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Columbus Injured Worker Legal Blog

Opioid use more heavily regulated for injured Ohio workers

For those suffering from a workplace injury, there can be severe pain associated with the incident. It can often be too debilitating for a person to enjoy everyday activities, let alone be able to work after workplace injury. Work injuries can happen in multiple ways and in different injuries. What many have in common is that oftentimes injured workers have to rely on opioid pain relievers in order to manage their pain.

Of course with opioid use comes the risk of long-term dependency. To counter-act this, the Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation is limiting who and how the workers' comp prescriptions can be filled. With this limitation, injured workers may find it difficult to fill prescription for pain medications necessary to get through the day. However, the intention behind regulation is pure in that it is encouraging healthy use of opioid prescriptions.

A summary of Ohio workers' compensation benefits

In our last post, we provided an overview of the essential provisions of Ohio's workers' compensation law. In this post, we will provide a summary of the kinds of benefits that may be paid if a claim for workers' compensation is successful.

The type and amount of benefits that are paid depends upon three factors: the nature of the injury, the extent (percent of disability) of the injury and whether the injury is permanent. Virtually all injured workers will receive a "temporary total" benefit if they are totally disabled, even for a short period of time. A "scheduled loss" award is paid to workers who lose a limb or suffer blindness or loss of hearing. These awards are based upon the worker's medical condition prior to treatment or rehabilitation. A worker whose injury permanently causes the partial loss of use of a limb will receive a "percentage of permanent partial award" based upon the severity of the permanent injury. A worker who is rendered totally and permanently disabled by his or her injury will receive a lifetime benefit based upon the extent of the loss of earning capacity. (A worker who is permanently and totally disabled may also be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits).

Can My Boss Fire Me For Filing A Workers' Comp Claim?

If you are ever injured at work, you may worry about upsetting your boss and losing your job if you decide to seek workers' comp benefits. Thankfully, this is not something you need to fear in Ohio.

In fact, Ohio law expressly states that an employer cannot fire, demote, reassign or take any form of punitive action against you simply because you have filed a workers' comp claim or testified in a workers' compensation proceeding. Furthermore, if your employer violates this anti-retaliation law, you may be entitled to seek:

An overview of workers' compensation law

As the Industrial Revolution advanced across America and into Ohio and surrounding states, workplace injuries became common. Throughout the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century, if injured employees tried to obtain compensation for their injuries, they were met by three effective defenses raised by employers: 1. The worker assumed the risk of injury by accepting the employment; 2. The injury was caused by the negligence of a fellow worker and that worker, not the employer, was liable for the injury; and 3. The employee's own negligence was the cause of the accident.

In order to redress this imbalance and provide a fair system of compensating employees for their injuries, the Ohio legislature adopted the Ohio workers' compensation law in 1911. The law was a compromise: employees were forbidden from bringing tort claims against their employers, and the three defenses enumerated above were abolished. The new law allowed a worker to recover compensation for a workplace injury if he or she could prove the following four elements: 1. The existence of an employer/employee relationship; 2. The injury must be accidental; 3. The injury must have occurred in the course of employment; and 4. The injury must have arisen out of the employment.

Prescribed medical marijuana? You may no longer be eligible for workers' comp.

While Ohio's recently enacted medical marijuana law has been heralded as a significant victory for needy patients suffering from severe medical conditions, it may not be all good news - particularly for injured workers who are in need of workers' compensation benefits.

In fact, some disabled workers may find themselves ineligible or workers' comp benefits if they also happen to be patients taking medical marijuana on a regular basis.

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.

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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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