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Understanding the Ohio workers’ compensation system

Coping financially after suffering an injury in a work-related accident can be challenging. For this reason, employers in Ohio must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This will assist employees with the financial consequences of workplace injuries while protecting the employer from having to face lawsuits for ordinary negligence filed by injured workers.

Workers who are registered employees rather than independent contractors will be eligible to claim benefits for injuries that were not caused intentionally and occurred while the victim was on duty. Although injuries must be reported to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within one week, only claims that are filed within two years will be considered. The BWC will accept or reject the claim within 28 days, and rejected claims can be appealed within 14 days.

Compensation typically covers medical expenses and lost wages, with additional benefits for injuries that caused temporary or permanent disabilities. Death benefits are available for the surviving family members of deceased workers. The appeals process for denied claims is a complicated procedure that goes through three levels within the BWC, and a further appeal may be filed in a Court of Common Pleas appeal if the BWC claims are unsuccessful.

While injured workers can handle all these procedures on their own, the experience of a skilled Ohio workers’ compensation attorney can be a significant help. A lawyer can assist with the preparation of documents, and see that the filing is done on time. The attorney can then represent the injured worker at every stage of the ensuing proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, “Ohio Workers’ Compensation Laws“, Accessed on March 2, 2018