The Legal Requirements of the Workers Compensation Law

doctors looking at xray of injuryYou may have questions about the legal requirements for filing for workers’ compensation in Ohio and greater Cincinnati. For example, you might wonder if you are eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits if you are injured on the job. You also might have questions about what benefits are included in worker’s compensation.

One of the more specific requirements has to do with timing. To have a valid claim for an injury or illness, it must have occurred in the course of work within the scope of your employment. You must also be an employee of the company at the time of the incident.

Also, the illness or injury must be work-related. If the incident resulted from doing work that benefited the employer, the law views it as a work-related injury. Also, the law requires you to file your claim within the period established under the workers’ compensation statute, generally two years from the date of injury or illness.

Independent contractors are not usually considered hourly employees, which does not qualify them for coverage. Unfortunately, too many employers try to reduce their tax commitment by misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they should be considered employees. Suppose you are listed by a company as an independent contractor. In that case, you may still want to consult a workers’ comp attorney who understands the law because you might actually be an hourly employee eligible for workers’ comp.

Watch Out for Unfair Settlement Offers from Adjusters

Injured workers requiring compensation need to protect themselves from unfair treatment. The biggest mistake injured workers make is assuming that workers’ compensation insurance will offer a fair settlement. The reality is that few workers receive settlements large enough to cover their current and future expenses.

Many injured employees receive an offer of a lump sum settlement that may look significant but is deceptively inadequate. If you are offered a lump sum settlement, compare that figure against the total of all your costs and projected future expenses. Doing so is especially important if you file for disability after a work injury.

When trying to counter an unfair settlement offer, do not think you have to do it alone. Before you agree to any settlement, enlist the help of a professional law firm. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you estimate what you deserve to receive for your settlement amount before you settle your claim.

So Many Expenses to Take into Account

A common mistake first-time workers’ comp applicants make is failing to include all covered expenses. Things like bills for doctor visits and lost wages are easy to remember, but many individuals stop there. There are many other medical costs, including surgeries, ambulance transportation, blood tests and other lab work-ups, prescription payments, hospital stays, specialist referrals, and more.

You also should not forget to calculate future medical expenses and any impacts on or changes in your earning potential. If you have psychological trauma from the accident or subsequent medical procedures, you also need to factor in those costs.

Workers’ compensation benefits can also compensate for hearing impairment, vision loss, disfigurement, or loss of a body part. Applicants typically receive payments from these specific loss benefits according to a defined schedule. These payments occur whether or not you miss any time from work.

Physical and Mental Trauma

Pain and trauma do not just come from the injury itself. They can also emerge because of any persistent condition stemming from unsafe conditions in which you have worked. The discomfort can also be psychological and emotional. Psychological harm from a job-related illness or injury is also subject to workers’ comp reimbursements and benefits.

For some individuals, a work-related injury can breed post-traumatic stress. If the experience of getting hurt on the job keeps you up at night or preoccupies your thoughts throughout the day, then you might have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition can manifest in many ways, including exhaustion, depression, short-temperedness, or restlessness.

Even if your work-related illness or injury has not caused full-on PTSD, you may still suffer considerable mental strain, stress, and anxiety. These qualify as mental health issues but do not require professional counseling or mental health care to merit compensation as workers’ comp benefits.

Proven Top-Tier Lawyers to Fight for Your Rights

Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co., has a team of dedicated lawyers specializing in workers’ compensation for three decades. Our experience in workers’ comp law has earned us professional acclaim, including the top tier of Best Lawyers by US News & World Report. As trusted legal advisors for workers’ comp claims, we’ll fight to represent your best interests to the fullest extent of the law.

Workers Compensation Lawyers with a Personal Approach

As proven workers’ compensation attorneys, we take pride in serving workers injured on the job. Instead of representing corporate interests, we focus on cases involving everyday workers fighting for their just compensation.

We have been fighting for the rights of everyday workers in Cincinnati since 1988, and we have been able to do so with a relatively small staff. Your lawyer will be your main point of contact most of the time. You can be assured that your lawyer will work with you directly to keep you informed of your case and give you honest answers to your questions. Also, most of our work is done on a contingency basis. This means that we do not collect payment until you win your case.