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Cincinnati Car Accident While On The Job: Having A Personal Injury and Ohio BWC Claim

Sep 4, 2011
3 min read

We have many clients who have been injured in a Cincinnati car accident while on the job. When this occurs, it is possible to bring both a personal injury claim as well as a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (“BWC”) See:

The Motor Vehicle Crash Must Be in the Course of And Arising Out of Employment

A typical issue that arises with respect to the workmans comp claim is whether or not the collision occurred in “the course of and arising out of” the injured worker’s employment. The ‘in the course of” prong is construed to relate to the time, place and circumstances of the injury, while the ‘arising out of’ prong is interpreted as referring to a causal connection between the employment and the injury. See Fisher v. Mayfield (1990), 49 Ohio St.3d 275, 276-277. Generally, the crash needs to occur while the employee is engaging in an activity that is consistent with the employment contract and logically related to the employer’s business. Courts also look to the totality of the circumstances of the accident, including the proximity of the accident to the place of employment, the degree of control over the accident scene by the employer, and the benefit the employer received from the employee’s presence at the scene of the accident.

The above analysis is very much conducted on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, a crash clearly occurs in the course of and arising out of employment. An employee being injured while driving a client to an appointment is a good example of that. On the other hand, some cases are less clear. A traveling salesman driving on a personal errand during his workday is an example.

The Ohio BWC is a Statutory Subrogee

Under Ohio Revised Code 4123.93, when a personal injury claim exists in addition to a BWC claim, the BWC becomes what is termed a “statutory subrogee.” What this means is that the Ohio BWC has a right to recollect money for compensation and medical benefits that it has paid out for an injured worker. This occurs when the worker collects money from a judgment or settlement. See the Ohio BWC’s website for a good discussion on subrogation:

McKenzie & Snyder handles personal injury and Ohio BWC claims for workers in Cincinnati, Colerain, Hamilton, West Chester, Mason, Fairfield, Oxford, Ross, College Hill, Mt Healthy, Reading, Middletown, Dayton, Springboro, Fairborn, Cheviot and more.

Written by Andrew Tobergte

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