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.
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.
A workers’ compensation claim, on the other hand, results from an injury that occurred during an employee’s course of employment. The worker may submit a claim regardless of fault. This means that even if the injury was due to the carelessness or negligence of the worker, they can still file a claim under Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law.
The amount of compensation for lost wages is defined under Ohio law. This amount of money allowed for pain and suffering is different than it is in other states. The process for obtaining Permanent Total Disability benefits that allow for lost wage and medical benefits for a person’s entire life is also unique to Ohio law.
The state defines the specific circumstances in which an employee can make a claim against an employer. Under Ohio law, there has to be the contemporaneous physical injury in order to make a claim. Additionally, Ohio law allows for third parties to sue the employer directly if he or she can prove that there was a removal of a guard auto-machine.
The major difference is that Toledo independent contractors are not included under Ohio law. Also, business owners themselves can be eligible for workers’ compensation if they pay for the policy through the 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.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC