My Employer Won’t Pay My Medical Bills

August 6, 2017

Employers in Ohio are not required to pay the medical bills of employees who get injured on the job or who become sick because they get exposed to harmful substances while working. Pretty much every company, nonprofit group, and agency is, however, required to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program.

So, when your employer does not offer to cover medical expenses from a work-related injury or illness, you need to apply for workers’ comp. The program operates like a short-term disability insurance policy, and you can seek both worker’s compensation benefits and coverage under your own insurance. Discussing the details of how seeking more than one form of coverage with an experienced Columbus workers comp attorney will help you understand how doing that will affect how much you can receive from the state program and from your insurer. A lawyer who handles workers’ comp cases will also be able to advise on long-term disability eligibility through Social Security or other programs.

 

Will I Automatically Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

No. You will need to present evidence that you suffered your injury or became ill while engaged in legal and authorized work-related activities. You will also have to provide medical records to substantiate your diagnosis and prognosis for recovery and return to work.

Also, your employer is allowed to contest your workers’ comp claim, and many do take that approach. Partnering with a dedicated workers compensation lawyer in Cleveland Ohio will help you collect and submit all the required information to the workers’ comp program and defend your case against arguments made by your employer.

 

What Will Worker’s Compensation Cover?

Workers’ comp is primarily a wage replacement benefit. Depending on the nature of your injury or illness, as well as the degree and duration of your disability, you can receive monthly payments of up to two-thirds of your previous earnings, money for medical bills, a one-time settlement, a lump-sum payment for a permanent loss of function, and/or rehabilitation expenses.

 

What Happens if My Workers’ Comp Claim Gets Denied?

The Ohio workers’ comp process permits multiple rounds of appeals. Often, a first appeal requires gathering and submitting additional medical information. When all the formal appeals prove unsuccessful, an injured or ill worker is allowed to file an administrative lawsuit against the workers’ comp program. Collaborating closely with a workers’ compensation attorney during each round of appeals and throughout any court proceeding is highly recommended.

 

Can I Sue My Employer for Medical Expenses?

Probably not. As we explain elsewhere on our website, the laws of Ohio make it almost impossible for injured or ill workers to succeed with personal injury lawsuits against their employers. The same is true for spouses or children of workers who die after on-the-job accidents.

Essentially, the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit against an employer needs to prove that the management or supervisors acted with intent to cause harm or showed such reckless disregard for employee safety that the people responsible would probably be subject to criminal charges.

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