How Workers Comp Settlements Work in Ohio

If you’re injured on the job in Ohio, workers comp covers your medical bills and provides wage replacement benefits. With the right information and perseverance, the workers compensation system can help you recover financially when an on-the-job injury threatens your livelihood. Read on to find out how workers comp settlements work and how a Cleveland workers compensation attorney can help your case succeed.

Determining Fault and Eligibility for Benefits

In Ohio, to receive workers compensation benefits, you must prove your injury or illness is work-related. This means establishing that the injury occurred within the scope of your employment. In some cases, this can be straightforward, such as if you suffer an injury while operating machinery or performing other job duties. However, in other situations, determining fault and eligibility may require an investigation.

If there are questions about whether your injury qualifies for benefits, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will review the details of your claim. They will consider factors like whether you were doing work activities at the time of injury if safety precautions were followed, if the injury was due to a pre-existing condition, or if there were any horseplay or intentional actions involved.

Calculating Your Workers Comp Settlement Amount

Figuring out how much your workers comp settlement may be worth depends on several factors. The severity of your injury, the nature of your job, lost wages, medical expenses, level of impairment, and other damages are all taken into account.

Once your claim has been approved, the insurance company will determine an initial settlement offer. This is usually on the low end of the spectrum. Don’t feel obligated to accept the first offer – you can negotiate for a higher amount.

The settlement process can be complicated, but by understanding what impacts your total amount, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate a fair and reasonable outcome. An experienced workers comp attorney can also help maximize your settlement and ensure all damages are properly accounted for.

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Lump Sum Settlements vs. Structured Settlements

With a lump sum settlement, you accept a single payment from the insurance company to settle your claim. This provides you with an immediate payout, allowing you to pay off any medical bills or other expenses right away. However, the lump sum is often less than the total value of your claim. The insurance company offers a lower amount because they no longer have to make ongoing payments.

A structured settlement provides guaranteed lifetime income through periodic payments over time. The total settlement amount is higher than a lump sum because the insurance company invests the money to fund the ongoing payments. Structured settlements provide long-term financial security and stability. However, you lose access to the total amount upfront.

Taxes on Workers Comp Settlements in Ohio

In Ohio, workers compensation settlement awards and benefits are tax-free. However, the interest earned on settlements may be taxable. If you receive interest on the settlement amount, you’ll typically receive tax forms reporting that interest, like 1099-INT forms, which you must claim as income.

The settlement amount itself is exempt from federal income taxes in Ohio. However, the interest earned on that amount after it’s been invested may be taxable. The laws aim to compensate you for your injury without taxing that compensation. However, investment returns on that compensation do qualify as taxable income.

Should You Hire a Cleveland Workers Comp Attorney?

Filing a workers comp claim in Ohio can be complicated. While some straightforward cases may be handled without legal counsel, many injured workers benefit from hiring an experienced Cleveland workers compensation attorney to help them through the process and obtain the workers comp settlement they deserve.

So, if you’ve been injured on the job in Ohio, call our firm today at (833) 406-0060 for a free case review. We’re here to answer your questions and help you determine if hiring an attorney is right for your workers comp claim.