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!