Accidents suffered at work can devastate your life. One second you are working hard on the job, the next you have an injury that prevents you from working for days or months. In some cases, injured workers never get back on the job.
Just being injured is bad enough. You are in pain and would rather be working instead of sitting around the house. Trying to navigate the complicated bureaucracy of the Ohio Worker’s Compensation system can make life that much more difficult for people trying to regain their health and get back to work. The differences between workers’ compensation and negligence in Toledo can make an already difficult process more overwhelming. A qualified workers’ compensation attorney can simplify the process for you. Contact an attorney today, and know that you are in capable hands.
Differences Between Workers’ Compensation Claims and Negligence Cases
Worker’s compensation claims are much different than the negligence cases that result from situations like car accidents or dog bites. In a negligence case, someone can be compensated for their medical bills, damage to their property, and their pain and suffering.
In some cases, a person can even seek additional money to punish someone for their bad behavior, such as when they are struck by a drunk driver. If a lawsuit needs to be filed, it is done through the court system and the case is heard by a judge.
Workers’ Compensation System
The worker’s compensation system was set up to eliminate many of the claims that could be brought through a negligence case. The Ohio General Assembly designed a system that helps employers minimize the costs they might have to bear through employee injuries.
The theory is that if employers had to pay for things like pain and suffering, or punitive damages, it would be too expensive to do business. Having to defend the cases in court would cost even more money.
Whether or not a person believes that is fair to employees who are hurt on the job, that is the system. Instead of having cases heard by a judge or jury, workers’ compensation claims are handled through an administrative hearing officer.
The state requires employers to be self-insured or to pay into a fund that is used to compensate injured workers for things like the wages they lost due to the injury and for their medical bills.
It is a no-fault system, which means that it does not matter whether someone was injured because of their own actions or as the result of a co-worker or supervisor’s actions. If a person has been injured on the job, they are generally allowed to file a claim and get some type of compensation.
In some situations, if an employer’s actions were so outrageous because they ordered an employee to undertake a very dangerous task without the proper safety conditions or if they failed to correct a known safety hazard, the case can be taken out of the worker’s compensation system. The legislature, though, has made filing these types of lawsuits extremely difficult so not many people would qualify. If you want to know more about differences in workers’ compensation and negligence in Toledo, speak with a distinguished attorney who can answer your questions and guide you through the process of filing your claim.