Workers’ Compensation Scope: Do you know what may or may not be covered?
Understanding what is or is not covered under a workers’ compensation claim is very important – Particularly if you or a loved one has suffered an injury! As a general rule, if your injury resulted from something work related, it would be covered under a workers’ compensation claim. Work related illnesses, such as occupational cancers, can also be covered under Ohio workers’ compensation laws. Unfortunately, in some complicated situations an injury or illness can be difficult to prove or substantiate, particularly if your employer is less than supportive.
The Rules of Thumb for Workers’ Compensation in Ohio
- Typically, an injury at work that can be treated successfully with a general first aid kit is not an injury that is eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. This could be cuts, bruises, fall injuries – If it subsides and your injury is able to be treated successfully, then you may not file a claim. However, it is important to remember that even something that may seem minor now can have serious repercussions down the road!
- Offsite injuries may also be covered under workers’ compensation claims. For instance, if you are driving from an appointment back to the office, or if you are sent on a work related errand, an injury would be covered. If you are commuting to or from work, your injury would typically not be covered in the event of an accident or incident. This is known as the ‘Coming and Going Rule” The general rule here is if you are being paid to do what you are doing at the time an injury occurred then it would be covered under workers’ compensation.
- Illnesses and long term injuries, like carpel tunnel, may also be covered. Occupational illnesses can be covered in instances where a person is continually exposed to toxic chemicals such as if a fire fighter or miner.
- Mental and psychiatric conditions may also be covered. If you experienced a traumatic event and suffered PTSD – You may be eligible for worker’ compensation benefits.
- Voluntary events, like fitness challenges or group activities are typically not compensated in the event of an injury.
- Natural deterioration is not covered – but aggravating an existing or past injury may be covered under Ohio law. This is different for a pre-existing illness and the rule is that a disease will not likely be compensated if it was not contracted as a direct result of employment – aggravating or causing re-occurrence may not be covered.
Overall, it is very important that everyone understands what may or may not be covered in the scope of workers’ compensation. It is not uncommon for many individuals to have suffered an injury or illness, only to fail to report it because they did not believe it was covered.
If you or a loved one was injured at work, you must contact my offices immediately. Worker’s compensation claims can be incredibly complicated! I will be there to support you, every step of the way.
I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.