Under Ohio law, any business with more than one employee must purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover the medical expenses of workers injured or who become ill on the job.
If you're an employee of a small business, you may feel uncomfortable filing a claim when you're injured at work. Small businesses often have a friendly, family-like atmosphere, and you may worry that seeking worker's compensation for your recovery will damage your relationship with the owners. However, it’s important to remember that filing an Ohio workers’ comp claim isn't an attack on your employer. The coverage is there to protect both parties, and there's no reason to worry.
Ohio Workers’ Comp Is Insurance
When your home is damaged in a storm or your car is banged up in a crash, you file a claim with your insurance company to pay for repairs. Workers’ comp functions in much the same way. To put your mind at ease, remember:
- This is a no-fault situation. Workers’ compensation claims don't bring up the question of fault. When you file a claim, you're not accusing your employer of causing your illness or injuries. You're merely requesting the benefits you were guaranteed when you accepted the position.
- Your employer benefits, too. In exchange for carrying workers’ comp insurance, your employer is protected from personal injury lawsuits that otherwise may have resulted from the situation. For example, if your injury or illness was caused by unsafe conditions—a slippery floor, or exposure to a toxic substance—you cannot sue for damages because you're collecting workers’ comp.
- Families take care of each other. If your employer has created a family atmosphere at work, he should have no problem taking care of his employees. Workers’ compensation is one way to do this.
If you're injured on the job, seek medical care and report the injury in writing to your employer. You can then file a workers’ comp claim by filling out the First Report of Injury form to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Usually, this is a straightforward process with no problems.
Even Small Business Owners Will Dispute Employee Claims
While Ohio workers’ comp is no-fault coverage, you have to show the injury happened while you were performing the duties of your job or that your illness was caused by workplace exposure.
It's possible an employer—even a friendly one—might dispute your claim if he doesn't believe your injury or illness is work-related. Or he may take advantage of your close relationship and try to convince you not to file because he's worried about increased premiums.
If you hit a snag in the application process, please contact me. I've helped hundreds of workers receive rightful compensation and can assure you-you'll have the attention and counsel you deserve for your unique circumstances.
To learn more about these claims, request our free book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio.