What is Workers’ Compensation?

Worker Toys
Worker Toys

Being injured at work can cause life-changing injuries, financial devastation, and lasting emotional and psychological issues. This is why it is so important to find an experienced attorney to help you navigate the long legal road ahead of you if you or a loved one has been the victim of a workplace injury or death.

In Ohio, the good news is that statistics show we are below the national average when it comes to non-fatal workplace illness and injury. Ohio employers reported 91,000 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019. Too many Ohioans still get hurt or ill on the job every year.

What Is Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ compensation, also known as workmans’ comp or workers’ comp, is a state-mandated insurance program intended to compensate employees who have been hurt or who have become ill on the job. 

In Ohio, The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OBWC or BWC) provides medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases, and deaths. OBWC is the largest state-operated provider of workers’ comp in the U.S.

Reckless Behavior from Business Owners and Workers Comp

Employers have a responsibility to ensure work conditions are safe for employees. If a worker gets injured or sick because of an employer’s negligence or reckless behavior, it’s a good idea to file a workers’ comp claim against the employer. Worker’s compensation insurance protects employers from lawsuits resulting from carelessness or accidents, but not due to deliberate wrongful acts and reckless behavior.

For example, if an employer intentionally cuts corners to save money by not providing employees with protective gear or disables or circumvents the safety features of equipment or machines to speed up workflow even though the employer knows of the risk, this is considered reckless behavior and can be the basis for a lawsuit outside of workers’ compensation.

Eligibility for Ohio Workers’ Comp

With a few exceptions, all Ohio workers are eligible to receive workers’ compensation if they get hurt or ill while at work. Ohio law mandates that all employers carry a workers’ compensation policy to cover these situations. 

Ohio workers’ compensation does not cover injuries sustained at work in specific circumstances, including: fighting, a self-inflicted injury, injury caused while violating stated company policy, or injury caused while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Obtaining Workers’ Comp in Ohio

When you suffer an injury or illness at work in Ohio, it’s important that you follow the proper protocol, or you could risk not receiving workers’ comp benefits or winning a settlement. Injured employees must:

  1. Seek medical attention: Seek medical attention ASAP. It’s essential that you get the treatment you need in order to recover properly, and seeking prompt medical care can also help strengthen your claim.
  2. Report the injury to your employer: You must notify your employer of your injury or illness as soon as you can. Your employer may have you complete an injury report and provide you with additional details on how to file a claim.
  3. File a workers’ compensation claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation: All workman’s comp claims in Ohio are filed through the state. These forms can be found on the BCW website. Once the forms are filed, within 28 days, the BWC will notify the employer whether or not the claim has been approved. 
  4. Find a workers’ comp attorney: Call our offices to handle both the initial claim and any necessary appeals, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help injured employees prepare their claim and gather supporting documents and evidence. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can insure you are receiving adequate benefits.

You Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Workers’ compensation law is always changing and can change on a dime based on what’s happening currently in the courts. When you hire an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, you ensure that you will be guided through the process with an expert in the law. A workers’ compensation attorney has the knowledge, experience, and resources to make sure victims and their families get the compensation they are entitled to.

If you or a loved one has been hurt or fallen ill on the job, contact Friedman, Domiano & Smith today.

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