When an injury occurs in the workplace, there are many preliminary factors that must be addressed before determining which type of claim you may pursue and the type of compensation that can be collected. In order to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, the injury must occur within the course and scope of employment. Courts have defined this as either on the premises while performing work-related activities or when performing a task under the directive of your superior.
Ohio is one of four states that limit the ability to recover for a workplace injury through a workers’ compensation fund. A traditional negligence claim is no longer a valid cause of action against an employer. As a result, so long as your employer pays into the workers’ compensation system in Ohio, filing a workers’ compensation claim is the sole avenue for relief.
The fund allows Ohio employees to recover certain medical and wage loss benefits from the employer without the need to prove the employer’s negligence caused the injury. However, the trade-off for not having to prove the elements of negligence is that the worker does not receive full compensation for the injury, but rather more limited benefits to pay medical bills incurred and a portion of the wage loss incurred. In addition, the workers’ compensation system does not allow for the recovery of pain and suffering.
While the employer may be precluded from having a negligence claim filed against it by virtue of workers’ compensation immunity, if the injury is caused by someone other than a fellow employee on the job, a negligence claim can be asserted against that employee or their company. Therefore, it is very important to determine the relationship between the worker and the individual or company who caused injury to the worker.
Also, if an employer’s conduct is egregious enough in causing injury to the employee, it is possible for an employee to obtain additional damages outside the workers’ compensation system. While the Ohio legislature has set the bar extremely high to prove this type of claim, Plevin & Gallucci is well aware of this hurdle as our attorneys have brought two cases on behalf of severely injured plaintiffs before the Ohio Supreme Court.
Although the Court has even further restricted the ability to prove an intentional tort, the law remains and Plevin & Gallucci attorneys will continue to advocate on behalf of injured workers in Ohio in proving the employer had an intent to injure or that the injury was substantially certain to occur. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.