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Questions from the Average Joe: Workers’ Compensation

April 16, 2020

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Frequently, we get asked questions about injuries that happen on the job. Zachary Belcher is our intake attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and he is here to answer those questions. Q: The place I work was shut down due to COVID-19 but was hurt before the shutdown. Can I still pursue my workers’ compensation claim? Image of a workers' compensation claim formA: Likely, the answer to this question is yes. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is still accepting and processing claims, though the process may be a bit slower as claims are being handled remotely. Likewise, many employers use third party claim handlers for workers' compensation so the fact that your place of employment is shut down does not impact their ability to act on your claim. Even so, in normal times, workers’ compensation claims are often complex bureaucratic processes. In the current climate, the difficulty in pursuing a claim can be heightened. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can make sure your claim is processed the right way and make sure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to, even in these rapidly changing and uncertain times. Q: I was hurt because of my employer’s negligence on the job. Can I sue them? A: Generally speaking, the existence of the Workers’ Compensation means you cannot sue your employer for injuries caused by their negligence. Though this may seem harsh, it’s an exception that works both ways. Prior to the institution of Workers’ Compensation, an injured worker could only get payment for their injury if they could prove, in court, that their employer’s negligence led to their injury. Any negligence on the part of the worker often cut into whatever award they could receive or could prevent recovery in a lawsuit altogether. Thanks to workers’ compensation, it doesn’t matter who was at fault: if you are hurt at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation, even if the accident was your fault. There are, however, ways that an employer’s negligence can lead to better outcomes in the workers’ compensation claim. If you were hurt at work, it is always best to speak to an experienced workers' compensation attorney to make sure you get all the benefits to which you’re entitled. Q: I’m worried that my employer will fire me if I pursue my workers’ compensation claim. Can they do that? A: As a rule, employers are not legally allowed to terminate an employee because they made a claim for workers’ compensation. Likewise, a workers’ compensation claim is not a lawsuit again your employer—it is a claim for what are basically insurance benefits your employer has already paid for. If you’re worried that filing a workers’ compensation claim could have a negative impact on your employment, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the challenging situation and make sure your rights are protected and you get the benefits you deserve.

Headshot of Zachary Belcher, Intake Attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthyGet to Know

Zachary Belcher joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and ensures that every individual who contacts the firm receives outstanding service and support throughout the intake process. He understands the stressful and life-altering situations clients face before seeking a personal injury attorney. Contact Our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorneys The claims process can be complicated, and you may hit some roadblocks along the way. Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help, contact our workers’ compensation attorney today. We can assist you with filing a claim and fight to make sure your employee rights are protected. Fill out a free initial consultation form or call (216) 230 – 6352.

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