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Tim Misny

Exclusivity of Worker’s Compensation Liability

PROUDLY REPRESENTING VICTIMS OF BIRTH INJURY, MEDICAL MISTAKES, AND CATASTROPHIC ACCIDENTS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOR 38 YEARS

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How much do you know about the workers’ compensation system in Ohio? If you’re like most people, you’re aware that if you get hurt at work, you can file a claim against your employer. In response, they are supposed to cover your medical bills and provide you with a salary while you recover from your injuries. However, things are a bit more complicated than that, thanks to some of the exclusivity claims listed in the state laws. These exclusivities prevent you from filing a lawsuit against them, as long as they follow all of the workers’ compensation laws. However, there’s a bit more to it than that.

How Workers’ Compensation is Supposed to Work

In most scenarios, when someone is injured at work, and the injury is serious enough to require medical care, the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance kicks in. The employer’s insurance pays for the worker’s medical care, and if they lost any salary due to the injury, then it pays for that as well.  Limits are imposed by the state. In most cases, the employer doesn’t file an objection, and everything goes according to plan.

Why Workers Don’t Always Report Their Injuries

With that said, some workers don’t report their workplace injuries as they should. They are afraid of possible repercussions of doing so, even if the employer forced them to act in a manner detrimental to their health and safety. Some workers are afraid of losing their jobs even if their injuries prevent them from doing their jobs properly.  In many cases, the injured workers takes it upon himself to pay for the medical care for the work induced injury. 

Lawsuits and Exclusivity

According to the current laws in the state of Ohio, as long as an employer obeys all of the workers’ compensation statutes, they can’t be sued for their worker’s injuries. If one of their workers, let’s call him Bob, trips and falls at work and breaks his leg, the employer should cover the cost of his medical care. As long as they don’t fight the claim, everything will work out fine, and Bob can’t sue them for causing his injuries.

With that said, there are some exceptions to this law. If Bob can prove in court that his injury was caused by his employer’s negligence, then he can sue them. His attorney needs to show that they deliberately removed a safety device or forced Bob to work in a manner that led to his injury. For example, if they removed a sign informing people of a tripping hazard, and then made Bob work extra quickly to get the job done, then they may be found liable, even if they adhered to all other tenets of workers’ compensation laws. The burden of proof is on Bob and his attorney, but lawsuits like this one happen every day. 

If you’ve been injured at work and believe that you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, call me today and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

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