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What you need to know about workers compensation in Ohio.

If you’ve been hurt on the job, chances are you’re worried about what to do next. You’re stressed about how you’ll pay your regular bills and keep up with expenses while you are recovering. You’re also probably worried about all the unpaid medical bills that just seem to keep pouring in. It’s a tough place to be.

Fortunately, Ohio workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect you and your family by providing compensation benefits.

About Workers’ Compensation in Ohio

Workers’ compensation was designed to protect both employers and employees alike. It helps employers because injured workers cannot file a lawsuit seeking large jury awards. For this reason, when an employer buys workers’ compensation insurance, it also buys predictability and certainty.

On the other hand, the worker who gets hurt on the job does not have to prove negligence or wait years to take a case to a trial.

Sadly, however, in many cases, the insurance company and the employer fight hard to avoid paying, which means employees must hire an attorney if they want a fighting chance at compensation. Here’s what you need to know about filing a workers’ compensation claim in Ohio:

Don’t Assume You Aren’t Eligible Just Because Your Employer Calls You a Contractor

Workers’ compensation laws were designed to protect employees, while offering certainty for employers. They were not designed to protect completely independent contractors who are hired to perform work. So, if you hire a person to come fix your water heater, you aren’t expected to provide workers’ compensation coverage. That’s a clear contractor relationship. Some people are clearly employees, and others are clearly contractors. Then there are a lot of people who sort of fall in between.

Ohio law provides 20 factors to consider when determining whether a person in a construction trade is to be treated as an employee or not. It can get complicated. Just because you fill out a 1099 does not automatically make you a contractor for the purposes of workers’ compensation. When in doubt, check with a local Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer right away.

Workers’ Compensation Fraud Is Incredibly Rare

There is a lot of misinformation out there masquerading as “workers’ compensation information.” The truth is, a lot of injured workers come from a hardworking blue-collar background. They grow up tough, and the thought of being out of work can be devastating. Some worry about what friends and co-workers might think of them if they seek compensation. PBS did a terrific job of documenting the truth behind the myth of workers’ compensation fraud. The truth is, according to the PBS report, only about 1 to 2 percent of all claims involve fraud. If you’ve been hurt, you deserve to have your rights protected, and that’s the law.

Workers’ Compensation Isn’t Just for Large Companies

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) makes it very clear that all employers who have employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. With very few exceptions, most employers in Ohio must carry the required coverage.

Getting Help Is More Convenient Than You Might Realize

If you are hurt on the job anywhere in Northeastern Ohio, you need aggressive and experienced legal help from a team of attorneys who understand what it means to work. You don’t have to travel far to get the help you need.

At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A., we make it easy for you to meet with an attorney. With five offices conveniently located in Youngstown, Akron, Warren, Salem, and Ravenna, chances are we have one near you. Call or visit our law firm online to set up a completely free initial case consultation today.