Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law Explained by a Columbus Work Accident Attorney
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system of insurance providing benefits to injured workers throughout the state of Ohio. While the system is designed to be accessible to workers and employers, the claim process isn’t always as straightforward as people hope. Consulting with a Columbus work accident attorney can help alleviate any concerns about the application process. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, we can work with you through the appeals process.
Workers’ Compensation is an Exclusive Remedy
If you are injured in the course of your employment, pursuing a workers’ compensation claim is your only remedy, in most cases. As an employee you typically cannot sue your employer for any losses that aren’t covered by your workers’ compensation benefits. You must pursue your claim through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. If your claim is denied, you must exhaust the Bureau’s appeal process before you can go to court, and even then, you are limited to the compensation available under Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws.
Workers’ Compensation Claims vs. Personal Injury Claims
In most personal injury cases, the injured party needs to prove that the other party was negligent in order to recover compensation. In the context of a workplace injury, this would mean proving that your employer’s negligence caused the accident that led to your injury. Pursuing a negligence claim can take months, and proving your employer’s negligence can be quite difficult. Meanwhile, you are unable to work or pay your bills. For most people, this is an impossible situation, creating financial and emotional distress for them and their family.
The workers’ compensation system was designed to prevent this situation. Employers pay for workers’ compensation insurance, allowing workers to make a claim for compensation without a finding of fault. In other words, you do not need to prove that your employer’s negligence or anyone else caused your injury. In fact, you can pursue a claim even if your injury was due to your own negligence.
Workers’ Compensation Primarily Covers Physical Injuries
Workers’ compensation pays benefits for those who are unable to work due to injuries such as broken bones, spinal injuries, or torn ligaments and tendons. It may provide coverage for mental health issues, but they must be related to the physical injury you have suffered. In other words, you are unlikely to get workers’ compensation if you are unable to work due to anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, even if they are caused by your employment.
However, Ohio recently enacted a law that extends additional protection to firefighters, police officers, and EMTs. The law provides workers’ compensation benefits to first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their employment and without an accompanying physical injury.
Talk to a Columbus Work Accident Attorney Today
Injured workers have a right to compensation under the law. Unfortunately, the claim process can be complicated. A Columbus work accident attorney at Malek Law Firm can help you get the benefits you need. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 888-444-7440. The sooner you call, the sooner we can help.