Ohio workers’ compensation (work comp) is occupational insurance. If your injury is covered, your medical bills may be paid, and you may be paid cash for lost wages and disability for conditions caused by the work injury.
What types of injuries are covered in Ohio?
Ohio law provides compensation for injury, occupational disease and death. There must be proof that (1) you have the condition and (2) it is work-related. Whether you injure your low back, neck, knee, shoulder or foot, you must prove that there is a “causal relationship” between the condition and your job.
What if there was no specific accident?
In the landmark case, Village v. General Motors Corp., the Ohio Supreme Court held that injuries that develop over time are compensable. For example, say you are required to regularly shovel gravel and you develop a lumbar sprain as a result. Simply because there was no accident (e.g. a slip and fall) per se, does not mean you cannot bring an Ohio workers’ compensation claim. In fact, such repetitive or cumulative trauma claims are quite common.
What if an old injury was aggravated?
Aggravation of old injuries or conditions are also compensable under Ohio law. However, effective October 11, 2006, injured workers must prove that the aggravation was “substantial.” Such aggravations must be documented by “objective diagnostic findings, objective clinical findings, or objective rest results.” That is, subjective complaints alone will not be enough.
What about psychological injuries?
This is a common question. The short answer is that psychological injuries are compensable provided that there is a physical injury associated with it. For example, say you break your leg and cannot work. You are in constant pain and become deeply depressed. The depression would be compensable as it arises from the physical condition.
The definition of “injury” under Ohio work comp law does not include psychiatric problems that are caused solely by emotional distress.
If you would like to discuss your work injury with one of the attorneys at McKenzie & Snyder, please call 513-737-5180 to schedule a free consultation, or use the contact form to the right.
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Written by Andrew Tobergte