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Cleveland Personal Injury Law Blog

Why would an employer reject a workers' compensation claim?

Ohio employees whose employers rejected their claims for insurance benefits may have questions about their eligibility. Workers' compensation is insurance that covers workplace injuries, regardless of who was at fault. Rejections can follow if injured employees were determined to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, injuries that occurred during criminal activities or in violation of company policy, or those that were self-inflicted, may not be covered. Furthermore, the injury must have occurred when the employee was on duty.

Workers' compensation benefits typically cover hospital and doctors' fees along with other medical costs such as medication and physical therapy. It will also cover a portion of lost wages, and if the injury prevents the worker from returning to his or her regular job, the benefits may also cover vocational training to teach the victim new skills. The system will provide survivors' or death benefits to surviving loved ones of employees who died in on-the-job accidents.

Car accidents: Alcohol use suspected in crash on Jan. 1

New Year's Eve is known to be a time for celebrations, often including alcohol. While some partygoers arrange for designated drivers or other transport after consuming alcohol, others put their own lives and the lives of passengers on the line by insisting on driving. Sadly, many tragic car accidents happen on New Year's Day. The Ohio Highway Patrol reported that impaired driving was likely involved in an accident that occurred on the morning of Jan. 1.

Authorities say a 19-year-old was driving a car that was also occupied by three passengers, ages 19, 17 and 16. He apparently failed to maintain control of the vehicle, and it struck a utility pole after leaving the road. Reportedly, only the 17-year-old passenger escaped without injuries.

Construction workers' accidents: Ohio man dies in trench collapse

Construction sites will always be hazardous terrain to navigate, especially for employees whose tasks take them into excavations. Too many lives are lost in construction workers' accidents that are caused by collapsing walls of trenches. An Ohio family has to cope with such a tragedy that claimed the life of a loved one only days after Christmas.

Reportedly, the incident occurred on Dec. 29 at a residential construction site in Morrow. A construction worker, who was in a trench that was approximately 25 feet deep, was overcome by masses of dirt when the trench walls collapsed. Emergency services were called, and responders say the could still see the worker when they arrived.

Why Don't Deer Follow the Rules?

Apparently, this is a question that actually gets asked a lot: "Why don't we move the deer crossing signs to where it's safer for them to cross?" (According to a recent report from the Des Moines Register in Iowa). The deer crossing signs, of course, aren't there for the deer to follow, because deer cannot read and understand signs. The signs are there for us to know where deer commonly cross so we can avoid them.

All joking aside, though, deer are a significant danger for drivers throughout the Midwest. It is critical to be aware of the risks and know how to avoid them when driving anywhere in Ohio or throughout the Midwest.

Car accidents: Victim of distracted driver now in wheelchair

Distracted driving is known to cause crashes with devastating consequences. It has become common for drivers to use mobile devices for much more than calling or texting while driving -- often resulting in serious car accidents. Some drivers even use it for live streaming and social media activities. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating one such a crash that happened in October.

Reportedly, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that was driven by a 21-year-old driver. The victim suffered multiple fractures and is now wheelchair-bound and relearning to walk. An accident report indicates that the vehicle was speeding at the time of impact. Although the posted speed limit was 65 mph, officers say the car was traveling 75 mph.

Only safety awareness can limit construction workers' accidents

There is no getting away from the fact that construction sites are dangerous places. Only compliance with the safety regulations prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration could limit the number of lives lost in Ohio construction workers' accidents. While employee safety is the responsibility of employers, it is often up to workers to look out for their own safety.

Reportedly, the rate of fatal workplace accidents in the construction industry exceeds the average rate of all other industries nationwide. By understanding the potential threats and the most frequently suffered injuries, employees can develop their own safety protocols. Thorough preparation and risk assessment before new construction projects and compliance with safety regulations may prevent fatal injuries.

Will workers' compensation cover medical marijuana prescriptions?

In recent years, medical marijuana is enjoying unprecedented popularity and acceptance in our country. Twenty nine states have legalized medical marijuana in one form or another. Even Ohio has recently accepted medical marijuana as an option for certain patients.

The problem with this new-found legal acceptance of medical marijuana involves the workers' compensation system. The question that so many people are asking is: Will workers' compensation cover my medical marijuana prescriptions for work-related injuries?

Electrical fires can cause construction workers' accidents

Ohio construction sites typically pose multiple safety hazards, one of which is the risk of potential electrical fires. Areas of primary concern include those in which workers use power tools with high wattage and when portable generators provide the electricity on a job site. Construction workers' accidents involving electrical fires are also prevalent during the testing phase of new electrical installations.

Precautions can avoid injuries caused by electrical accidents such as fires. Ongoing safety training is essential and so is the availability of personal protective equipment for all employees. Lockout/tag-out devices must be present on all energized circuits, and enforcement of the use of safety equipment is vital. Elevated platforms and walkways must have guardrails to prevent contact with electrical hazards.

Car accidents: CSU student killed, 4 injured in rear-end crash

Students on the Central State University campus in Ohio were offered trauma counseling after the recent death of a fellow student. Far too many students lose their lives in car accidents, often involving drugs, alcohol and speed. However, a police report indicates that drugs and alcohol did not seem to play a role in this particular crash, though the speed of the two cars was not yet determined.

Reportedly, the accident took place on a recent Tuesday. A car occupied by a driver and three passengers was apparently struck from behind by another vehicle. The driver and two of the passengers, one of whom is a former student of the same university, were rushed to the hospital.

Construction workers' accidents: 1 dead after water cap blows

While construction workers in Ohio and elsewhere are exposed to many known safety hazards, unexpected incidents sometimes have devastating consequences. Even with all safety precautions in place, things can go wrong, and unanticipated construction workers' accidents can happen. Such was the case on a recent Tuesday morning in a neighboring state.

Reportedly, a 33-year-old construction worker was operating a backhoe at the intersection of three water mains. For reasons yet to be determined, a cap blew off one of the water pipes. The force of the rushing water stream knocked the worker into the waterhole, where he was pinned down while the hole was rapidly filling up with muddy water.