Imagine this scenario: You are on the job at an industrial workplace. You are wearing proper protective gear, using caution when working with heavy machinery and paying attention to your surroundings. Suddenly, an item stored up on a shelf in the warehouse falls and hits you on the head.
No one seems to know what happened or what caused the item to fall; but you are hurt and you need medical attention. The accident appears to have been the cause of a fluke; no one was careless or negligent. No one person or condition made the item fall, it simply got loose. In this situation, do you know if you would qualify for workers’ compensation?
Too many workers would say no; they think that compensation is only available if an injury stems from inadequate safety precautions or a reckless, negligent employer.
However, this is inaccurate. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to victims of work injuries or illnesses regardless of whether negligence existed or not. In Ohio, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that an injured employee doesn’t have to prove an employer was at fault for an injury to collect benefits, and as a trade-off, generally cannot sue the employer for a workplace injury.
There are options to file legal claims for additional compensation if an injury stems from third-party negligence.
The workers’ compensation laws in Ohio can be quite complex and confusing. There are a number of exceptions, limitations and requirements that must be considered in any case involving a request for workers’ compensation. In order to more fully understand these rules and how to pursue maximum compensation for a workplace injury or illness, workers can consult an attorney who can help them identify their options and rights.