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How does workers’ compensation law define “injury”?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2016 | Workers' Compensation

In prior posts, we have explained that any person working in Ohio who suffers an injury related to their employment is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In this post, we will explore the precise definition of “injury” including what kinds of conditions are included in the definition and what kinds of conditions are excluded.

Ohio’s workers’ compensation statute relies on the common definition of the word “injury,” that is, damage to the body. The injury must be accidental in both its character and its result. Certain conditions are explicitly excluded from the definition of injury. Psychiatric conditions are not considered to be an injury unless they arose from or were caused by a work-related injury. An emotional injury caused by sexual conduct that was coerced by threat of physical harm is also considered to be an injury for purposes of workers’ compensation. Other excluded conditions are the natural deterioration of tissue and organ or other part of the body and any condition that existed before the injury in question, unless the injury substantially aggravated the pre-existing condition.

Documenting the substantial aggravation of a pre-existing condition can be difficult. The aggravation must be substantial and must be documented by objective diagnostic or clinical findings or objective test results. Subjective complaints, i.e., statements by the worker without medical support, will not support a finding of substantial aggravation.

Pursuing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace injury can frequently require legal assistance. A lawyer who specializes in handling workers’ compensation claims can provide a helpful evaluation of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering benefits.

Source: Ohio Rev. Code Sec. 4123.01(C), accessed on Oct. 24, 2016