month period should not reduce the standard two-year period.

In order to receive compensation, the following are the three dates prescribed by BWC as the date of disability, whichever is earlier;

  • The date on which the injured worker received medical treatment for the disease for the first time
  • The date on which the disease was identified as an occupational disease
  • The date on which such a medical condition causes an employee to take a break from work

In certain cases, where you are recovering from a severe disease, the procedures for submitting a complaint in Ohio can be very crucial and complex. To better understand the legal framework of such critical cases, you are advised to retain a qualified Ohio lawyer on your payroll.

Do You Plan to Claim Workers’ Compensation in Ohio?

Our law firm provides quality services in the subject matter. We have an extensive history of dealing with successful cases of workers’ compensation in Ohio.

Concept photo: Ohio public worker injury insurance premiums were slashed

Ohio Public Worker Injury Insurance Premiums Slashed Starting January 1, 2022

Effective from the dawn of 2022, public employers of Ohio will have to pay significantly less in worker’s injury compensation premiums. The Ohio public worker injury insurance cut will cumulatively reach $17 million, and this will be effective from January 1, 2022.

So far, there has been a decline in Ohio worker’s injury compensation claims, and the positive indicators have compelled the Ohio Worker’s Compensation Bureau to slash the premium rates significantly. The rate went down by a solid 10% in one go, and all because of positive steps were taken by public employers to better safeguard their workers on the job.

Plus, the medication inflation costs have also been relatively lower in Ohio.

But overall, this is a massive win for Ohio’s public sector employers who will now be able to better use the saved-up funds for the betterment of their departments. The increased investment in employees and the workplaces is sure to minimize the threat even further, allowing for future cuts like this.

There have been slashes in the insurance premium rates in the past as well, and counting from 2009, this is the 13th such cut.

The Ohio public worker injury insurance premium cuts are a result of better safety training and a genuine effort on part of employers to safeguard their workers from all possible threats in the workplace. Of course, the 10% slash should be understood as an average for Ohio, not a strict percentage for all public departments.

Hopefully, things will go on like this in the future as well, however, one can never predict when such a disaster may strike down a worker during their work hours. If you or a loved one have been injured during your duty, don’t delay contacting a competent Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer for timely action.

Source: https://www.sidneydailynews.com/news/213016/public-employer-rate-cut-effective-jan-1

ohio workers' comp

When to Review an Ohio Workers’ Comp Claim Subrogation?

Accidents and injuries are common instances at the workplace, due to a range of reasons. If you face an injury at work, then it is highly possible that you qualify for Ohio workers’ compensation under laws that protect employees. When it comes to some careers, occupational hazards can be a major factor in your safety and health while performing official or work-related tasks.

These occupational hazards include any exposure or threat of injury and damage that can happen to an employee while they work. Some examples include accidents at construction sites that may lead to heavy bricks falling on a builder; or electricians that can face electrocution or a dangerous fall. If you face an accident like this and are left injured, it is important to consider both worker’s compensation and subrogation.

When an Ohio workers’ comp claim arises, the causes, mechanisms, and events that led to the injury are sometimes purely the fault of the employee due to operational or human error. This worker can, however, also face an injury because of other reasons. These reasons include a technical malfunction, unstable equipment, or lack of safety precautions. If such an injury is caused by a third party, then it also becomes a concern that can lead to subrogation.

What Is Ohio Workers’ Comp Subrogation:

A legal review of a worker’s injury is sure to involve insurance and coverage claims that can benefit you at the cost of your employer or your insurance provider. However, the involvement of a third party can create a legal opportunity for all others involved.

Let’s say that an outsourced team is hired by a company to ensure safety precautions and equipment conditions. Even if it is as simple as making sure ice doesn’t make outdoor surfaces slippery, this outsourced worker’s failure to do this job can cause another worker to face a serious injury by slipping and falling.

In such cases, a subrogation claim is also possible which allows an insurance provider company to seek compensation from the at-fault third party. This can help reimburse their costs and spending on the injured worker’s medical bills, lost wages, and over coverage.

The first part of such a claim is to ensure that the third party was at fault for causing the injury of the worker. Because the worker themselves are facing the pain and trauma of an injury, it is upon the injured worker’s legal representative to notify their insurance company about the subrogation claim and ensure written permission is also acquired as a notice of approval.

Once this is achieved, your legal representative will decide on an amount of compensation to be claimed; an amount of which can be partially moved to the at-fault third party. Naturally, the right to subrogation can benefit both the injured worker as well as the insurance provider while fining any defaulters.

What Cases Can Involve Subrogation?

In most cases, the fault of the third party is proven by the following three actions that the third party commits:

  • A direct form of action that can be hazardous or inaction that can lead to an accident or a fatality, such as the ignorance of safety precautions or direct creation of a hazard
  • Faulty equipment or hazardous tools that were supplied, manufactured, or in any way managed by a third party. This is especially common when any equipment or machinery malfunctions or causes an accident that is proven not to be the fault of the worker’s action or any human error on the worker’s part
  • If the injury is caused at any property or workplace that is owned by a third party, especially if such a location poses any hazards to workers. This is common in construction and manufacturing worksites that are owned or managed by a faulty third party

How a Subrogation Claim Can Affect the Injured Worker:

Noticeably, when two claims are being processed at the same time, results can vary. If the worker’s compensation claim is yet to be completed and a compensation amount has not been paid yet, it is still entirely possible to pursue a subrogation claim targeting the third party. However, a full claim on any compensation is only possible after the workers’ compensation has been settled and completed.

Additionally, if a subrogation claim is settled and paid before a workers’ compensation claim is paid off by the insurance provider, it may also be an opportunity; the insurance company can present the subrogation result as a remedy for any worker’s compensation needed, shifting the burden onto an at-fault third party who must now pay off all worker’s compensation.

Defend Your Right to Ohio Worker’s Comp Claim Subrogation Today:

It is also highly important to enlist the help of an experienced attorney when pursuing a subrogation claim. At Ohio Workers Compensation Lawyers, our team of dedicated attorneys is well versed in the issues that come with Ohio workers’ compensation. Contact us today and protect your rights as an employee and citizen.

ohio workers' compensation

Does Ohio Workers’ Compensation Cover Workplace Violence?

Will Ohio Workers’ Compensation cover injuries from workplace violence, is the question put forth by Ohio employees. Workers’ Compensation is defined as the monetary benefits provided by respective companies and organizations to their employees in case of an injury that takes place during working hours. Workers in Ohio also go through these catastrophes as well but to what extent does the occurrences of these catastrophes classify as accidental or intentional acts; caused by workplace violence? For instance, the shocking revelations by Ohio Nurses Association infer that approximately one in four nurses are assaulted at work in terms of physical and verbal abuse.

Factually, accidental events and incidents due to workplace violence are two different aspects and to what extent the causalities are born by workplace compensations due to workplace violence is Ohio employees’ utmost concern.

Ohio Workers’ Compensation – Everything You Should Know About Workplace Violence:

Earlier, workplace violence was only considered as to physically humiliate someone in terms of either abusing or sexually assaulting, attacking, or even killing them. However, workplace violence has evolved and included other acts of coercion, verbal harassment, or threats; ultimately turning it into an act of physical violence. Workplace violence may include everyone present at the office from higher authorities, colleagues, and other faculty members to non-employed third parties, like a customer, client, or a mere visitor as well.

Workplace Violence; Not Part of the Job:

One may find workplace violence in every sector of the industry. On some occasions, it is being done behind the curtains on a trivial level and is remunerated by tangible and intangible rewards. For example, a customer may harass the employee but later compensate it with some sort of tip. While on other occasions, workplace violence occurs on a massive magnitude by the offender(s) yet is held unaccountable and set free for their actions. It may include a manager; famous for their malicious attitude and behavior towards employees yet gets barely noticed for this particular action because they are the “boss”.

Indeed, workplace violence is not part of the job, and no employee signs for it upon joining a company. Stopping workplace violence is crucial not only to safeguard employee safety and security but to preserve the overall workplace culture based on ethics and moral principles.

Ways to Stop Workplace Violence:

On an individual and collective level; both, there are certain ways through which employees can stop workplace violence. These are:

Understand the Basics of Workplace Violence:

The most important aspect of starting the journey of employment is knowing the basics of workplace violence as an employee. It includes how anyone within or outside the firm can always intend to harm you either physically, verbally, or by means of both. Additionally, having a fundamental knowledge about workplace violence will double your level of alertness, concentration on others’ actions as well as restrain you from blindly trusting others at work.

Begin Taking a Stand for Yourself and Others:

If you ever become the victim of workplace violence or see it happening with anybody else in the office, make yourself strong enough to stand for your rights and protest in support of others’ appeal as well for violating the company’s guidelines.

Unite Against the Offender:

If you find someone engaged in workplace violence whether a co-worker, supervisor or even a client; unite with others against the offender in order to ensure they are charged with punishment as brutal as possible for their evil actions.

Learn to Say ‘No’:

As an upright employee, you must learn how to say no to workplace violence. Often, victims encourage the offenders by not raising fingers against them as a way of escaping but end up being detained instead.

File a Complaint:

At last, if workplace violence harms you in any sense and the higher authorities remain silent, you need to file a complaint and contact a reputable attorney to get you your rightful reimbursements.

Does Ohio Workers’ Compensation Recovers Workplace Violence?

Typically, Ohio Workers’ compensation provides benefits to its employees such as medical assistance, temporary and permanent total disability benefits, scheduled loss reimbursements, occupational change awards, and death benefits. There are compensations available to bear the sequels of workplace violence in terms of violating quantified company’s policies which emphasizes workplace violence as an unethical and criminal code of conduct.

What You Can Do to Overcome this Issue?

You as a sensible employee can voice for your legal rights. And to help you do so, Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers are just a call away. With years of experience and an advanced level of expertise, we have attorneys to take the necessary steps for the clients while ensuring satisfying results.

Concept photo: Geauga Co commercial vehicle crash kills 5

Five Killed in Geauga County Commercial Vehicle Crash

People in Ohio were shocked by the latest news of a Geauga County commercial vehicle crash that killed five people, while two others were badly injured. Emergency troopers received a call for a serious injury car crash at approximately 11:04 A.M. on November 22, where two vehicles had crashed into each other.

A van and a commercial truck having a connected flatbed trailer were found with severely damaged front-ends at State Route 44, Geauga County, Ohio.

The crash involved a 2003 Ford Econoline Van, which was later verified by authorities to be owned by Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities and rented to Solutions At Work (SAW), Inc., a non-profit that offers jobs, training, and recreational prospects to adults with developmental disabilities.

People involved in the Geauga County commercial vehicle crash crash were also part of a mobile work crew.

According to the Troopers, the van was traveling southbound when the driver intersected the middle lines and collided with a truck heading northbound.

Five people were killed on the spot while two of them were injured badly and moved to the nearest local hospital after two vehicles crashed on State Route 44, South of Pekin Road, in Newbury Township, located in Geauga County, Ohio.

The van had a driver and six passengers in it at the time of the accident.

The driver and four of the passengers died in the crash. Two of the passengers were transported to the local hospital for serious injuries while the driver of the commercial truck was moved for non-life-threatening injuries.

People who have been involved or injured in work accidents or auto accidents while on work, or subjected to workers’ injuries caused by the negligence of others, should contact an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer for an immediate consultation and a free case review.

Source: https://www.news5cleveland.com/traffic/traffic-news/multiple-vehicle-crash-with-serious-injuries-closes-ravenna-road-in-both-directions-in-geauga-county