People know that there are laws and insurance programs that protect them if they get hurt at work, but they don’t know the details until they need to make use of those protections.
As someone who recently got hurt on the job in Ohio, you may know that there are personal injury laws in the state that allow you to sue someone you believe is responsible for causing you injury and financial losses because of their misconduct or negligence. You may also know that you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
How do you determine if you should file a lawsuit or a workers’ compensation benefits claim?
Hurt workers can always turn to workers’ compensation
Your employer has to have coverage to protect you against workplace injuries and limit their liability. Under the no-fault workers’ compensation rules in Ohio, employees largely give up their right to file a civil lawsuit against their employer when they get hurt on the job in exchange for the protection of workers’ compensation insurance.
In all but the most severe cases of employer negligence and regulatory non-compliance, workers cannot bring a lawsuit against the company that employs them for an injury on the job. They can seek medical benefits and disability pay through workers’ compensation.
However, workers hurt in the course of their employment may have the right to bring a third-party personal injury lawsuit against an individual or business other than their employer.
How third-party claims work
Maybe there was a defective machine at your company, and you can hold the manufacturer accountable for the defect that caused your injuries. Perhaps you got hurt on the property of a client who kept their home in such serious disrepair that you fell and suffered injuries.
In situations where a business or individual directly contributed to a workplace injury, the affected employee can bring a lawsuit. In scenarios involving a workplace fatality, surviving family members can sometimes bring a claim against a third party that caused a tragic workplace incident.
A third-party lawsuit offers a secondary form of compensation in addition to what workers’ compensation benefits provide. Learning more about the protections available after an injury on the job can help defray expenses that the injury causes with workers’ compensation benefits and possibly a civil claim.