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:
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.
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.
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.