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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

When Can I Collect a Penalty From the Workers' Comp Insurer? | Ohio Workers' Compensation Law

In Ohio, injured employees have the right to seek compensation from their insurance company for damages caused by their workplace injury. On paper, the process of filing workers' compensation claims is a straightforward one. However, the reality is that many workers' compensation insurance companies will try as much as they can to avoid having to pay benefits to the injured worker.

This is why workers' compensation laws exist to protect the injured employees seeking wage loss benefits after a workplace injury. In case of a dispute between the injured worker and their worker's compensation insurance company, experienced workmans compensation attorneys can help.

Larrimer and Larrimer is ready to stand up to insurance companies and fight for the rights of injured employees in workers' compensation lawsuits. Victims can call their Columbus, OH, law offices at +1 614-221-7548 and schedule a free consultation. They can also assist with getting workers compensation benefits for back pain.

What Are Workers' Compensation Benefits in Ohio?

What Are Workers' Compensation Benefits in Ohio?

Workers' comp insurance coverage is there to provide benefits to an employee who has been injured or has suffered an illness while on duty. The workers' comp coverage in Ohio covers the following:

  • Medical expenses

  • Lost wages

  • Death benefits to family members of the deceased worker

  • Temporary total disability benefits

  • Change of occupation awards

  • Permanent total disability benefits

  • Scheduled loss awards

Who Needs to Carry Workers' Compensation Insurance in Ohio?

In Ohio, the law states that every business owner must provide workers' compensation insurance to employees working for the company. The law also applies to companies that have a single employee.

This is why a clear distinction between employees and contractors is important. If the employer is responsible for the employee's working hours, performance, travel routes, and materials, they need to provide workers' comp from a state workers' compensation agency.

However, exceptions do exist, such as when employing domestic workers, gardeners, and babysitters who earn less than $160 per quarter. Also, unless they are working for public employers, volunteers are not entitled to workers' comp claims.

Workers' Compensation Coverage for Self-employed and Part-time Employees

While self-employed individuals can choose to carry workers' compensation insurance, it is not mandatory in Ohio. However, the state's workers' compensation law requires that part-time employees also receive workers' comp benefits, which will be calculated according to the worker's average weekly wage.

Can Workers' Compensation Insurance Companies Be Penalized?

The workers' comp insurance laws in Ohio are governed by a no-fault system. This means injured workers are entitled to receive benefit payments for work-related injuries regardless of who was at fault.

If an insurance company is found to have breached its duty to honor a workers' comp claim, the law can impose a penalty on the insurance provider. Many states may even require the insurance company to pay interest on any late payments for damages caused by a work-related injury.

Types of Workers' Compensation Insurance Penalties

The following are some examples of instances where insurers can be penalized for breaching workers' comp rules:

Unreasonable Claim Denials

Some insurers may decide to deny workers' comp claims without any legitimate reason. In such cases, filing employee lawsuits may be the only way for workers to recover damages. This can be a lengthy process, which does not always result in the insurance company paying all the benefits to the worker.

To protect the workers, some laws are put in place to discourage unreasonable claim denials. In some states, the insurers can be ordered to pay double the amount of workers' comp benefits owed to the employee.

Employer Misconduct

While Ohio is a no-fault state when it comes to work-related injuries, an employer may be penalized for misconduct if their actions are found to have constituted a violation of safety rules and regulations.

In such cases, additional benefits of between 15% and 50% may be awarded to the employee by the Industrial Commission of Ohio. Serious wrongdoing can result in even stiffer penalties in some states.

Other Penalties

Besides paying penalties to the injured worker, most states also require insurers to pay interest to doctors if there is a delay in the settlement of medical bills. Also, there may be fines imposed by the state workers' compensation agency on insurance companies that do not meet their legal requirements.

How to Get Workers' Compensation Benefits in Ohio

Depending on the state in which the company is located, a business owner can secure workers' compensation benefits for employees in three different ways, such as:

  • Private insurance carriers

  • Competitive state funds

  • Monopolistic state fund

However, it is important to note that Ohio, Wyoming, Washington, and North Dakota do not allow the use of private insurance carriers. As such, businesses in these states can only secure workers' compensation coverage from the state fund.

How Much Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cost in Ohio?

The estimated average cost of workers' compensation coverage in Ohio is around $0.74 per $100 in covered payroll. However, this will not be the same for every employer because several factors need to be considered, such as:

  • Payroll

  • Industry and risk factors

  • Claims history

  • Location

  • Coverage limits

  • Number of employees

What Steps Should an Injured Employee Take to Receive Benefits?

What Steps Should an Injured Employee Take to Receive Benefits?

Taking the right steps after suffering work injuries increases the employee's chances of getting their full workers' comp benefits from the insurance provider. As such, it is important for victims to do the following:

  • Report the injury

  • Fill out a workplace injury report

  • Seek medical care

  • File a claim

  • Hire a workers' comp attorney

An Experienced Workers' Compensation Lawyer Can Help

Paying benefits after an employee suffers a work-related injury is not something every insurance company wants to do. In many cases, the employee will have to fight for their rights before receiving the benefits they are owed.

However, Ohio's workers' compensation laws can be too complicated for workers, which is something that insurers will try to take advantage of. This is why hiring a good workers' comp attorney is the best choice.

With the help of experienced attorneys from Larrimer and Larrimer, workers can sue insurers who refuse to pay benefits after a workplace injury. Victims can visit the law firm's offices in Columbus, OH, and discuss the merits of their case.

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