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What role does fault play in an Ohio work injury claim?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Work injuries can be costly for both a worker and their employer. Injured workers may miss multiple days of work, which may mean that they lose out on income. They will also probably incur medical expenses that they need to cover. The business will be short a worker and may have to worry about accommodating them when they return to work, which can sometimes be expensive.

Some workers who get hurt on the job in Ohio don’t feel comfortable pursuing a workers’ compensation benefits claim at first. They worry that there might be a lack of proof that their employer is to blame for their injuries, or they have some degree of personal fault for the incident that left them injured.

How big of a role does fault play in an Ohio workers’ compensation claim?

Fault typically does not affect benefits claims

It is to the benefit of both workers and employers that the workers’ compensation system in Ohio provides no-fault coverage. Employers can count on protection from liability, as the same law that requires workers’ compensation coverage also protects them from lawsuits brought by injured workers or the surviving family members of workers who die. The workers making a claim will never have to prove that the business was to blame for their injuries. They also won’t lose their right to coverage if a mistake on their part contributed to their injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are available whether someone shuts their hand in a door or gets hurt by a piece of falling equipment.

Some forms of fault could lead to challenges

In rare scenarios where employers can make credible claims about employees being under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job and that intoxication causing their injury, the employer could use someone’s impaired state on the job as a defense against their workers’ compensation claim. If there is proof that a worker injured themselves on purpose, that could also lead to a loss of eligibility for workers’ compensation coverage.

In all but those exceptionally rare circumstances, Ohio workers typically don’t have to worry about fault for an on-the-job injury influencing their right to coverage. Learning the basic rules that apply to workers’ compensation benefits may make filing a claim less stressful for injured workers and their loved ones.