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5 Common Issues in Ohio Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Cases

Workers' Compensation

When you need help after a serious accident in Ohio, your first steps are up to you. While help is available, our lawyers can only help you if you get in touch. Once you get in touch, we will begin working quickly to protect your legal rights and seek just compensation on your behalf, but we can only do this if we know you need our help.

If you are like many people, you may be tempted to try to handle your situation on your own. You might be apprehensive about hiring a lawyer, or you might not have much faith in the process. But, this can prove to be a very costly mistake, as there are several issues that can prevent you from recovering the financial compensation you deserve.

Issue #1: Being Unable to Prove Where or When You Got Injured

Whether you have a personal injury claim or a workers’ compensation claim (or both), you need to be able to prove where and when you got injured. If you can’t prove where and when your accident happened, the insurance company (or your employer) will deny responsibility—and it may be well within its rights to do so.

Issue #2: The Insurance Company (or Your Employer) Blames You for Your Own Injuries

Even if the insurance company (or your employer) acknowledges where and when you got injured, it may still try to avoid liability by blaming you for your own injuries. In personal injury cases, Ohio’s comparative fault law limits victims’ financial compensation when they are 50 percent or less at fault, and it bars victims from recovering any compensation when their percentage of fault is 51 percent or more.

While workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system in Ohio, employers can still deny responsibility for their employees’ injuries in some cases. For example, if your employer claims that you were under the influence or engaging in horseplay rather than doing your job, this could lead to a denial of benefits.

Issue #3: The Insurance Company (or Your Employer) Blames You for Your Own Medical Expenses

Insurance companies and employers will often also seek to minimize their financial responsibility by blaming accident victims for their own medical expenses. Most often, this involves accusing accident victims of ignoring their doctors’ advice. If you return to work or resume your normal activities when your doctor says that you should be resting, this could create additional challenges with your claim.

Issue #4: Settling Too Soon Because You Don’t Know How Much You Are Entitled to Recover

When you have a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is settling your claim too soon. Before you consider accepting a settlement offer, you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the long-term costs of your injuries. In all cases, this includes your long-term medical costs and loss of income. In personal injury cases, it also includes non-financial costs such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Issue #5: Running Out of Time to Assert Your Legal Rights

Personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims are both subject to strict deadlines in Ohio. If you run out of time to assert your legal rights, you won’t be able to recover just compensation for your injury-related losses. This is true even if the insurance company or your employer would otherwise be clearly responsible under Ohio law.

In both personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, the deadlines establish when you must file a formal claim—whether this means filing a claim in court or filing a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC). This means that filing an insurance claim or submitting an accident report to your employer is not sufficient for preserving your legal rights should you need to take legal action.

How Can You Avoid (or Overcome) These Issues During Your Claim?

While these issues can all jeopardize your legal rights after a serious accident in Ohio, they are also generally avoidable. Even if you can’t avoid them entirely (e.g., if the insurance company blames you for your own injuries), you can overcome them with the right approach.

To help avoid (or overcome) these issues during your personal injury or workers’ compensation claim, you can take steps such as:

  • Seeing a Doctor as Soon as Possible – By seeing a doctor as soon after your accident as possible, you can document how and when you got injured. In both personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, you can (and should) see a doctor of your own choosing.
  • Hiring a Lawyer to Investigate Promptly – By hiring a lawyer to investigate promptly, you can make sure you have the evidence you need to prove where your accident happened. Your lawyer can also prepare to defend against any allegations that you are responsible for your own injuries.
  • Keeping Track of Your Financial and Non-Financial Costs – Keeping track of your financial and non-financial costs will help you avoid settling too soon. Your lawyer will use this information (along with other evidence) to calculate the total value of your claim.  
  • Not Letting Anyone Talk You Into Accepting a Settlement – No matter what, you should not let anyone talk you into accepting a settlement. If you eventually decide to settle, you should make this decision based on the advice of your lawyer (who will have your best interests in mind).
  • Learning More About Your Legal Rights – Finally, one of the best ways to ensure that you are making informed decisions is to learn more about your legal rights. Our blog contains a wealth of information for accident victims in Ohio.

Get Help from the Ohio Injury Lawyers at Malek & Malek Law Firm

Were you seriously injured in an accident in Ohio? If so, the injury lawyers at Malek & Malek Law Firm can help you protect your legal rights. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 888-444-7440 or tell us how we can help online today.