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