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Columbus Injured Worker Legal Blog

You should know what to expect from the workers' comp process

You know that injured workers have the right to seek certain types of benefits and support after an accident. If you suffered an injury in a workplace incident or you became ill as a result of your job requirements, you have the right to move forward with a claim with your Ohio employer's insurance. What you may not know, however, is exactly what to expect from the claims process.

It can help to learn about what to do if you need to file a claim and what is involved with the process. This preparation can save you time if you find yourself in a position where you need financial support in a timely manner. This can also help you protect your rights and fight for the full amount of benefits you deserve.

Wrongful death claims: Eligible claimants and available damages

The loss of a loved one is always difficult to cope with. Matters can get worse if that death is due to the negligence of someone else. In those cases, the kin of the deceased not only have to deal with the emotional loss but also the financial loss that accompany an unforeseen death. Fortunately, there are provisions in Ohio law that allow a person's family to claim compensation for the death.

The law in Ohio defines wrongful death as the loss of life due to someone else's wrongful action, neglect or default. Usually, the family members of the deceased are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit to claim damages by establishing the financial and emotional losses suffered as a result of the death. Based on this aspect, it can be said that a wrongful death claim is very similar to a personal injury claim.

Out-of-state workers and workers' compensation in Ohio

Nowadays, it is common for many workers to cross state borders in search of work. Most of them do so in the hope of making a better living than they can in their home state. While they may receive a better opportunity in a different state, they remain exposed to various workplace hazards, regardless of whether they are working in their home state or in another state.

Per Ohio's workers' compensation laws, out-of-state workers are eligible for workers' compensation in the event of an injury or illness if they have sufficient contacts with the state of Ohio. To determine whether a person has sufficient contacts, several factors will be considered.

Threats to outdoor workers during the summer months

During the summer months when the temperatures rise, so do the threats to outdoor workers. The heat and sun exposure can have devastating effects on the physical well-being of the people whose jobs require them to spend a significant amount of time outdoors. It is important for workers to be aware of risks and to understand how to stay safe. 

Ohio employers bear the responsibility of ensuring their workers are as safe as reasonably possible. During the summer, this means understanding the risks associated with sun exposure and heat. Taking preventative measures can reduce injuries and illnesses, but workers also have the right to know what to do in case they need to file a workers' compensation claim.

Does the SSA expedite certain claims for SSD benefits?

Many people in Columbus, Ohio, rely on Social Security disability benefits at some point in their lives. The reasons for applying for SSD benefits can vary: some may need the money after retirement, while others may need it because of a disabling illness. The Social Security Administration provides these benefits after determining a person's eligibility. The entire determination process can sometimes take as long as a year before the claimant receives benefits.

To address this concern for some people who are seriously ill, the SSA runs the Compassionate Allowances program, or CAL. The main purpose of CAL is to identify diseases that clearly cause impairment. By implementing this program, the SSA is able to identify obviously disabled individuals for whom benefits should be expedited.

Worker injured in lawn mower accident succumbs to injuries

Sometimes even the most peaceful and uneventful work environments can be the location of a deadly workplace accident. For example, how often does one think of a city park employee being injured or dying while performing duties?

One such incident occurred recently in Ohio when a 44-year-old parks and recreation employee from the city of Massillon succumbed to his injuries after being involved in a lawn mower accident. The accident occurred when the lawn mower he was operating overturned and injured him. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he fought for his life for two days.

Did you know you have the right to be safe at work?

When you clock in at work, you are probably not thinking about the many ways that you could experience an injury in the workplace. Whether you work behind a desk or on a construction site, there are certain things that could cause you harm. No matter your job description, you have the right to expect safety in your place of work. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers are entitled to a reasonable expectation of safety when they are on the job. It is the responsibility of each employer to provide whatever employees need to be safe, whether that is specific types of training or equipment. In the event of a workplace accident, you also have the right to seek benefits through a workers' compensation claim.

How does workers' compensation affect SSD benefits?

When someone sustains a work-related injury, the first step they should take is to file a workers' compensation claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The benefits that the injured worker receives are compensation for disability, lost wages and medical expenses. They will also receive assistance for travel expenses, rehabilitation and change of occupation. In addition to these benefits, an injured worker can also apply for Social Security disability benefits.

However, the worker must remember that workers' compensation can affect the SSD benefits that they receive. According to the rules set by the Social Security Administration, if an injured worker receives workers' compensation, or certain other public disability benefits, along with SSD benefits, the total amount of benefits that the worker receives from all sources combined cannot exceed 80 percent of the average current earning of that worker prior to becoming disabled.

Miner's rights per the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act

Ohio is among the major producers of coal and other minerals in the United States, which means that a significant number of workers are employed in the mining industry. Miners are often at a higher risk for injuries than most other workers, owing to the harsh conditions they usually have to work in. Therefore, in order to address the issues specific to the mining industry, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act was passed in 1977. This act clearly states the rights and responsibilities of a miner.

Per the FMSHA, employers in the mining industry must not discriminate against any miner, miner group or representative in the event they raise concerns against the working conditions. The FMSHA also allows the miner or the representative to report any and all violations of safety measures or of the provisions of the FMSHA to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. In fact, the act also allows a miner or a representative to request the MSHA to conduct an inspection of the mine.

Understanding the SSD benefits available for mental disorders

It is well-known to many Columbus, Ohio, residents that people with physical disabilities have access to Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, many people think that it is only physical disabilities that are covered by the SSD insurance program. SSD benefits are also available for mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more, as long as the condition impairs the patient's ability to work.

As in the case with physical disabilities, receiving SSD benefits for mental health conditions requires an applicant to submit prior medical records that establish the disability. A separate medical consultative exam might also be necessary if the symptoms are not clearly manifest. It is crucial to determine whether, and to what extent, the mental disability impairs the person's ability to earn an income.

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

89 East Nationwide Boulevard
Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215

Toll Free: 866-552-6353
Phone: 614-929-3126
Fax: 614-224-3933
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