I Was Injured at Work in Ohio. Can I Sue?
Understanding if and how to sue for workplace injuries in Ohio can be complicated. Here’s what to do if you are injured at work in Ohio.
If an employee is injured at work in Ohio, it is unlikely they are able to sue their employer under the no-fault system.They are eligible to receive compensation and they are eligible to sue a third party responsible for their injury.
In Ohio, worker’s compensation is a no-fault system which means employees can receive worker’s compensation without having to prove their employers were at fault for the injury. The no-fault system makes it likely that you will receive benefits for your injury but makes it difficult and unlikely for a person to be able to sue their employer for workplace injury.
Exemption to No-Fault Compensation
Under Ohio Law, intentional torts are limited and rare cases where an individual is eligible to sue their employer. If an employer deliberately intended to cause an employee harm, deliberately removed safety equipment, or if their actions were “substantially certain” to cause harm, the injured worker is eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer.
These cases are extremely difficult to win due to the hard task of proving the employer deliberately intended to injure the worker.
Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation Health-Care System
Ohio employers are either state-funded or self-insured. If they are state-funded, they pay a premium to the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation who then pays compensation directly to the injured worker. Under the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation’s health care system, managed care organizations (MCOS) manage the medical and return to work services for an injury claim
What To Do If You Sustain a Workplace Injury
The first thing you should do if you are injured at work is to seek medical attention and tell your employee or relevant supervisor about the injury.
If your employer is state-funded, tell the doctor or medical practitioner at the treatment site the name of your employer’s MCO so they can file a claim. If they write any prescriptions, the injured worker must inform the pharmacy the prescription is for treatment of an Ohio worker’s compensation claim and provide them with a social security number and date of the injury. Either the injured worker, the employer, or the doctor must file the claim within 24 hours of the incident.
If your employer is self-insured, the injured employee must file the claim themselves with their employer.
After Filing a Claim
If your employer is state-funded, file the claim with the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation who will provide the injured employee with a claim number, the name and number of the MCO, and bureau contact information. They will then begin evaluating the claim by collecting evidence and interviewing witrnesses and make an initial decision regarding benefits.
Related: Ohio Workplace Discrimination Laws
If the employee disagrees with the bureau-awarded benefits, they have 14 days to appeal the bureau’s decision.
FAQS about What to Do if Injured at Work in Ohio
How long does it take to file a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation?
It takes no longer than 2 weeks to file a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.
Does the no-fault system apply to third party lawsuits?
The no-fault barriers preventing employees from suing their employers does not apply to third parties like manufacturers. For example, an injured worker is eligible to sue the manufacturer of defective machinery or products if they played a role in the injury.