Laws regarding workplace injuries vary by state, but most areas share fairly similar regulations. This isn’t so much the case with Ohio workers’ compensation law. There are many differences when comparing The Buckeye State to others, but it’s also following some national trends that could seriously affect employees’ rights.
Once you understand the intricacies of Ohio law, you’ll be better able to decide whether hiring a workers’ compensation attorney is appropriate.
Workers’ Compensation in Ohio
When workers are injured during the course of employment, they’re often entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. For employees in Ohio, it’s important to know the following information that distinguishes the state from others.
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance, and most states only require businesses with a certain number of employees to purchase it. This isn’t true in Ohio. Every company that has any employees must carry this insurance. While it doesn’t negate the benefits of hiring a workers’ compensation attorney, it does mean the state is putting the needs of citizens over businesses.
Many states also allow companies to purchase workers’ compensation insurance through private providers. Ohio exerts more control over this. They have a government-operated fund that all insurance must be purchased through.
The only exception is for larger businesses that can afford to provide direct compensation to their employees without an insurer. This is known as being self-insured.
Costs Relative to Payroll
Between 2014 and 2016, Ohio saw the largest decline in workers’ comp costs relative to payroll in the United States. This isn’t surprising when considering the fact that covered injuries have been decreasing in the state over the past few years. This is likely linked to the fact that submitted claims for medical-only compensation also decreased.
This showcases that employers have likely become more focused on safety in the workplace.
What to Do After Workplace Injury
Statistics mean little on the individual level, so if you’re injured on the job, it’s important to focus on your unique situation. Following a workplace injury, make sure to adhere to the following steps:
- Immediately obtain first aid or medical help.
- Inform your supervisor of the injury and how it occurred. Getting compensation becomes difficult if you fail to do this.
- Fill out the First Report of an Injury form on the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation site. This can also be done by your employer or medical professional.
In most cases, suing your employer due to an accident isn’t allowed. There are important exceptions to this rule, however, and this is why a workers’ compensation attorney may be beneficial.
Should I Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
While the statistics related to Ohio workers’ compensation may seem beneficial overall, the truth is that employers now have more incentive to fight claims. This is related to annual medical deductibles. These have quadrupled over the past 12 years, and a recent study found that higher deductibles increase the likelihood of employees filing workers’ comp claims.
Even with Ohio’s medical benefits going down, there was still over $520 million paid out in 2018. This means insurers will often try to deny claims, and even employers may fight against compensation to ensure their rates don’t rise. If you’re injured on the job, it’s smart to at least speak with a lawyer before making any decisions.
Contact Us Today
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Friedman, Domiano & Smith understand that getting appropriate compensation for workplace injuries can be difficult. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll work to ensure you’re treated fairly.