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workers compensation benefits

Workers Compensation: How Long Do Benefits Come To You?

If you’re already collecting workers compensation benefits, you may be wondering when they’ll run out. Once you’ve been out of work for a while, it almost makes it harder to go back. This is especially true if you suffered a serious injury. You start to worry that you won’t be able to do the same kind of work you did prior to your workplace accident. You even to start second-guessing your abilities the longer your claim stretches out. Our employment lawyers in Columbus, Ohio meet with people very week who feel the same way you do. At some point, you know your benefits are going to expire. You just don’t know when that day will come.

Here, we’ll discuss the different ways in which your benefits can end. We will also explain what maximum medical improvement is and why it’s so critical to your claim. If, after reading this article, you still have questions about your claim, give us a call. We can always schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.

You Must First Qualify for Workers Compensation

Before you can worry about how long you can collect workers compensation benefits, you need to qualify for them. In Ohio, as in every other state, there are certain requirements you must meet in order to qualify for workers compensation. Some of these include the following:

  • Your accident must take place on company time
  • Typically, your injury must occur on company property
  • If you work remotely or at home, your injury must take place while you’re acting within the scope of your employment
  • You cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time your accident
  • You must report your injury to your manager or human resources right away
  • You must submit to a drug test
  • You must agree to be treated by a state- approved workers compensation physician
  • You’re not allowed to work at another job while you’re out on workers compensation
  • You must participate in your treatment

If you meet all these requirements, there’s a good chance your employment lawyer in Columbus, Ohio will be able to get you benefits.

If Approved, You’ll Receive Two Major Types of Benefits

Once your workers compensation claim is approved, you’ll be entitled to two main types of benefits. The first type of benefits you’ll receive is medical treatment for your injuries. As long as the treatment is for injuries suffered during your workplace accident, they will be covered by your employer’s insurance company.

The second main type of benefits you’ll receive are weekly replacement wages. These will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. Until you’ve been out of work for at least seven consecutive days, you will not be entitled to receive these benefits. However, once you’ve been out of work for 14 consecutive business days, your benefits will kick in and you’ll be paid retroactively for the first seven days.

You Can Collect Workers Comp Benefits for Up to 200 Weeks in Ohio

Anybody who’s approved for workers compensation in Ohio is allowed to collect benefits for up to 200 weeks. This is just shy of four years. While very few of our clients have ever collected benefits for that long, they are there if you need them.

Unlike most other states, Ohio is willing to extend the benefits period by 26 weeks if you are unable to find a job after the 200 weeks expire. If you’re not able to do the work that you did prior to your accident, you may need to look for a new job. Or, for personal reasons, you may choose not to return to the same employer that you worked for when you got hurt.

You’ll Have to Return to Work Once the Doctor Determines You’ve Reached Maximum Medical Improvement

At some point, the workers compensation doctor is going to determine that you have reached something called “maximum medical improvement.” This just means that your physician determines that further medical care is not going to improve your situation. Usually this happens once you’ve received any necessary surgeries and have attended physical therapy for a period of time.

Since every case is different, and since everybody responds differently to treatment, there’s no way to know for sure when this will happen. Is the doctor says that you’re ready to return to work and you disagree, your injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio can get a second opinion. They’ll reach out to an independent doctor and ask them to examine you and determine if they feel you are indeed ready to return to work. If not, your attorney will discuss this with your employer and their insurance carrier and ask for an extension. If they refuse to grant this extension, you can always appeal it to the workers compensation commission or file suit.

Your Employment Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio Can Help if You’re Forced to Return to Work too Soon

As stated above, if you employer tries to force you to go back to work before you’re ready, your employment lawyer in Columbus, Ohio will fight to get you additional time. However, whether you’re ready to return to work or not, once you’ve reached the 200-week mark, your benefits will terminate whether you like it or not.

Contact an Experienced Injury Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio Right Away

If you were hurt while on the job, you should be able to collect workers compensation benefits. The question is – how long can you collect them? As explained here, your benefits can end a couple of ways. You can either be deemed ready to return to work, or you’ll exhaust your 200 weeks of benefits. Your injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio will work hard to get you the benefits you deserve. And, if you suffer a permanent disability, your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement of your claim.

We suggest that you call our office so you can schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with an employment lawyer in Columbus, Ohio who can review your claim and let you know what to expect. They can also help if your employer tries to force you back to work early. Even if you’re already receiving benefits, you should still have someone by your side to make sure your benefits aren’t terminated unfairly.

Since your initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.

workers compensation

Workers Compensation Case: Should I Get a Lawyer?

If you get hurt at work, you have no reason to think that you won’t qualify for workers compensation benefits. After all, you followed your company’s policy and reported your injury right away. You weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident. You even agreed to take a drug test prior to treatment. This is why you may be shocked and frustrated when you hear that your workers comp claim has been denied. The best way to handle this is to call an Ohio workers compensation attorney right away.

One of our associates will reach out to your employer and find out why your claim was denied. They will also let the insurance company know that they represent you and that all future communications must come through our office.

Here, we will discuss the benefits of having an Ohio personal injury attorney help with your workers comp case. Not only will the insurance company not be able to take advantage of you, but you’ll have the assurance that your claim will be handled properly from day one. All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation.

It’s Better to Hire an Ohio Workers Compensation Attorney Right from the Start

Some people like to wait until their claim has been denied before they hire an attorney. There’s nothing wrong with doing this. However, the longer you go without an attorney, the harder it will be for them to appeal your claim later on. If they get to review your case while it’s still fresh, they can try to negotiate payment with your employer before it reaches the appeals stage.

If the insurance company doesn’t think you have an attorney, they may take their sweet time reviewing your claim. They may tell you that your initial claim wasn’t filled out properly. They may claim that you refused medical treatment. All sorts of things can happen at the beginning of the workers compensation process. You’ll be in much better shape if a Ohio workers compensation lawyer is there by your side.

You Don’t Want Your Employer to Take Advantage of You

In our experience, a lot of our clients tell us that the reason they hired a lawyer is because their employer was taking advantage of them. Some clients tell us that their employer tried to force them to come back to work before they’re ready. Others tell us that their employer approved their benefits and then turned around and terminated them a week later. As long as you don’t have an Ohio personal injury attorney handling your case, the insurance company will continue to try to take advantage of you. They may offer you a month’s worth of benefits and then expect you to come back to work. They may tell you that your workers compensation doctor has determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement way too early. If you have an attorney, they will not attempt to do these things. They know that your lawyer isn’t intimidated by them and will not fall for any of their tactics.

If Your Claim is Denied, Your Lawyer Can Help with Your Appeal

If your employer or the insurance company does deny your claim, your Ohio workers compensation lawyer will help you file an appeal. Depending on the reason why your claim was denied, the insurance company may change their mind and agree to pay your claim. For example, if your claim was denied because you did not complete the necessary paperwork, your Ohio personal injury attorney can resolve that matter rather quickly. If, on the other hand, your claim was denied because your employer thinks you were hurt outside of work, it’ll be a lot harder to appeal your claim. At that point, it may make more sense to just go ahead and file suit.

As a Last Resort, Your Ohio Workers Compensation Attorney Will File Suit

If you thought filing your workers comp claim was hard, wait until you try to file a lawsuit all by yourself. There are so many minute rules and procedures that you need to follow that it’s very easy to make a mistake. If you make a mistake when you file your initial complaint, it will be rejected, and you’ll have to start the process all over again. This means that you’ll have to pay your filing fees all over again as well. If you have an Ohio workers compensation lawyer handling the case for you, you don’t have to worry about these things happening.

Speak with an Experienced Ohio Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you suffered a workplace injury and you’re not sure if you need to hire an attorney, you’re not much different than our other clients. A lot of people think they can handle their workers comp claim on their own. Then they realize they’re in over their head. It seemed simple at first. You fill out some paperwork, go out to see the workers compensation doctor, and then you get your benefits, right? Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. Our Ohio personal injury attorneys meet with clients every week who thought the claim would be approved only to find out it was denied days later. What we do is help our clients get the benefits they deserve. If you suffered permanent injuries of any sort, we’ll fight to make sure the insurance company fairly compensates you.

Timing is everything when it comes to filing your workers compensation claim. That’s why we suggest you contact our office as soon as possible after your workplace accident. We can set up a date and time to come in and meet with one of our Ohio personal injury attorneys. They will review your case and give you an idea of whether your claim will be approved. They will also be by your side throughout the workers compensation process.

We recommend that you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation within days of your workplace injury. This way, your lawyer can help you file your initial workers compensation claim and make sure it’s handled properly from the start. Since you don’t pay our firm anything until we settle your case, you have nothing to lose.

columbus workers comp

Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyers: Time and Your Case

When it comes to the law, time is always a factor. Whether you’re filing a personal injury lawsuit or for divorce, there is always a strict timeline you must follow. The same thing is true for workers compensation in Ohio. Even though the State of Ohio oversees the workers compensation process, it only becomes a legal matter when your claim is denied. At that point, you will have to file a lawsuit against your employer. The good news is that you don’t have to handle this on your own. Our Columbus workers compensation lawyers have helped thousands of people navigate the workers compensation program in Columbus, Ohio.

If you’ve recently gotten hurt on the job and aren’t sure what to do next, don’t panic. That is why we are here. All you have to do is call and talk to one of our personal injury attorneys in Columbus, Ohio. We can sit down with you and explain how the process works. We can also break down the filing deadlines. The last thing you want to do is miss your filing window and end up with no benefits.

Here, we will discuss the various filing deadlines you have to worry about when filing a workers compensation claim. We will also explain what happens if you miss any of these deadlines. If you still have questions or concerns about your own case, give us a call. We can schedule your free, initial consultation right over the phone.

The First Thing You Need to Do is Report Your Injury to Your Employer

When we tell our potential clients that they need to report their injury right away, they seem confused. This is because Ohio law states that you legally have 2 years to file your claim. However, if you wait this long, it will be very hard to get your claim approved.

In our experience, you don’t want to wait more than a day or two to report your injury. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The longer you wait to report your injury, the harder it will be to prove your injuries were the result of a workplace accident.
  • You should never go this long without medical treatment. Your health must be your first priority.
  • Any treatment you receive prior to reporting your injury will not be covered by workers compensation.
  • You have no idea if your employer will still be in business two years down the road.

Obviously, if your injuries are extremely serious, it may take a little time to report your accident. If you’re in the hospital for a long time or aren’t conscious, there isn’t much you can do. Barring that, there is no good reason to wait to report your workplace injuries.

It’s important to remember that, if you don’t file your claim within that 2-year period, your claim will be dismissed and you’ll lose your right to pursue benefits. This is no different from the Ohio statute of limitations. If you miss your filing window, you walk away with nothing.

You Also Need to Seek Medical Treatment Right Away

As mentioned briefly above, you need to seek medical care immediately. Under Ohio law, your care won’t be covered unless you were treated by a state-approved workers compensation doctor. This means that any treatment you received from your primary health provider or at the emergency room will not be covered.

There are a few reasons for this. First, the State of Ohio decided long ago that only certain physicians would be certified to handle workers compensation cases. This is very clear. When you first suffer your injury, you’ll either be assigned a state-approved doctor or your personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio will get to select one for.

Another reason for this is that your employer has a right to know what’s going on with your care. Since they are paying for both your medical bills and replacement wages, they have a vested interest. As long as the doctor they send you to is on the approved list, you really have no right to complain.

One thing to remember is that you can always get a second opinion. If your workers comp doctor says that you’re ready to go back to work and you don’t agree, your Columbus workers compensation lawyer can get a second opinion.

Your Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyer Only Has 14 Days to File an Appeal

If, for some reason, your workers comp claim is denied, you can file an appeal. Your personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio only has fourteen days to do this. The fourteen days starts on the date the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation issued their order.

Since a few days will have gone by, waiting for the letter in the mail, you probably have closer to 7-10 days to file an appeal. If you don’t file your appeal in time, the denial will become permanent, and you won’t have the option of an appeal. This is the last thing you want to happen.

Our Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyers Will Make Sure Your Claim is Filed on Time

As you can see, when it comes to Columbus workers compensation, there are a lot of ducks you need to keep in a row. It isn’t just a matter of reporting your injury. If you think you can sit back and depend on your employer to do the right thing, think again. In an ideal world, it would work that way. Unfortunately, one thing our personal injury attorneys in Columbus, Ohio have learned is that we don’t live in an ideal world.

If you’re worried that your benefits are in jeopardy because you didn’t file your claim in time, contact our office. We can check to see what the issue is with your claim. We can also reach out to the insurance company and see if they’ll approve your claim if the information is provided.

Worst case, we can always file a Columbus workers compensation lawsuit against your employer. This is the last thing they want to happen. Not only will it cost them money to defend the case, but they could lose. And they don’t want it to get out that they don’t take care of their employees.

Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation. You don’t have to pay anything upfront, so you don’t have anything to lose. Since your employer will have a team of lawyers working for them, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney to help you.

claim

Workers’ Comp Claim: How Do You File One?

If you’ve ever been injured at work, then you know how confusing the workers comp system can be. Many Columbus injury lawyers aren’t even comfortable handling filing a claim. Thankfully, the associates at our firm have decades of combined experience working with clients whose workers compensation claims have either been denied or closed. While this can be extremely frustrating, the best thing you can do is call one of our Columbus workers compensation lawyers. They’ll review your case and make sure your workers comp claim in Ohio is handled properly from the start.

Here, we’ll explain what you can do immediately after your workplace accident to protect your workers comp claim. We will also discuss the workers compensation process. Since the process can be overwhelming for many workers, it makes sense to have a legal professional by your side.

You Must First Qualify for Workers Compensation

Before you can worry about benefits, you have to make sure you qualify for workers compensation benefits in Ohio. Ohio is no different from most other states when it comes to workers compensation rules and qualifications. Basically, if you meet these basic criteria, there’s a good chance that your claim will be approved.

These qualifying criteria include:

  • Your accident must take place on company property. If you happen to work remotely or on the road, you’ll have to show that you were acting on behalf of your employer when you got hurt.
  • You must be on the clock when the accident takes place. Again, if you’re a salary employee, you’ll just have to demonstrate that you were acting within the scope of your employment when you were hurt.
  • You must report your injuries to your manager, supervisor, or Human Resources department immediately. While most companies give you a few weeks or even a month to report your injuries, there is no good reason to wait. As soon as your injury takes place, find a way to let your employer know. If you’re too hurt to do this at the time of your accident, do it as soon as possible after the fact.
  • You must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your workplace accident. If your drug test comes back positive, your claim will be denied. If you’re lucky, your employer may offer to send you to rehab. However, they are not required to do so.
  • You have to agree to be treated by a state-approved workers comp doctor. You aren’t allowed to see your primary healthcare provider for your medical care.
  • You cannot work another job while you’re out on workers compensation.
  • You must participate in your medical treatment. If you don’t show up for doctor’s appointments or refuse to do physical therapy, your benefits will terminate.

This may seem like a lot. That’s normal. However, if you think about it, there’s a good chance you meet these requirements. If not, then you may not qualify for benefits.

What Happens if Your Claim is Denied?

If your workers comp claim is denied, you don’t want to waste any time calling a Columbus injury lawyer. Let them know what’s going on and show them your denial letter. They can reach out to the insurance company and find out exactly why your claim was denied.

If it was denied for clerical reasons, such as forgetting to fill out a form, they can usually fix this rather quickly. If the insurance company claims you didn’t file your claim in a timely fashion, your attorney will advise them that you did and that you’re willing to press the issue further if necessary.

Keep in mind – if your claim was denied because you were drunk or high at the time of your accident, we can’t help you. There’s no way an insurance company is going to pay out a claim for someone who was intoxicated on the job. The same is true for people whose claims were denied because the injuries didn’t take place at work. If you truly were hurt outside of work, then there’s no way our Columbus workers compensation lawyers can convince the insurance adjuster to pay your claim.

What Benefits Will You Receive if Your Claim is Approved?

If your workers comp claim is approved, you’ll start to receive benefits right away. From the moment your injury takes place, your medical care will be covered. As far as weekly replacement wages are concerned, you do have to miss at least seven business days before your financial benefits will start. If you end up being out of work for more than 21 days, you will likely receive backpay for the first week.

Your weekly benefits will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. This means that people who normally earn $1,000 per week will receive $666 per week under workers comp. In Ohio, the maximum amount you can receive in any given week is $1,085. This means that, if you normally earn more than $1,625 per week, you will only qualify for this maximum rate of $1,085.

The other thing about Ohio’s workers comp benefits is that they only continue for a period of 200 weeks. This comes out to be just shy of four years. After that, your benefits will terminate.

If your injuries are permanent, your Columbus injury lawyer will negotiate a settlement for your permanent, partial disability. While the process for doing this may be convoluted, it is essentially based on the body part that you injured. So, a back injury will be worth more than a wrist injury. Partial or total blindness will be worth more than an injury to your finger.

Let an Experienced Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyer Help

If you’ve been seriously injured at work and aren’t sure what to do next, don’t worry. Our experienced Columbus workers compensation lawyers have been helping workers in Ohio for years. We understand the law and also understand how the insurance companies operate. We’ll work hard to make sure you receive the benefits you deserve. And, if your injuries happen to be permanent, we will do our best to get you a fair settlement of your claim.

All you have to do is call and schedule your free, initial consultation. Knowing that you may not be in the best position to come into the office, we can conduct your consultation by phone or Skype. Just let our friendly staff know when your first call. Since this consultation is free of charge, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

workplace injury

Workplace Injury: What Are the Steps Involved?

A lot of our clients who have suffered a workplace injury through an accident have no idea how they’re supposed to proceed after the fact. Unless you’ve been through this before, or work in Human Resources, you probably have no idea how this works. Of course, your employer probably mentioned something about their workplace injury policy when you were in training. Unfortunately, very few of our clients recall exactly what their company’s policy is. The bottom line is that most people never imagine they’ll get hurt at work. When it happens, they aren’t sure what to do. Thankfully, workers compensation attorneys in Columbus know exactly what to do. The best thing you can do is call and schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with one of our attorneys who can help explain the workers comp process to you.

Here, we intend to explain the steps you should take after your workplace injury. We also want to discuss the reasons why you should talk to a Columbus injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. We don’t want you to jeopardize your chances of collecting benefits. Nor do we want the insurance company to try to take advantage of you. The best way to make that happen is to retain our services at the outset.

You Must Report Your Workplace Injury

It doesn’t matter how minor your workplace injury is. You have to report it no matter what. Typically, injured employees report their accident to their manager or supervisor. However, if they aren’t available, you can go directly to Human Resources. It’s crucial that you report your injuries immediately. You’re required to do so per Ohio workers compensation law. You also don’t want to violate your employer’s workplace accident policy.

If your manager isn’t available, report your injuries to the next person in charge. You’ll need to fill out an incident or accident form before you go out for treatment. If you wait too long to do this, the company may claim your accident never took place.

Your Columbus Injury Lawyers Need the Incident Report to Prove Your Claim

What you may not realize is that your attorney is going to need a copy of your incident or accident report. In order for them to prove you were hurt on company time, you’ll need to submit some sort of documentation. What better way to do this than to submit a copy of a report signed by your manager?

Your lawyer will also rely on this report to see what happened. The report may also have contact information for witnesses on there. If a coworker or supervisor saw the accident take place, they can help in court. Even if all they do is sign an affidavit that the statement is true to their knowledge, this will help. However, if you fail to report your workplace accident, they won’t be able to do this.

You Must Go for Treatment Immediately No Matter How Minor Your Injuries

It can be hard to tell a grown adult that they have to go to the hospital. If your HR representative instructs you to go to the hospital, you may refuse. Or you tell them you’d rather go see your own doctor. The thing is, if you don’t go out for treatment immediately, your Columbus injury lawyers will have a difficult time proving how badly you were hurt.

The other thing you need to remember is that, in order to receive workers compensation benefits, you must be treated by a state-approved doctor. If you go to see your own primary care physician, your medical care will not be covered.

You Are Going to Have to Take a Drug Test

It may seem insulting when your employer asks you to submit to a drug test when you tell them you got hurt. However, almost all employers do this today. They want to make sure they don’t pay out on a worker’s comp claim that was caused by drugs or alcohol.

If you refuse the test, don’t expect your claim to be approved. The state worker’s compensation commission is not going to sympathize with you for refusing the test. And, if you take the test and it comes back positive, there is no way your claim will be paid. In situations like this, there isn’t much your lawyer can do to help.

When your workers compensation attorney in Columbus asks if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your accident, tell the truth. They will find out if you’re fibbing when they look at the file. If they learn that you weren’t upfront and honest with them, they aren’t going to be comfortable representing you.

Make Sure You Comply with Your Medical Treatment

One of the problems some of our clients run into are missed doctor’s appointments. We understand that you’re only human. Things come up and you may need to reschedule appointments from time to time. However, this is a lot different from just not showing up for doctor’s appointments. The same is true for physical therapy appointments. You can’t expect to continue to receive workers compensation benefits if you aren’t participating in your own treatment.

Call an Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney in Columbus Right Away

If you get hurt at work, there’s a good chance you’ll be eligible for workers compensation benefits. However, you need to make sure you take certain steps after the accident takes place. If you follow the guidelines here, you should have no trouble getting your claim approved. Of course, if your claim is denied for some reason, just call and talk to one of our workers compensation attorneys in Columbus. We can sit down and go over your case and find out where you went wrong.

Since your initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.

Ohio workers' compensation

Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Things to Be Aware Of

Getting workers’ compensation insurance is one important way employers ensure they have the resources to pay benefits to injured workers. Our Columbus workers’ compensation attorney can help you get all benefits available under workers’ comp if you suffer a workplace injury.

Before discussing the benefits available under workers’ compensation, we will give a concise but engaging explanation of what it means, its status in Columbus, Ohio, the different types there are, and finally, how you can benefit from hiring a workers’ compensation attorney.

Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits for employees that get injured in the line of duty. In simple terms, you are assured to enjoy insurance benefits under the workers’ comp system without having to sue your employer for negligence.

Understanding How Workers’ Compensation Works in Columbus, Ohio

In Ohio, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is responsible for providing medical and wage benefits in cases of work-related injuries, diseases, or death. Since Ohio uses the BWC, it is categorized among the states that use a monopolistic state insurance fund. The monopolistic state fund restricts the choice of an insurer to the government.

The three other states that use this workers’ compensation include Wyoming, Washington, and North Dakota. In these states and Ohio, companies have no option of buying workers’ compensation from private insurers.

Now, why should companies buy workers’ comp insurance?

As mentioned earlier, companies use work comp to pay benefits to workers who sustain an injury or contract an illness while on the job. Admittedly, some occupations like construction have more risk than others, but all Ohio employers with one or more employees must buy workers’ comp insurance.

Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws ensure that employees do not get fired for claiming benefits. Also, unlike motor vehicle accidents, the work comp system is not fault-based. Therefore, an employee does not need to prove negligence to be entitled to compensation.

As a result, you do not have to worry about whether the injury was your fault. However, note that if you intentionally caused the accident that injured you, you will not be entitled to work comp benefits. For example, suppose you work as a company driver and get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

In that case, your employer will not pay you compensation because drinking and driving is a willful negligence action, not a mistake. Similarly, if your employer intentionally causes an accident or event that harms you, you can file a lawsuit against them. A Columbus workers’ compensation attorney will provide more information on this.

Will Workers’ Compensation Cover All My Work Injuries?

Generally, workers’ compensation covers all workplace injuries, but there are some injuries it does not cover. This includes self-inflicted wounds, as discussed above. It does not also cover injuries that occur while employees play during working hours.

Therefore the injury must have happened during work hours or while performing a job-related function. So, suppose you were on your way to work, and your boss asked you to meet with a client before office hours began. If while at the meeting you suffer an accident, you can get workers comp.

Note that Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws can get complicated quickly without the help of a good Columbus workers’ compensation attorney assisting. Therefore, hire one.

Ohio workers' comp form and injured hand

What Benefits Can I Get Under Workers’ Compensation?

Several benefits are available to an injured worker under the Ohio work comp system. In broad terms, they can be categorized into:

  • Medical benefits
  • Disability benefits
  • Death benefits

Medical Benefits

Under workers’ compensation, you are entitled to 100 percent of the medical costs for your injuries. Also, cash payments are made for the lost work time after a three- to seven-day wait period.

While medical-only cases (injuries that require treatment but do not keep you from working) are prevalent in workers’ compensation cases, they represent only a tiny fraction of the total payments.

Disability Benefits

The çash benefits available under workers’ compensation vary by the severity and the duration of the worker’s disability. When a work-related injury prevents you from returning to the pre-injury job for some time, you will receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.

When a worker recovers and returns to work, the TTD benefits end. However, many injured workers return to work before full recovery and are faced with differential treatment or lower pay.

Therefore, we recommend waiting until you attain maximum medical improvement before resuming work. Also, returning earlier than your doctor recommends may cause your employer to conclude your injuries were not as severe as you claimed, affecting your benefits.

If the injury allows you to return to work but can not perform your regular job, you get temporary partial disability benefits (TPD). The wages you receive here would be less than what you get paid before the wound.

However, if you have attained maximum medical improvement but have a disability that completely keeps you from working, you are qualified to receive permanent disability (PTD) benefits. But if you can get another job in another industry despite the injury, you will receive permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.

Death Benefits

When a work-related injury results in death, there are benefits available under workers’ compensation. Typically, it involves the provision of an amount for the funeral and burial expenses of the affected worker.

Other available benefits for Ohio injured workers are:

  • Mileage Reimbursement: Work comp pays for your travel expenses as long as it was for authorized medical treatment or tests not performed in your community. The mileage covers roundtrips of not more than 45 miles. Reimbursement also covers meals and accommodation in some cases.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: Ohio law also covers rehabilitation benefits to help you stay on your old job or get a new one. This compensation includes workplace accommodations and physical therapy.
  • Living Maintenance: You might receive living maintenance benefits while undergoing vocational rehabilitation. The payment lasts for six months but can be longer if the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has extended reasons.

A Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorney Will Help You Get Your Benefits

Suffering a workplace injury means you might be without employment for a while. As a result, you lose your salary and have medical bills to pay. This is why you should apply for workers’ compensation immediately.

While your employer should commence the payment process without hesitation, they sometimes delay or fail to. In such an instance, you need the help of a personal injury lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. Our lawyers have spent years representing injured Ohio workers and protecting their rights. We will do the same for you, so contact us today for a free case review.

workers' compensation

Workers’ Comp Insurance: Does Your Employer Provide It?

The workplace is not usually associated with injuries or even death. However, workers’ compensation attorneys in Columbus will tell you Americans get injured or even die while at work. The government also recognizes this and requires that employers with at least one employee have an insurance policy for their workers.

This insurance category is called workers’ compensation. It ensures employers provide fair compensation for employees who get injured at work or while performing an official task. Unlike other forms of insurance, employees do not have to prove negligence on the employer’s part.

Instead, they only have to prove that they sustained the injury while at work. In return, the employee gives up the right to sue their employer for damages. Therefore, employers avoid potential lawsuits while the employee is assured of compensation whenever they get injured.

Read on to learn how workers’ compensation works in Ohio, how to discover your employer’s status, and what you can do if they do not have workers’ compensation coverage.

Workers’ Compensation in Ohio

Workers’ compensation in Ohio works differently from most states in the country. This is because Ohio is one of four American states that use a monopolistic state insurance fund. Also called a monopolistic state fund, this insurance option restricts the choice of an insurer to the government.

Effectively, there is no option to buy workers’ compensation from private insurers. Washington, Wyoming, and North Dakota also use this policy.

Although the government is the only workers’ compensation provider in Ohio, some employers may opt for self-insurance. The significant benefit of a monopolistic state fund is that everyone in a state is covered.

However, when one provider serves the majority of the employers, it could be challenging to keep up the quality of service. Additionally, large employers with out-of-state employees may also have to find insurance providers for these employees. A monopoly also means that companies may not always get the best deal financially.

While self-insurance is not a popular option, employers who choose to self-insure take on the burden of paying workers’ compensation benefits if their employees get injured at work. Employers who opt for self-insurance may feel that they have a better chance of managing the claims process.

Also, they may believe that they can keep the money that would have been paid upfront as a premium and only pay when necessary. However, this presents two challenges. The first is having to pay compensation claims frequently. A company could see frequent work injury cases, and a self-insured employer may be unable to keep up.

On the other hand, a single large claim could be too high or come unexpectedly. If the business did not plan for it, the owner might struggle to pay, opening themselves to litigation.

Insurance would usually cover every injury gotten while working. However, there are some injuries that it may not cover. For example, an employee injured while drunk or under the influence of drugs may not receive workers’ compensation. Similarly, injuries caused while playing during work hours are not covered by workers’ compensation.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Ohio?

This type of coverage works like most injury insurance. Below are some of the things that Ohio workers’ compensation covers:

  • Medical Costs

Medical costs are a significant part of workers’ compensation, and you’ll often get enough to cover all your medical expenses. This includes visits to the doctor, surgery, prescriptions, and medical equipment like wheelchairs.

If you have to seek medical attention before informing your employer, ensure you keep accurate records of all your expenses, as it influences your settlement. Your workers’ compensation attorney, Columbus, will also need it.

  • Lost Wages

Coverage can cover some of an employee’s lost wages for the period they cannot work. Some injuries may also hinder employees from ever doing specific jobs in the future, and workers’ compensation considers this.

  • Ongoing Care

After your initial treatments, you may require medical care for an extended period. You may also need household help, and workers’ compensation covers this.

  • Funeral Expenses

While most work injuries may not result in death, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 117 fatal work injuries in 2020. When an employee dies due to a work-related injury, the employer may have to cover the funeral expenses for such a worker. They could also provide benefits for the employee’s family or dependents.

Injury Attorneys in Columbus Explain How to Check if Your Employer Has Work Comp Coverage

Although every employer in Ohio must have workers’ compensation, there are a few companies that do not. This section explains how you can discover whether your employer has workers’ compensation coverage or not.

The easiest way to get such information is to look for a Certificate of Premium Payment. Ohio laws require employers to place this document in a visible part of the workplace.

You can check in public spaces like the changing room for any notice. Where this information is not placed in a visible location, you can ask your employer if there is an active policy.

What Can You Do if Your Employer Does Not Have Coverage?

Depending on the results of your inquiry, you may wonder what could happen if your employer does not have workers’ compensation. Fortunately, you won’t be left stranded if your employer does not have workers’ comp, as the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has a fund dedicated to uninsured employees. Therefore, your compensation will be paid out of this fund.

The BWC will attempt to retrieve any money spent on an uninsured employee from their employer. This could be done by imposing penalties on the employer. The BWC can also place a lien on the employer’s property.

A lien is usually effective as businesses that do not pay up could lose their properties to the government. You can also sue your employer if they do not have coverage.

Workers’ Comp Attorneys in Columbus Can Help You Get Fair Compensation

Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws can quickly get complicated. As a result, injured employees may find it challenging to understand their options. However, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can remove the complexity and help an employee get fair compensation.

If you’ve gotten injured while at work in Ohio or know someone who did, you both may be eligible for compensation. However, because each case is unique, you may need specific information tailored to yours.

Therefore, you need a Columbus injury lawyer. At Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Ohio, we have extensive experience working on hundreds of workers’ compensation cases. We also offer a free initial consultation, so call us today and learn how we can help you.

employer

Is Workers’ Comp Available From My Employer?

If you’ve been injured at work or experiencing an illness due to your job duties, you probably want to file a workers’ comp claim. The question becomes if there is workers’ comp available from your lawyer. While some states require that all employers offer their employees workers’ compensation, others demand it from employees with a certain number of employees.

Luckily our employment lawyers in Columbus will answer all your questions. This article explains if workers’ compensation is available for your employer and what it covers. We’ll also explain Ohio workers’ compensation law.

Who Administers Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Columbus, Ohio?

In Columbus, a vast majority of employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. The primary agency in charge of workers’ comp claims is the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). You can find most of the governing laws in Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Act. Administrative rules also cover workers’ compensation in Columbus.

As a city in Ohio, the state provides workers’ compensation insurance rather than through private insurance companies. To apply for insurance from the state, you must complete the online application using the workers’ compensation coverage form.

Apart from opting for state insurance, your employer could also seek self-insurance. However, this is not a good option for small businesses because they’ll have to set apart lots of money for potential claims.

Types of Businesses in Columbus That Don’t Carry Workers’ Compensation

There are different types of businesses in Columbus that don’t need to carry workers’ compensation. If your employer falls into this category, no workers’ compensation is available for you.

  • Sole proprietors with no employees
  • Partnership without employees
  • Limited liability companies acting as sole proprietors with no employees
  • Family farm corporate officers with no employees
  • Limited liability companies acting as partnerships with no employees
  • Individuals incorporated as a business without employees
  • Ordained or associate ministers of a religious organization

These businesses might decide to carry workers’ compensation if the owner falls sick or gets injured. If the religious organization has paid employees, there’s a need to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

In cases where the businesses have the insurance, they can report a work injury to the BWC. If approved by the BWC, they will cover medical bills and lost time.

Employment Lawyers in Columbus Explain the Workers’ Compensation Requirements

Although the top employment lawyers in Columbus can help you with your claims, it is crucial to know the requirements for workers’ compensation. Every Columbus employer with employees must get workers’ compensation insurance irrespective of the number of employees.

Although independent contractors can choose not to get workers’ compensation, they have to if they control the selection of materials and the quality of performance of another worker.

In such a case, the worker is considered an employee. If your employer lacks workers’ compensation insurance for employees, they could face penalties and fines.

In addition, you can sue your employer for all the damages and expenses related to the work injury or illness through a personal injury lawsuit. Also, you can file a claim with the BWC. If approved, your employer will reimburse the BWC for the expenses.

Columbus Workers’ Compensation Coverage

When your claim for workers’ comp is approved, it helps pay your medical costs and several other expenses. Our employment lawyers explain the coverage available under workers’ compensation in this section.

Medical Costs

Workers’ comp pays for the medical expenses associated with your injury or illness. For example, the cost of an ER visit, surgeries, medications, and more are some of the covered costs under workers’ comp.

An example is if you suffered an injury due to a slip and fall, some medical coverage you could enjoy in addition to ER costs and surgeries include long-term expenses like rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Lost Wages

If you’re unable to get to work due to your injuries, the workers’ compensation insurance replaces your lost income. So, if you had to take four weeks off work for recovery, the coverage would pay you the wages lost within those weeks.

Short Term and Long-Term Disability

Sometimes, an injury causes either a permanent or partial disability. That’s where workers’ compensation insurance enters the picture. Experienced employment lawyers in Columbus can assist you in getting workers’ comp that will help pay for the ongoing medical bills and lost wages due to the disability. In some cases, the employee could receive an impairment rating if they lost a part of their body due to the injury.

Funeral Expenses

Thousands of people die at work yearly. You can often find these employees in the trucking and construction business. Workers’ compensation can also help cover the cost of the funeral. In addition, it will provide death benefits to the employee’s family. The state usually determines the amount available under the workers’ comp coverage.

How the Workers’ Comp Claim System in Columbus Works

To file a workers’ compensation claim in Columbus, you must go through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. There are two categories of claims allowed, and they include:

  • Medical Only: This applies if you missed less than seven days of work. You can get treatment, benefit from the injury, and return to work quickly.
  • Lost Time Claims: This claim means that you missed more than eight days of work. It covers medical expenses and other benefits.

The workers’ compensation claim process usually takes 30 days. During this time, the claim will be approved or denied. After the BWC makes a decision, you or your employer can file an appeal within 14 days.

After filing an appeal, the case moves to the Industrial Commission of Ohio, which hears the dispute. Note that the state won’t pay your medical expenses till you get approval on all claims. The appeal period must also be expired before the state pays for expenses.

Contact the Best Employment Lawyers in Columbus Today!

Collecting workers’ comp benefits after a work-related injury or illness can be confusing and time-consuming. You might be wondering if your employer has workers’ comp insurance and the type of coverage available.

Note that the process is quite different if your employer chooses self-insurance. However, your lawyer can provide you with all the information you need to know. So if you’re not satisfied with your employer’s response to your work-related injury or illness, or you don’t feel like you’re being taken seriously, contact us.

When you work with our personal injury attorney in Columbus, Ohio, we’ll help you diligently protect your rights through the claim process. We’ll also ensure you receive enough compensation to cover all your expenses. Book a free consultation today to discuss your options.

Workplace injury

Workplace Injury: What to Do Immediately Afterward?

A workplace injury is as unpredictable as the lottery. When you think of places where you could have an accident, your workplace rarely comes to mind. However, many individuals get into mishaps at work, and some even lose their lives. Employers do their best to make the workplace safe for everyone, but unfortunately, accidents happen. When it does, contact a Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries in 2020. With more than 157 million Americans in the workforce, approximately two percent of working Americans either get injured or fall ill yearly.

Sustaining an injury or falling ill affects the business owner and worker. The employee loses time from work, which results in lost wages, while the employer sees productivity decline.

American labor laws protect employees by requiring employers to provide their workers with an insurance plan. This is called workers’ compensation and mandates employers to provide benefits for employees who fall ill or get injured due to the job. To get these benefits, you must take some steps, and we cover them in this article.

Common Causes of a Workplace Injury

A workplace injury may vary, but they are often affected by the working conditions. For example, a banker is less likely to experience a broken back from carrying heavy objects than someone who works in the manufacturing industry.

So it’s not surprising that some of the most common sectors for injuries are manufacturing, agriculture, construction, forestry, education, and health services. Below are some common causes of injuries in the workplace.

Slip and Falls

Slips and falls are a common cause of accidents anywhere, and the workplace is not exempt. Slips and falls at work occur from poor lighting, wet or oily surfaces, uneven walking surfaces, cluttered workspaces, and weather hazards.

Injuries resulting from slips and falls include broken bones, neck injuries, back injuries, and bruises. Fortunately, injuries from this accident can be prevented by cleaning up spills, keeping the floors dry, and decluttering the workspace.

Electrocution

When workers are exposed to electrical appliances, they risk getting electrocuted. The extent of such injuries is usually challenging to determine and could include cardiac arrest, burns, and nerve damage.

Violent Altercations

Violent altercations between employees frequently cause workplace injuries. Employees, especially those who deal directly with customers or vendors, may also fight with them or get attacked.

Falling From Heights

Construction workers are the most common victims of such injuries, with 42% of construction worker deaths caused by falls. Falling from a height could be caused by poorly built structures or the failure of a worker to observe safety practices. Apart from death, falling from heights could lead to brain injuries or other severe injuries. Therefore, care should be taken to protect employees from falls.

Overexertion

The nature of work in some industries means that employees are likely to carry heavy objects. Such tasks could result in injuries such as torn muscles or sore tendons. Employees must know the best way to lift things without harming themselves, although some injuries result from accumulated exertion.

A Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Discusses the Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury

As we stated earlier, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you get injured at work. Unfortunately, it is not always automatic. Therefore, you must know the steps to take after a workplace injury. Failure to do the right thing could affect your workers’ compensation benefits.

  • Get Help

Like any other injury, your priority after a workplace accident wound should be to get help. This could be calling emergency services or seeing a doctor. See to it that you do this as soon as possible. You may be tempted to skip this step if the injury seems minor, but you never know when a minor wound may lead to severe complications.

  • Report the Injury to Your Employer

Report the workplace injury to your employer as soon as you can. This is regardless of how minor you think it is. You must do this within 72 hours of the injury, or you may have a massive battle on your hands trying to file a workers’ compensation claim.

When making the report, get a written record as proof. Most employers will require you to fill out a form, but if they don’t, you should insist on doing so. In addition to providing proof that you filed a claim, reporting a workplace injury to your employer allows them to prevent future occurrences.

  • Document Your Injury

While not all employers will do this, be prepared to have your employer try to get out of paying your benefits. Even when they do not do this, their insurance company could attempt to discredit or devalue your claims. When this happens, your best rebuttal is to present evidence that your accident account is accurate.

Most of the early documentation will be done by you, so take as many pictures and videos of your injury as possible. This is also why you should visit a doctor after your injury. Share as many details about your injury with the doctor. This would help them document properly and provide more proof when filing a claim.

  • Hire a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer should not be something you do as a last resort. Having a lawyer with you from the start will significantly boost your chances of getting a settlement. Ensure you pick a lawyer with lots of experience. They will be able to draw on this experience when working on your case.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation in Ohio?

Some people spend a lot of time considering whether they should file a workers’ compensation claim. But, unfortunately, by the time they get around to it, it might be too late. Like with other cases, there’s a time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

This is called the Statute of Limitations. In Ohio, the Statute of Limitations for workers’ compensation is one year. Such a short time makes it vital that you file your claim early, or you may not get the benefits you deserve.

An Experienced Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You

An injury at work can be devastating. In addition to the pain, you may have to take some time off work to heal. Ideally, your employer should pay your benefits as soon as you file a claim. However, that does not always happen, and you may need a workers’ compensation attorney to help you get your settlement.

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers will help you gather evidence that proves your claim and get a maximum settlement. We offer a free initial consultation for prospective clients, so contact a personal injury lawyer in Columbus to learn more about our services.

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.

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