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Ohio Workers' Compensation Laws

Every four years, the political machines descend upon the ever-important swing state of Ohio. But politicians and strategists aren't the only ones who work hard in the Buckeye State, and with so much time spent at work these days, there is ample opportunity to be injured. For this reason, employers purchase workers' compensation insurance, which covers employment-related injuries and illnesses regardless of fault, but can also prohibit the employee from filing a lawsuit against the employer.

Whether you've tripped on your way to the printer or developed carpal tunnel syndrome, you'll need to know your rights and responsibilities in pursuing workers' compensation after a work-related injury in Ohio.

The table below outlines key aspects of Ohio's workers' compensation laws, including some types of benefits and important timelines.

Important Deadlines
Some Types of Benefits
  • Medical care: hospital services, doctor visits, medicine, etc. (Sec. 4123.66)
  • Temporary total disability: to compensate worker totally disabled from work for a short period of time (Sec. 4123.56(A))
  • Permanent partial disability: to compensate for permanent damage even if employee returns to work (Sec. 4123.57)
  • Permanent total disability: to compensate for loss of ability to perform sustained employment due to injury (Sec. 4123.58)
  • Wage loss: paid to worker whose earnings are reduced as a direct result of injury (4123.56(B))
  • Death benefits: paid to your dependents if you die from a work-related injury or disease (Sec. 4123.59)
Employer Obligations
  • Employers with one or more employees are required to obtain & post notice of workers' compensation coverage (with limited exceptions) (Sec's. 4123.35, 4123.01 & 4123.83);
  • Within 1 week of acquiring knowledge of injury, employer must report to BWC (Sec. 4123.28)

What to Do After Being Injured

If you've suffered a work-related injury or illness, you should seek emergency medical treatment or go to any BWC-certified provider. Additionally, tell your employer about your injury as soon as possible -- either you or your employer must file a First Report of an Injury (FROI) within two years or risk losing your right to receive any benefits.

To file a successful claim in Ohio, the employee must prove:

  • He or she is an employee of the employer (as opposed to an independent contractor, etc.)
  • The injury was accidental (intentional torts are not covered)
  • The injury occurred in the course of, and arising out of the employment

What Happens After My Report is Filed?

The BWC will approve or deny your claim within 28 days. If your claim is approved, you will be compensated based on your injury and your earnings prior to the injury, though there are annual minimum and maximum rates that may apply.

What Should I Do if My Claim Is Disallowed?

If your claim is disallowed, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Ohio Industrial Commission, but you have only 14 days to do so. There are three levels of appeals within the Commission, and if those decide against you, you may file an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. Through all of this, you may represent yourself, but an attorney can be immensely effective in preparing documents, filing on time, and representing you against opposing counsel and in front of the Commission.

Don't Miss Out on Needed Benefits - Receive a Free Claim Review from an Ohio Attorney

Workers' compensation is often crucial to recovery and making ends meet after an injury, but it also involves a lot of paperwork and strict deadlines. Let an attorney familiar with the workers' compensation laws in Ohio provide a free claim evaluation so you can feel more informed and better prepared.

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