Getting seriously hurt at work is not the same as coming down with the flu or even being diagnosed with a life-altering illness. If you fall off a ladder or succumb to years of overexertion on the job, you have the right to benefits to pay for your medical treatment and lost wages separate from sick time and health insurance. Workers' comp is an insurance program most Ohio employers must carry, and you should not be dissuaded from filing a claim after a work-related accident.
Why You Should File a Workers' Comp Claim When You Are Injured at Work
Coworkers or supervisors might try to discourage you from filing a claim, but you have a legal right to benefits when hurt on the job, and you shouldn't hesitate to pursue them. Understand these reasons for filing a workers' comp claim.
- Workers' comp protects employers and employees. Both workers and employers benefit from the workers' comp system. While it provides financial and medical assistance to injured workers, it also protects employers from legal liability for most workplace accidents.
- Health insurance won't cover work injuries. While you might get immediate treatment for an injury from your regular doctor covered by your health insurance, once it is discovered that your injury is work-related, the health insurer will expect to be paid back by workers' comp.
- It's the only way to get disability if you can't work for an extended period. If, God forbid, your injury turns into a temporary or permanent disability, workers' comp is the only way you'll be able to get your lost wages replaced and pay for ongoing medical treatment.
- It's not as hard as you think. You're not the first worker to be injured on the job, and you won't be the last. Your employer should have a process in place to help you file a claim and find an approved doctor. In addition, you can get information from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) website.
- You can get help! You have the right to legal help to file a claim or overturn a denial. If you have any difficulty with your employer, you can contact a workers' comp lawyer to protect your rights.
Why People Hesitate to File Ohio Workers' Comp Claims
There are several reasons you might hesitate to file a claim for workers' compensation. If any of these apply to you, we encourage you to contact our office for help understanding why you should not let your fear stand in the way of getting the benefits you deserve.
Fear of Retaliation
Some employees worry that their employer may retaliate or treat them unfairly if they file a workers' compensation claim. This fear could lead to job insecurity or a hostile work environment.
Lack of Awareness
Some workers may not fully understand their rights or the workers' compensation process, and they might be unaware of the benefits available to them.
Belief that Injury Is Minor
Workers with what they consider minor injuries may decide not to file a claim, thinking the process is unnecessary for their situation. However, minor injuries can sometimes develop into more serious issues.
Concern About Stigmatization
There can be a stigma associated with filing workers' compensation claims, and some workers may be concerned about being labeled as someone looking for an easy way out or trying to take advantage of the system.
Sometimes, employees might choose not to file a claim because they are concerned about their premiums going up for the employer, especially if they have a good working relationship with their employer and wish to maintain it.
It's important for injured workers to be aware of their rights and the protections provided by Ohio workers' compensation laws. Seeking our legal advice can help you make informed decisions about your specific situation.