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Contrary to popular belief, workers’ compensation benefits are available for ALL employees after they suffer on-the-job injuries, provided that A) their employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, and B) they weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they suffered their injuries.
In Ohio, workers’ compensation is considered no-fault. That means that if you were hurt while working (and were sober), even if the injury was your fault due to your negligence, you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and should file a claim. However, just because you can and do file a claim doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get benefits!
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) doesn’t approve every claim that it reviews. In fact, you have more than a one in 10 chance of having your claim denied. Losing out on the benefits you desperately need can be a major blow to your finances and your ability to stay on top of your family’s everyday expenses. And while it’s possible to appeal the BWC’s decision, doing so takes time, and there’s no guarantee the appeal will work either—especially if you go it alone.
Because of the risk of being initially denied benefits, it’s important to have an experienced law firm on your side as soon as you decide to apply for workers’ compensation. And at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Ohio workers’ compensation lawyers know exactly what the BWC looks for when reviewing and approving claims. With our legal team working on your claim, you won’t have to worry about mistakes or oversights costing you the money you’re owed.
Now that you know that pursuing workers’ compensation benefits is nearly a no-brainer for almost all employees in Ohio (and the benefits of having a lawyer help you with your claim), is there any reason to NOT pursue a claim?
Your injury is minor and will result in less than eight missed days of work.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide replacement income to workers who expect to miss a substantial amount of time at work. If your injury will only keep you out of work for a few days, it’s not worth pursuing a claim, as you’re not eligible for benefits.
Your injury didn’t happen at work or during work-related activities.
If you were injured at home, on vacation, or at the grocery store, you probably aren’t eligible for workers’ comp benefits. However, you may be eligible for disability benefits if you have an active disability insurance policy.
You aren’t covered by workers’ compensation.
Not all workers in Ohio are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. For example, if you work for yourself, you may not have insurance and thus can’t file a claim. That’s also the case if you work for a company as an independent contractor. Because you’re not an employee, you aren’t covered.
Note that your employer discouraging you from filing a claim isn’t a reason to not file a claim. Many employers discourage workers’ compensation claims because it means losing out on labor and potentially higher insurance premiums, but not filing a claim means you losing out on the benefits you’re owed. In addition, remember that your employer isn’t allowed to fire you or retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If your employer is legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance and you work even part-time, you’re eligible for benefits. And because our law firm offers free consultations and never charges for our legal services unless we win our clients’ claims, there’s no reason to NOT call our team right now for a free consultation.
Having a lawyer can improve your chances of getting the benefits you’re owed, and there’s no risk for contacting Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy. Get in touch with us today—we know what it takes to improve your chances of getting your claim approved or winning your appeal with the BWC.
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