Pursuing a VSSR award is a relatively complex task, therefore it is a good idea to hire an experienced VSSR attorney. The workers’ comp lawyers in Columbus, Oh at Malek & Malek are experienced and successful in pursuing VSSR awards for our clients.
According to Ohio law, workers are entitled to work in a safe environment. If a worker is injured because employers are in violation of a specific safety requirement, he or she may be entitled to an additional award of compensation due to this violation. The VSSR award is considered a penalty against the employer. If an injured worker is able to establish a VSSR, which often times requires the use of an expert to testify regarding processes or the manner in which the individual sustained his or her injury, then a hearing officer with the Industrial Commission of Ohio would then have the discretion to set the penalty rate at anywhere between 15 percent and 50 percent. This means for the injured worker, that any type of compensation paid, in addition to future compensation not yet received, would be paid at the max rate for that type of compensation, multiplied by the penalty rate.
For example, assuming in a 2010 claim, a VSSR was established, and the SHO assessed the penalty at 15 percent (quite common for the penalty to be assessed at either 15 percent or 20 percent, and rarely above these figures). Assuming this person has already received 40 weeks of temporary total disability compensation, then this additional compensation due to the VSSR award would be calculated as follows: the max rate for temporary total disability compensation for 2010 is $775 multiplied by 40 (the number of weeks of compensation received) and then multiplied by .15 (15 percent out of a total 100 percent), equaling $4,650. This may not seem like a lot of money, but when one considers compensation paid in the future, including possibly permanent total disability compensation, it adds up quickly. Further, as this is considered a penalty, employers must pay it out of their own pockets (although the compensation is first paid by the Bureau, if a state fund claim, and then later recovered from the employer by the Bureau).
In the event that you believe your employer was in violation of a specific safety requirement, which might have been due to falling from a defective ladder that should have been taken out of operation, falling from a height of greater than six feet and not being provided with fall arrest equipment, striking one’s head and sustaining an injury as a result of not being provided with appropriate head protection equipment, or a multitude of other violations including possibly involving a powered industrial truck or forklift, you should contact an experienced Columbus violation of specific safety requirement lawyer.
Filing a VSSR application is a highly involved process. If you contact an attorney and he does not have experience in handling these VSSR applications, then please get in touch with an experienced VSSR attorney in Columbus, Ohio at Malek & Malek.