An injury or illness at work can be disruptive and devastating. Depending on your injuries, you may be unable to return to work. Meanwhile, bills will pile up. Luckily, Ohio workers are protected by law and have options available to help with expenses related to their work injuries.
The lawyers at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA understand that dealing with a work injury can be challenging. You could recover some of the damages for your injuries through a workers’ compensation claim, and we can help you keep the process as smooth as possible.
Call 419-524-6011 to get started with a free consultation.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is disability benefits paid to workers hurt in their line of work. These claims can protect you or your family after a workplace accident. It’s possible to file a claim if the accident happened in the course of your employment or if the accident happened because of your work.
In the Course of Employment — If you’re hurt in the course of your employment, that means you were hurt in your workplace or because you were in an area required to complete your work.
Arising out of Your Employment — If you were hurt because of your employment, that means you were hurt by a risk related to your work.
Workers’ compensation claims can be complex. Employers with more than one worker must carry workers’ comp coverage, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the money you deserve to help you recover after a work injury. A workers’ comp attorney can examine your case details and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation Claims in Ohio
Workers’ compensation is a kind of personal injury claim. These claims cover a wide variety of injury types. Many claims arise from construction or manufacturing work, but these accidents can happen in any workplace.
Common injuries in workers’ compensation claims include:
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Chest injuries
- Eye injuries
- Hearing loss
- Limb injuries
- Neck injuries
- Psychological injuries
- Internal organ injuries
Your injuries could be minor or severe. You may have more than one injury, and it could be likely that you wouldn’t be able to work in your regular role. A workers’ compensation claim can help you provide for your family as you recover.
What Causes Injury Accidents in the Workplace?
As the term implies, workplace accidents are unexpected. However, there could be signs of an imminent incident, especially if your workplace has a history of OSHA violations.
Injuries can happen because of:
- Contact with equipment or moving objects
- Negligent activity with a vehicle
- Slips, trips, or falls in the workplace
- Exposure to toxic or hazardous materials
Some injuries can even happen because of repetitive motions. You can talk to your attorney about your injuries after an accident at work to understand your options thoroughly.
Damages Available in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to help injured workers cover their medical costs, lost wages, and expenses related to their vocational rehabilitation. There are several options of coverage available which may fit your case.
- Temporary total disability: these benefits replace an injured worker’s lost income when their injuries prevent them from returning to their job temporarily. A worker could qualify for temporary total disability when they haven’t reached full health, they cannot complete their duties because of their claim, or their employer does not have work available to fit their condition.
- Wage loss benefits: this benefit can help a worker when their injuries prevent them from earning the same wage as before their accident. There are two types of wage loss benefits: non-working and working. If you cannot find employment because of your injury, you qualify for non-working disability payments. Working wage loss benefits are offered to workers who can return to work but make less money.
- Permanent partial disability: these benefits apply to workers who were injured but are experiencing residual damage that creates a reduced earning potential. If a hurt worker has recovered as much as possible but cannot return to the same job, they may qualify for permanent partial disability. These payments usually last for a fixed period.
- Permanent total disability: this benefit applies to workers who can no longer find employment because of the severity of their injuries. These payments are generally paid for life.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Mansfield
After you’ve been hurt on the job or fallen ill because of your work, you should qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. There are specific steps you need to take to file your claim.
First, Notify Your Employer
You must report your injury to your employer in a timely fashion. Some accidents might be more obvious than others, but you could lose your right to a claim if you take too long to make a report.
Next, Seek Medical Treatment
Your health should be your first concern. Getting treatment for your injury protects your health and your right to a workers’ compensation claim. Even if you think the damage isn’t too bad, discussing your injury with a medical professional is best. Their report can support any injury claims, and their advice can get you on the road to recovery.
Then, File a Claim with the Ohio WCB
You’ll need to file a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. This will be a “First Report of Injury.” A FROI can be filed by the injured worker, their employer, or a managed care organization. You can file a FROI online or through the mail.
The WCB Will Open a File
The bureau will investigate your claim. It will allow or deny the claim within 28 days. You have two weeks to appeal the claim if denied. You may need to take additional pleas to common pleas court.
You stand the best chance at getting the appropriate coverage with the help of a Mansfield personal injury attorney. They can help you gather evidence for your claim and build a case to ensure success.
Important Terms Related to Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a technical process, and it’s natural to be confused. You may encounter these terms, which a personal injury attorney can explain in greater detail and provide context to how they apply to your unique situation.
- Employee Fraud: There can be consequences when someone makes false claims about work injuries. The WCB takes fraudulent statements seriously.
- Death Benefits: It’s possible for surviving loved ones to pursue benefits through a workers’ compensation claim after the death of a worker. An attorney can help you explore your options after a loved one’s death at work.
- Uninsured Employers: Ohio employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. However, there could be times they aren’t paying into the state fund or they aren’t fully covered. You should work with an attorney to review your options.
- Third-Party Liability: Sometimes, an accident at work is caused by negligent behavior. It’s possible to recover non-economic damages after an accident caused by an outside actor at work. A personal injury attorney can help you pursue a claim for damages that won’t be paid through a workers’ compensation claim.
- What isn’t covered by a workers’ compensation plan?
- Some injuries at the workplace do not qualify for workers’ comp. Your claim might be denied if you were hurt in a fight you started, you were injured due to intoxication, you intentionally hurt yourself, or you did not receive physical trauma.
- Are workers’ compensation payments taxed?
- If you receive workers’ compensation, those payments will not be taxed. They are exempt from federal and state income tax because they are payments replacing your lost wages.
- Why should I hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?
- Claims are not always straightforward, and you could face rejection if you’re not prepared. An attorney can protect your odds of receiving proper compensation. Your lawyer can investigate your claim and employer and help you build a case. They can also support you throughout the process and allow you to focus on healing.
- Learn More About Workers Compensation in Ohio