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In Ohio, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means workers are usually eligible for benefits even if they accidentally caused their own injuries. However, those injuries must have happened at work or while performing work-related duties.
Employees who suffer non-work-related injuries that then prevent them from working, such as while doing yard work at home, playing sports, or working out at the gym, aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation.
Unfortunately, some employers try to argue that injured workers’ injuries didn’t happen at work even when they did. When employers don’t cooperate with their employees on workers’ compensation claims, it can make it more difficult for their injured employees to get the benefits they need.
If this happens to you, here’s what you need to know.
If your injury happened at your workplace and your employer says it didn’t, you may need additional evidence to support your claim.
If your coworkers or supervisor witnessed your injury, their statements about what happened can help change your employer’s mind about when and where your injury occurred. You can also request access to surveillance camera footage if your workplace and the area where you were injured are equipped with cameras or recording equipment.
If camera footage isn’t available, taking pictures of both your injury (if it’s visible) and where it occurred can paint a clearer picture of what happened to your employer. For example, if you slipped and fell due to a trip hazard at work, pictures of both your injury (including redness and bruises) and the location in your workplace where you fell (such as a wet floor or broken step) can serve as valuable evidence to prove your injury happened where and how you say it did.
Your doctor’s diagnosis of your injury can also help strengthen your workers’ compensation claim. Your doctor can determine how recently your injury occurred (ruling out it as a pre-existing injury) and also connect it to how your job may have caused it.
For example, if you work a job that requires you to frequently pick up heavy boxes or objects and you injured your lower back, your doctor can describe exactly how that task may have caused your lower back injury. If you suffered a repetitive stress injury, your doctor can also connect how certain injuries are more likely to occur in workers who perform frequent motions over the course of weeks, months, or years.
Sometimes, employers are correct when they say that their injured employees’ accidents didn’t happen at work. However, that doesn’t always mean their employees are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Certain types of accidents and injuries that happen away from the workplace can make employees eligible for benefits, including:
As long as you were performing or fulfilling a work-related task when you were injured, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits regardless of where your injury occurred.
Some employers will do anything to avoid their employees filing workers’ compensation claims. When employees receive workers’ compensation, it means they aren’t producing profits for their employers, and it also means their employers may see increases in their workers’ compensation insurance policy premiums.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we aren’t concerned about the effects that workers’ compensation claims have on employers. Instead, we’re concerned about the effects that workplace and work-related injuries have on hard-working employees throughout Ohio.
If you or someone you love was injured while working, you shouldn’t have to deal with an uncooperative employer who selfishly wants to see your claim denied by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Instead, let our Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers handle your claim—and any roadblocks put up by your employer—while you focus on getting better.
Contact us anytime for a free consultation.
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