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Columbus Injured Worker Legal Blog

Understanding wrongful death cases in Ohio

Most Ohioans understand that a person injured because of the negligence of another person may recover damages from that person in a lawsuit. But what happens when the victim of the accident is killed? Can anyone sue the negligent party for damages? The answer is "yes" but the case must comply with an Ohio law entitled "Action for Wrongful Death." In this post, we will outline the key provisions of this law.

The statute creates a right to seek damages - called a "cause of action" - for a death caused by the "wrongful act, neglect, or default" which would have entitled the decedent to sue if death "had not ensued." The lawsuit must be brought by the personal representative of the estate of the decedent for the exclusive benefit of the "surviving spouse, the children, and the parents of the decedent" and other next of kin of the decedent. If the person who is alleged to have been at fault has died, the case may be brought against the administrator or executor of that person's estate.

Top 10 OSHA violations. Are you at risk?

Are you safe at work? While most people never expect to be injured while working, the unfortunate reality and that every year countless employees experience severe injuries - some of which are fatal. In fact, according to the most recent information made available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a shocking 4,821 people suffered fatal injuries while working in 2014, with nearly one-fifth of those deaths occurring in the construction industry alone.

So how did Ohio workers fare? Well, according to the BLS, there were 185 fatal occupational injuries in Ohio during 2014 - a 24 percent increase from the year before.

A short review of SSDI eligibility requirements

This blog frequently how person in Ohio can receive Social Security Disability Insurance ("SSDI") benefits for a specific illness or injury. In this post, we want to step back a bit and review the general requirements for obtaining these very important benefits. These requirements fall into two broad categories: medical and employment. We will deal with the employment requirements first.

To be eligible for SSDI benefits, an applicant must have earned a sufficient number of "work credits" over the course of his or her working life. Current Social Security Administration ("SSA") regulations provide that one credit is earned for every $1,260 of wages or self-employment income. A person can earn a maximum of four credits per year. To be fully eligible, a person must have accumulated 40 work credits, 20 of which must have been earned in the ten years immediately preceding the date upon which the applicant became disabled.

Spinal and brain injuries can be life-changing events

When brain and spinal cord injuries take place, they often come together. A hit to the head, for instance, may result in a concussion as well as whiplash from the whipping motion of the skull. It's up to doctors to diagnose these conditions, but if you are diagnosed, knowing that you can file a legal claim against the person responsible can take some pressure off you.

Traumatic brain injuries cause around 40 percent of all deaths caused by accidents and injuries. That, in total, means around 52,000 people die every year because of those injuries alone. Add to that the possibility of spinal injuries, and you can see that those who do survive may be left with permanent disabilities.

Can I appeal a denied claim for Social Security disability?

If you have been denied Social Security disability, you may wonder what options you have and what appeal options may be available. It is important for disabled individuals applying for SSD benefits to keep in mind that the majority of applications for Social Security disability are initially denied. If your claim for disability benefits has been denied, you are able to appeal through a process called a request for reconsideration of the decision to deny the claim which is the first part of the Social Security disability appeals process.

During the request for reconsideration process, the entire claim for SSD benefits is reviewed again. Common reasons that claims for SSD benefits are denied include that the medical condition the applicant suffers from is not severe or is not expected to last 12 months or longer; the applicant did not provide sufficient medical evidence to support the claim for disability; the applicant is able to perform their usual type of work or another type of work; or the claim may be denied for several other reasons.

Why is heat dangerous in a work environment?

The summer can be devastatingly hot, making work more difficult for those exposed to high temperatures. Without proper breaks and shade, heat can be dangerous or deadly to workers. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created the criteria for a recommended standard for occupational exposure to heat and hot environments.

Heat itself can result in injuries, disease, death and reduced productivity in the workplace. The stress of working in a hot environment can make it easier for workers to make mistakes or take shortcuts to get out of the heat or sun. In 2014, it was found that there is evidence that heat stress is increasing in many work environments, particularly those around the equator, where the temperatures rise and fall in relation to climate change.

SSDI benefits for children with intellectual disability

For many people in Ohio, disabilities are caused by injuries or illnesses, afflicting primarily adults. On occasion, however, conditions that manifest themselves in childhood can be the basis for an award of disability benefits. One such condition is an "intellectual disability," formerly called mental retardation. In this post, we will review the fundamentals of Social Security Disability benefits for this condition.

The general rule states that the child must suffer from "significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive functioning." The required level of severity is met if one of six criteria is satisfied.

Father fights for disabled son's compensation after severe injury

When you're injured at work, you shouldn't have to worry about the funds meant to care for your needs being cut off for no reason. If you find yourself fighting just to survive on the money you receive for disability benefits even though you're meant to get paid from an insurance company, you may be in a position like this family. According to the Aug. 1 news, the young man was 24 at the time of the accident that caused his disability. He had been working as an electrician when he was injured. He was working at a bank that was under construction when he was electrocuted by a high-voltage shock.

Although he spent nearly a month in a coma, he's alive. At age 34, he is completely disabled. He no longer is able to bathe, dress, or speak for himself. He can't walk, so he gets around in a wheelchair. His father says his son has to use a diaper for incontinence.

Ohio Supreme Court upholds workers' rights in employer retaliation case

In Ohio, it is illegal for an employer to fire, demote or retaliate against an employee simply because he or she files or pursues a workers' compensation claim. While this anti-retaliation law is one of the bedrocks of Ohio's workers compensation system, its application was recently questioned in case before the Ohio Supreme Court.

In the opinion titled Onderko v. Sierra Lobo, Inc., the court was asked to decide whether injured employees who have been retaliated against by their bosses must first prove their injuries occurred at work before they can file a claim under Ohio's workers' compensation anti-retaliation statute. The court determined they do not - thereby protecting the rights of Ohio workers and preventing them from having to choose between their jobs and workers' comp benefits they deserve.

Heat sickness and the summer: What employers should do

Heat and cold hazards can affect people in the workplace very quickly. During the summer, heat-related hazards are the most likely, although those working in freezers or in cold atmospheres can be exposed to dangerously low temperatures.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn't require employers to provide heating or air conditioning in a normal workplace, which is something you may be surprised to hear. OSHA does, however, ask that temperatures be controlled between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Failing to do this can expose workers to temperatures that could lead to hypothermia, if it's too cold, or hyperthermia, if it's too hot.

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

89 East Nationwide Boulevard
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Columbus, OH 43215

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