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Cleveland Ohio Lawyer files Workers Compensation Claims for Workers Injured on the Job

Workers' compensation (workers' comp) is an administrative area of Ohio law that requires employers to compensate workers that are injured at work for lost wages, medical bills, permanent injuries, regardless of who was at fault. If you have sustained an injury on the job, your Ohio BWC workers' compensation claim could need immediate action to preserve your rights. Attorney Fees are limited to a reasonable percentage of any compensation you receive.

Whether your employer carries workers' compensation insurance (state fund) or is a self-insured employer, they are required to fully compensate you for your injuries.  If you've been injured at work, you are entitled to Ohio BWC workers' comp. If a third party was at fault for your injuries you may also have a personal injury claim.

If you've been injured at work (whether your injuries happened in an office building, in a factory, on a construction site, while driving a truck, or under any work-related circumstance) you are entitled to Ohio BWC workers' compensation, and if a third-party was at fault for your injury, you may also be entitled to compensation in a personal injury lawsuit (you may have a personal injury claim against someone other than your employer, such as a subcontractor, vendor or equipment manufacturer).

Ohio Car/Truck Accidents while at work:  work-related car and truck accidents can be difficult because of the different standards of negligence that apply in workers' compensation and personal injury cases. A car accident may be considered work-related whether the injured worker was driving a company vehicle or his or her own vehicle, as long as the driving was for a work purpose (not during a "personal errand"). If you were injured in a work-related auto accident, you are entitled to Ohio BWC workers' comp no matter who was at fault. You may also have a claim against the another driver if he/she was at fault. 

Ohio Construction accidents: When injuries occur on construction sites in Ohio, injured workers may have several sources of   compensation available. Often Ohio construction accidents can be very serious and cause catastrophic injuries or even death. Examples of construction site accidents:

  • Unsafe Work Areas - Injuries due to slip and falls are among the most common on a construction site. Unsafe conditions include uncovered holes or trenches and exposed stakes and rebars.
  • Falling Dangers - Occurs when a worker near an open-sided floor, steps backwards or to the side without looking. Another falling hazard occurs on stairwells with no guardrails. 
  • Misuse of Stepladders - This is one of the leading causes of injury and long-term disability in Ohio. An injury can occur when a worker falls from a tipped-over stepladder. Another accident that can occur with stepladders is when tools are left on the top platform. When someone moves the ladder, the tools fall on someone's head. 
  • Roof Construction Falls - The number one cause of death in construction occurs where no fall protection is provided. Falls can occur when anchors (designed to provide fall arrest with an attached lifeline) are not properly attached or more than one lifeline is on a single anchor.
  • Scaffolding Problems - scaffolding accidents occur through unsafe access to scaffolds and tools and other materials falling off scaffolding and injuring workers.

  • Collapsed Excavation Walls and Trenches - The weight of soil (2000-3000 pounds per yard) prevents a trapped worker from breathing, leading to death within minutes.

  • Power Tool Accidents - These accidents are frequently caused by not using appropriate eye and ear protection. Nail gun injuries have increased each year making eye injuries quite common. It's not surprising given that a nail comes out of the gun with the equivalent force of a .22 caliber bullet. Also, not having proper guards in place on the power tools can lead to cuts and amputations.
  • Lifting/Body Straining - The number one cause of injuries, disability claims and medical costs in construction are soft tissue injuries-strains, sprains and chronic injuries. 
  • Vehicle Accidents -  A common accident occurs when turning or maneuvering a forklift with the load raised. Another dangerous construction site vehicle is the dump truck. A frequent accident involves the dump truck backing up and hitting a pedestrian.

*If you have been injured while working on a construction site, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits, and you may also have a personal injury claim if your injuries were caused by a third party — someone other than your direct employer or the employees of your direct employer. Safety violations (VSSR) are a unique and very technical aspect of Ohio workers' compensation law.

Work-related fatalities: The spouses and children of workers who are killed on the job are entitled to special compensation under Ohio law. If you have lost a family member or loved one in a workplace accident, nothing will ever compensate you for your loss; however, your family may need financial assistance after losing the person who provided you with support. The Ohio BWC workers' compensation death claim procedure provides allowances for the spouses and children of workers who have been killed in workplace accidents. Children are entitled to payments until they turn 18, and spouses are entitled to payments for life unless they remarry. While Ohio BWC workers' compensation death claim benefits are available regardless of who was at fault for the fatal accident, we can also explore whether you have a valid wrongful death claim against someone other than your loved one's employer whose negligence may have contributed to his or her death.

Temporary Total Disability (TT): At different stages of your claim, you may be entitled to benefits for your total or partial disability status. Injured workers are entitled to these benefits if it is medically proven that they are temporarily unable to go back to work. This stage ends either when the employee is ready to work or the doctor has determined that the employee has achieved maximum improvement (MMI) and is still unable to work.

Permanent Partial Disability: If your workers' comp doctor determines that you are able to return to work, you will probably be entitled to a permanent partial disability settlement to compensate you for the long-term results of your injury on your ability to work the same as you were before your injury. Form C92 is filed with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and once your percent of disability is established you are paid at a rate established by Ohio BWC for the year in which your injury occurred.

Permanent Total Disability: If it is proven that you are no longer able to work due to your most recent workplace injuries or due to the impact of all of the workplace injuries you have suffered over the course of your life, you are entitled to benefits for the rest of your life, unless you return to work. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and you can receive both at the same time but cannot receive more than 80% of your pre-injury wages.

Reviewing older Ohio BWC workers' compensation claims: If you have received Ohio BWC workers' compensation in the past, you may deserve additional benefits. Ohio BWC workers compensation Attorney Patrick Merrick can represent you at any stage of your Ohio BWC workers' compensation case (whether you still haven't your initial claim FROI, are scheduled for a hearing at the Ohio Industrial Commission, or need to appeal a bad decision).

New Wage Loss Rule Goes into Effect February 13, 2014

After a long review involving significant input from stakeholders, the Industrial Commission and Bureau of Workers’ Compensation have successfully enacted a new joint rule for the processing and adjudication of requests for wage loss compensation. 
The new rule contains a definition section which is alphabetized for ease of reading and separate paragraphs setting out the prerequisites for receiving working and non-working wage loss compensation. 
Additionally, the new rule provides guidelines for on-line job searches and codifies case law that created exceptions to the requirement of a supplemental job search for those injured workers applying for or receiving working wage loss compensation.
The new rule also addresses the situation in which an injured worker secures a job that will likely become comparably paying work and/or provides other employment-related benefits.

Areas of practice: Workers' compensation, (SSD) Social Security disability, (SSI) Supplemental Security Income, Personal injury, Medical Practice, Birth Injuries and Delivery Room Mistakes and more.

Ohio Work Injury and Workers' Compensation Attorney Patrick Merrick - Representing workers for Fair Compensation for Injuries on the Job in Ohio

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