Workers compensation coverage is vital, because people get hurt on the job every day. In the U.S. alone, there is an average of 2.8 million non-fatal workplace accidents every year. Many of these happen to people who work in dangerous industries. For example, construction workers are much more likely to suffer a workplace injury than a secretary or executive assistant. Employment lawyers in Cincinnati understand this. They represent many clients who are laborers or work in blue-collar positions.
What are the Most Common Types of Workplace Accidents in Ohio?
As stated above, there are some industries that are more dangerous than others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 84% of all workplace accidents happen to people who work in a small cluster of jobs.
Some of the most common types of workplace accident involve the following:
- Heavy equipment accidents
- Contact with objects hitting workers in the head or other body parts
- Overexertion and repetitive movement
- Slips and falls
Obviously, people who work in physical jobs are more likely to suffer these types of injuries. However, it doesn’t matter what you do for a living. There is always the chance that you could get hurt on the job. If you do, you deserve to be treated right by your employer.
Almost All Employers in Ohio are Required to Carry Workers Comp Insurance
Unless you work in a handful of industries, your workplace injuries should be covered by your employer. All employers in the U.S. are required to carry workers comp insurance. There are only a few exceptions to this rule.
Under Ohio law, any employer with 3 or more employees is required to carry this type of insurance. It is meant to cover your medical care and replacement wages. As long as your claim is approved, you should start receiving benefits within 7-10 days. These benefits will continue until you’re well enough to return to work.
Now, if you work in any of the following industries, you won’t be able to file a workers compensation claim:
- Federal employees
- Postal workers
- Railroad employees
- Domestic servants (maids, nannies, etc.)
- Agricultural workers
Employees in these sectors must rely on other ways to recover compensation or their injuries. Most people can trust that their employers will do the right thing.
What if Your Employer Doesn’t Carry the Required Insurance?
It is very unusual for a company in Ohio to not carry workers compensation insurance. Unless it is a very small operation, they can’t get away with this for very long. At some point, a worker is going to get hurt and demand coverage. If their employer is found to lack the necessary insurance, they’ll be fined and required to submit proof that they got the coverage they need.
However, if you do work for somebody who chooses to not carry insurance, you’ll definitely need to consult a personal injury attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio. You may have a legal claim for damages. For example, imagine you fall at work and break your neck. If this happening in a store or another person’s house, you would sue the owner of that property. Workers comp law doesn’t allow you to do this when you get hurt on the job.
If you learn that there is no insurance company with which to file your claim, you do have options. Your employment lawyer in Cincinnati will file a lawsuit on your behalf. There are advantages and disadvantages to doing this.
Normally, You Cannot File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer for a Workplace Accident
A lot of our clients think it’s unfair that they have to go through workers comp to recover compensation or their workplace injuries. The only benefits you receive through workers comp in Ohio are medical care and replacement wages. You can’t demand things like pain and suffering or lost future income.
If your employer doesn’t have workers comp insurance, you may be able to sue them through conventional means. This requires that you meet all the local civil court’s rules. Some of these include:
- You must file your claim within a certain time
- You need to use the proper forms and pay the required fees
- You must attend any schedule appearances before the civil judge
- You will likely have to go through mediation at some point
- If it cannot be resolved through a settlement, you and your personal injury attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio will need to go to trial.
This can become very complicated very quickly. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go through workers compensation. Be careful what you wish for. Being able to push for pain and suffering does not necessarily mean you’ll receive them. Plus, if you have to sue your employer for damages, you’ll likely go months or even a year without any compensation. Very few people can afford to do this.
At least with workers comp, you get weekly replacement wages for the time you’re out of work.
What Benefits Are You Entitled to Under Ohio Workers Compensation Law?
If you submit your workers comp claim and it’s approved, you’ll be entitled to certain benefits. Under Ohio law, you’re eligible to receive the following:
- Medical care to treat your workplace injuries
- Weekly replacement wages equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages
- Continued benefits or a lump sum settlement if you are permanently disabled as a result of your workplace accident
As long as you have an experienced employment lawyer in Cincinnati, they’ll take care of all this for you. They’ll ensure your claim is handled properly from the start. They’ll also make sure your employer doesn’t try to force you to return to work before you’re ready.
Call and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation with a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio
If you’ve suffered a fall or other accident at work, you should call our office right away. One of our employment lawyers in Cincinnati can help you file your workers compensation claim. All you have to do is schedule your free, initial consultation. Let your attorney focus on the legal side of things while you focus on getting better.