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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

After a work injury, what are my options?

Oct 7, 2022 |

After a bad work-related illness or injury, Cleveland victims and their families may need to explore all possible legal options.

Whether they happen over time or in the few moments it takes for an on-the-job accident, severe work injuries can leave a victim with mountains of medical bills and other necessary expenses but with no way of earning an income to pay them.

Moreover, Ohioans should not forget that work-related injuries also have an emotional and physical toll that victims must bear, even if it is hard to put an exact dollar value on their suffering.

Fortunately, depending on one’s circumstances, there are a number of options an injured victim may explore

Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses and some lost income

If a person gets hurt on the job, then they can claim workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. These benefits can pay for items like medical bills and lost wages.

The advantage of these benefits is that they are supposed to be an efficient way for workers to get financial support. The worker does not have to prove that someone else was responsible for the illness or injury before getting benefits.

The downside is that they frequently do not cover all of a victim’s damages, especially their non-economic losses. Moreover, injured workers or their families generally cannot sue their employers for negligence.

For certain types of injuries, Social Security Disability may be available

If an Ohioan suffered an injury or illness at work that left them unable to work in their trade or profession, they may be eligible to receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

Disability can provide a valuable extra source of income. Moreover, like workers’ compensation, a victim does not have to prove that someone else is responsible for these injuries.

The downsides are that a victim will have to meet the legal criteria for getting these benefits. Among other things, this means the condition must be the sort that lasts at least one year.

Furthermore, if victims are also collecting workers’ compensation, the Social Security Administration has the authority to cap their disability payments.

Injured victims or their families may also consider a personal injury suit

Although filing a lawsuit will require that the victim prove another person or business is responsible for their injuries, this may be an option for injured or ill workers. Through this option, a victim can get compensation for their non-economic losses like pain and suffering.

After an on-the-job injury, victims should try to figure out if someone else besides their employer is responsible.  While employers only are responsible for workers’ compensation, other third parties may have to pay compensation after a successful lawsuit.