Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at 9:20 am
If you were injured on the job while working in Ohio, you are probably covered under Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Code. Here are the things that Ohio Revised Code 4123 requires injured workers to prove to have their claim allowed:
- That you were actually employed by the company you are filing a claim against at the time you were hurt;
- That the injury arose out of the course of employment, and;
- That the injury was accidental in character and result.
Employers have the right to dispute any of these elements, and this can create complex legal obstacles for an injured worker to navigate. This is why it is important to find an attorney who can guide you through the Ohio worker’s compensation process to ensure your claim is allowed and you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
How Could My Employer Challenge My Claim?
Examples of common challenges employers may bring in their attempt to get a claim denied include the following:
- Employers may assert that an injured worker is not in fact an employee. This challenge often comes into play in cases of independent contractors, temps, labor leasing and interns. Both statutory and case law are complex in this area, and the classification is not always cut and dry. Therefore, if you employer is claiming that you are not an employee, you should seek out an experienced attorney who can help you decipher if you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits and who knows how to advocate for your rights.
- Employers might argue that an injury did not arise out of the employment. Common scenarios in which this argument might be raised are when there is a toxic exposure over a long period of time at a work place, when there is an injury resulting from a repetitive motion brought on by work places duties which did not have a specific onset date, or heart attacks that occur while on the workplace premises. While some of these instances may result in denial of a claim, the validity of such a claim should not be discounted automatically. Several details must be taken into consideration in each of these instances, and attention to various factors could mean the difference between a claim being allowed or denied.
- Ohio law states that employers are not permitted to pass blame on the injured worker for the workplace injury because Ohio is a no fault state. If an employer is asserting that a claim should not be allowed due to an injured workers lack of common sense, failure to follow work rules, inattention to details or other similar careless actions, that injured worker needs to find an Ohio attorney who is familiar with the Ohio no-fault system to advocate for their rights and prevent them from failing receive the benefits they deserve under such a no-fault system.
Ohio worker’s compensation law is complex and the process of getting your Ohio worker’s compensation claim allowed can be difficult and stressful. Employers are only looking out for their own interests and have their own attorneys working to save them time and money. As an injured worker you need an experienced Ohio attorney in your corner to make sure you claim is not wrongfully denied.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Workers’ Compensation Rights Under Ohio Law?
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Claims has a handy handbook for injured workers that will outline many of your rights for you. There is also an ombudsman employed by the BWC that is tasked with attempting to resolve disputes related to the procedural requirements of filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
However, the only way to get true representation in this system is to hire an attorney, as referenced above. Attorneys are paid by contingency fee, so you do not have to spend money out of pocket, and attorneys have an ethical duty to represent you to the fullest of their ability. If you would like to speak to an attorney about the specifics of your claim, call Lawrence & Associates today for a free consultation. We’re Working Hard for the Working Class, and we can help you!