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BWC: Auto Accidents and Workers’ Comp

AUTO ACCIDENTS AND OHIO WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Here at Malek & Malek we represent workers who have been injured while either driving or as a passenger in a motor vehicle. For injured workers involved in motor vehicle accidents, Malek & Malek will pursue two different legal remedies on behalf of the injured worker, a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. In this article we will be discussing how a motor vehicle accident can be a compensable work injury.

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Before We Start: COURSE OF EMPLOYMENT

Before we delve into workers’ compensation auto accident rules, to be a compensable injury, an injury must have occurred within the “course of employment.” An injury happens within the course of employment when the worker is injured performing the tasks he was hired to do. Let’s use a restaurant fry cook as an example:

            Within The Course of Employment

  • Fry cook burns his hand on the grill
  • Fry cook slips on grease walking back to the freezer to get frozen French fries, lands on his back and sustains a back sprain
  • Fry cook suffers third-degree burns while cleaning the hot oil in an incorrect manner
  • Fry cook lacerates his hand throwing our trash into dumpster, where there was a nice in the trash bag

Not Within The Course Of Employment

  • Fry cook trips and lands on his back during a smoke break
  • Fry cook suffers a head contusion (bump on the head) while tossing frozen hamburgers back and forth with a fellow employee as part of a game

 

NOW THAT WE HAVE THAT OUT OF THE WAY, ONTO THE WORKERS’ COMP RULES THAT APPLY TO AUTO ACCIDENTS!!!

Continue reading BWC: Auto Accidents and Workers’ Comp

Happy Holidays From Malek & Malek!!!

The Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Attorneys at Malek & Malek wish that you Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Be safe folks. Enjoy the time with your families and loved ones. Take a moment to reflect on the past year. As always we are grateful that you choose us to be your attorney.

 

So we had a Christmas Decoration Contest here at the office. Dawn, Bill, Paquito, Mirna, Melina, Evelyn, and Tately participated. Neither Doug, Jim, Ben, Ed, or Myself participated. Grinches? Not sure.

Melina won the contest. She has this really compact, cute creche set. In addition, she has a bit of a Martha Stewart thing going on. Melina cut out these intricate paper stars.

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Bill has a “Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.” Its pretty fantastic. Scrappy but a ton of heart.

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Evelyn is a new employee at Malek and Malek. She has a nice light display. Kinda cozy actually.evelyn_tree

Dawn decorated her “fireplace” quite nicely. She’s laughing at me? That’s not cool. Haha.

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Last but not least, we have Paquito pulling a “Fonz” pose. There’s a Christmas stocking for each member of Malek and Malek. I like his Christmas tree as well.

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Walk For the Poor 2015 Redux

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We participated in the Walk For The Poor this past Saturday. Mirna, Melina, Dawn, Paquito, Jim, Ed, and Kip all met at DeSales Highschool at around 9:00 am. It was unseasonably cold. Fortunately the rain let up so we weren’t both cold and wet. Father Charlie from St. Paul’s in Westerville blessed those who were interested in being blessed. Then we were off.

We walked around the DeSales running track four times.  So we walked about a mile and then that was that. Considering how chilly the morning was, we had a fairly sizable crowd.

Continue reading Walk For the Poor 2015 Redux

Workers’ Compensation: Voluntary Abandonment and McNabb

VOLUNTARY ABANDONMENT OF THE WORKPLACE RULE

Does your employer have a policy that after so many unexcused absents you run the risk of being fired? Often our clients must miss work because of their injuries in order to see doctors or are told that they cannot work because of their injuries. Employers will sometimes fire the injured worker because of the violation of this policy. As a consequence of this the injured worker is said to have voluntarily abandoned the workplace.

Continue reading Workers’ Compensation: Voluntary Abandonment and McNabb

The 2015 Walk For the Poor

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I recently saw a biopic on Brian Wilson the troubled singer and writer for the Beach Boys. On the whole the movie was serviceable but did not quite do justice to the compelling story of Brian Wilson’s life. But the thing that had the most impact on me from the movie was the ending footage from a recent concert featuring Brian singing his song “Love and Mercy” (which also happened to be the name of the movie).

“Love and Mercy” is certainly not the best song in the Beach Boy’s or Brian Wilson’s repertoire. I’m not even sure it makes my top ten list. However the message encapsulated within the song, the notion that living this life is hard and that everyone needs deserves love and mercy, is a just as relevant today as it was when Brian wrote it in the 80’s. We all deserve love and mercy from our troubles whether they be related to money, our health, our relationship issues, or whatever roadblocks life throws in our way. Everyone needs a break.

Continue reading The 2015 Walk For the Poor

Employee or Independent Contractor: 11-20

This is a continuation of a prior article. An issue that arises for some of our Columbus Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Clients is where there exists a construction contract, whether the worker is an employee of a general or sub-contractor and thus covered under that employers Ohio BWC policy. One way the BWC and Industrial Commission tries to determine the classification of the worker is through twenty criteria in R.C. § 4123.01(A)(1)(c). Here are criteria 11 through 20:

11.) Is the person required to make oral or written reports of progress to the other contracting party?

This is another factor that is likely only present in a limited number of employer/employee relationship. As such its absence is not a good indicator whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor.

                    EXAMPLE:  EMPLOYEE

Bob tells Joe that he is to mow a customer’s lawn, plant some treed along the driveway, and finish with laying mulch down on the flower beds. He tells Joes that once he has completed each task and before he starts the next one to call him and tell him how much dirt, gas, etc. he used. This indicates that Joe is an employee because Joe does not have very much independence from Bob while on the job.

Continue reading Employee or Independent Contractor: 11-20

Employee or Independent Contractor: 6-10

This is a continuation of a prior article. An issue that arises for some of our Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Clients is where there exists a construction contract, whether the worker is an employee of a general or sub-contractor and thus covered under that employers Ohio BWC policy. One way the BWC and Industrial Commission tries to determine the classification of the worker is through twenty criteria in R.C. § 4123.01(A)(1)(c). Here are criteria 6 through 10:

6.) Does a continuing relationship exist between the person and the other contracting party that contemplates continuing or recurring work even if the work is not full time?

A worker that is hired on a job by job basis is more likely to be considered an independent contractor, while it is more likely that a worker is an employee if they work regular hours and on a consistent basis for the employer.

                    EXAMPLE:  EMPLOYEE

Bob hires Joe to help remodel a kitchen, once that job is completed Bob hires Joe again 1 month later to help with another job, and 2 weeks after that job has been completed Bob hires Joe again for another job. Although Bob and Joe’s work relationship is irregular it is frequent enough to establish a continuing relationship that would satisfy Joe being an employee.

Continue reading Employee or Independent Contractor: 6-10

Workers’ Compensation: Construction Contract: Employee or Independent Contractor: 1-5

This is a continuation of a prior article. An issue that arises for some of our Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Clients is where there exists a construction contract, whether the worker is an employee of a general or sub-contractor and thus covered under that employers Ohio BWC policy. One way the BWC and Industrial Commission tries to determine the classification of the worker is through twenty criteria in R.C. § 4123.01(A)(1)(c).

For the most part, the twenty criteria enumerated in R.C. § 4123.01(A)(1)(c) are mostly self explanatory. In order to lessen confusion we will be laying out the criteria with accompanying examples. Since there are twenty criteria, we will present five criteria at a time. Without further ado here are criteria 1 through 5:

1.) Is the person required to comply with instructions from the contracting party regarding the manner or method of performing services?

If the employer controls the manner or means of the work this is indicative of an employee/employer relationship is created. If a worker is only responsible for the result and not the way in which the job is done then that favors the worker being an independent contractor.

                    EXAMPLE:  EMPLOYEE

Joe was told by Bob to use blue paint on one wall, red paint on another, to use a brush with thick bristles and shows Joe how to place tape around the site in order to prevent the paint from dripping.  This would satisfy Joe being an employee of Bob.

Continue reading Workers’ Compensation: Construction Contract: Employee or Independent Contractor: 1-5

Workers’ Compensation : Part 1: Employee or Independent Contractor

Workers’ Compensation: Employee or Independent Contractor in the Context of Construction Work

One of the many Workers’ Compensation issues we are faced with here at Malek & Malek is whether an injured worker is classified as an employee or independent contractor. If classified as an employee, then you are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. As an independent contractor you are required to have your own workers’ compensation coverage.

The employee/independent contractor classification issue often arises in the context of construction work. R.C. § 4123.79(C)(2) defines a construction contract as:

any oral or written agreement involving any activity in connection with the erection, alteration, repair, replacement, renovation, installation, or demolition of any building, structure, highway or bridge.

Under R.C. § 4123.01(A)(1)(c) , an employee is a person who performs labor or provides services pursuant to a construction contract if he meets ten or more criteria out of a total of twenty. The criteria focus on who had the right to control the manner or means of doing the work. More control tends to suggest a worker is an employee, less control tends to suggest a worker is an independent contractor.

Continue reading Workers’ Compensation : Part 1: Employee or Independent Contractor

Hope Everyone Has Had A Nice Summer

When you are a kid and when you have kids, your summer is defined by the beginning and ending of summer vacation. Jim’s son goes back to school this week, and my son goes back to school next week ( I think). With their vacations coming to an end they decided to spend a day working at the office.  At the office they swept the porch,  attempted to file documents, and most importantly created the poster below:

malek malek poster“Malek and Malek Supports All Personal Injuries, You Heard Me Right, All Personal Injuries. We Protect Your Families.”

We at Malek & Malek understand and relate to workers because the attorneys at Malek & Malek have all at one time or another been a “worker.” Speaking for myself, I used to come home from elementary school and  head straight to my neighbor’s houses where I’d rake their leaves for the princely sum of $1 an hour. Probably far below the market price, on the other hand I was in third or fourth grade. As I got older my prices increased. In high school I’d make a killing on snow days, as I’d offer to snow blow people’s driveways for $20 a pop.

In college I worked in a variety of jobs including as a working in a cafeteria as a fry cook, doing laundry in a gym, and working at the Malibu Grand Prix Arcade. After graduation I went to work in the wild and wooly world of video game development. Point is, I and the attorneys at Malek & Malek are not strangers to hard work, and therefore we have the utmost respect for those who work. So when you get injured on the job, we strive to get you the treatment and compensation you deserve.

With that said, please enjoy the rest of your summer, Kip

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