Sustaining an injury at work can be a scary and stressful experience for any employee. Along with the physical and emotional pain, there is also the financial burden of possible medical bills and loss of wages. Fortunately, the workers' compensation program was created to provide much-needed relief for workers in this situation. In Ohio, employers must offer workers' compensation benefits to their employees. However, when an employee is found to be at fault for the accident, they could be left wondering if they are still eligible for these benefits.
In this blog, we will explore the issues that can impact eligibility and explore if fault matters.
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is an insurance system created to provide medical benefits, wage replacement, and additional protections to eligible employees who suffer workplace injuries or illnesses. This mandatory insurance program is established to protect workers and their families from the financial impact of injuries sustained while performing work-related duties. The specific benefits that workers' compensation provides depend on the nature and extent of the injury or illness. These benefits can generally include medical treatment, compensation for lost wages, and disability benefits. Additionally, workers may receive assistance with rehabilitation or vocational training to help them return to work.
Understanding Ohio's Workers' Compensation System: Fault and Eligibility
Ohio's workers' compensation system is designed to provide coverage for eligible workers who suffer on-the-job injuries, regardless of fault. Despite this no-fault system, many workers are hesitant to file claims due to concerns about being found responsible for their injuries. However, this is a misconception that could deprive them of essential medical care and compensation. In most cases, fault does not affect workers' compensation benefits eligibility. Employers in Ohio are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, and workers must file a claim if they suffer injuries in their work environment, regardless of fault. To qualify for benefits, workers must fulfill specific requirements like being an employee covered by workers' compensation insurance and reporting the injury promptly. Certain injuries that don't arise out of work, like those sustained during a commute or break, are typically not covered. When a worker is injured or falls ill, it can significantly affect their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Workers' compensation benefits are essential to ensuring employees receive the support they need to recover and return to work.
Conditions and Actions that Can Impact Worker’s Compensation Eligibility
While Ohio has a no-fault workers' compensation system, there are conditions and actions that could impact eligibility for benefits. To be eligible, workers must have suffered a workplace injury or illness and report it to their employers within a specified timeframe. Intentional self-inflicted harm, injuries sustained while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fighting, horseplay, and violations of company policies or rules could potentially affect eligibility for benefits. Hence, it's crucial to follow all workplace policies and guidelines and work with an experienced legal professional to ensure that you receive the workers' compensation benefits you're entitled to.
Bridges, Jillisky, Weller & Gullifer, LLC
While Ohio's workers' compensation system is generally "no-fault," there are exceptions. You may not qualify for benefits if you were under the influence of drugs, intentionally caused your injury, violated company policies, or engaged in activities like horseplay or fighting. If you think you qualify for benefits, it's essential to report your injury to your employer promptly and consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help you navigate the process. Contact us for assistance in applying for workers' compensation benefits in Ohio. Remember, you have the right to receive benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses. Contact us today at (937) 403-9033 to schedule a free case consultation.