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Workplace accidents are very common in Toledo and throughout Ohio. You can suddenly find yourself in the middle of a terrible accident in a workshop, on the road, or even in an office building. Many victims do not know what to do after being hurt on the job. It’s possible that you cannot return to work for a long time, and your medical bills and daily expenses will keep adding up. You need an advocate who understands the legal process that follows a bad work accident. Our Toledo personal injury lawyers have represented many victims who have suffered harm at work through no fault of their own. We know that you and your family cannot wait for help. It’s important that you contact your lawyer without delay if you or a loved one are in this difficult position.
Work Injuries Are Common and Can Happen Anywhere
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation reports that on average there are over 100,000 injured workers in our state every year. Furthermore, it’s likely that many other injuries go unreported. Some of the victims in these accidents are badly hurt; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that there were about 174 fatal workplace accidents in our state in 2017 alone. Workers in northwest Ohio are frequently rushed to hospitals such as the University of Toledo Medical Center with injuries sustained while on the job. Many types of employment are considered to be dangerous, but victims are frequently injured in routine situations at jobs that are thought to be safe.
Our work injury attorneys have represented many people hurt on the job. Every case is different, and it’s important for us to understand exactly what happened if we are to recover all of the compensation that our clients deserve. We have seen workplace injuries caused by the following:
- Traffic accidents – Many Toledo area residents must travel on our city streets or highways such as Interstate 90 or 75 for work. Car accidents are common in Ohio, and they can cause debilitating and even fatal injuries.
- Slip and falls – You can be badly hurt if you fall due to unsecure flooring, defective stairs, or hazardous objects being left in your path. Your employer must make sure to take reasonable steps to keep walkways safe from unnecessary dangers.
- Repetitive motion – Workers often have to repeat the same physical motion for their jobs. Employers must inform employees about how to avoid the harm associated with repetitive motion.
- Toxic substances – Your work may require that you come into close contact with hazardous substances that can irritate your skin or even act as a poison. The damage from these substances can be severe, and it’s possible that you will not notice it for a long time.
- Improper training – Failure to inform workers on how to use their equipment can cause a terrible accident. This often causes injuries on construction sites or recreational areas.
- Being hit by a moving object – Falling or swinging objects can be dangerous, and people are often badly hurt when these objects are not properly secured. While this can happen anywhere, moving object accidents are often common on watercraft navigating the Maumee River or Lake Erie.
- Violence – Workers are sometimes subjected to assault while on the job. You have the right to seek damages from your assailant or from an employer who failed to take reasonable steps to keep the workplace safe.
Steps to Take If You Have Been Hurt While at Work
Your workplace accident can be devastating, and it’s possible that you are still in danger in the moments after you are injured. Get yourself to safety as soon as possible. This may be difficult, and many injured people are unable to move or easily get to a safe location. Other injuries seem relatively minor, but you still must address them and seek appropriate help. Physical damage can often get much worse over the days and weeks that follow an accident. Victims who do not seek medical attention sometimes find themselves with pain that gets worse and becomes debilitating over time.
Every workplace injury is different. You might be able to walk away from your incident at first, or you might immediately know that your life is in danger. Steps that you should take after an accident on the job include:
- Seek medical help immediately – This may mean calling 911 or getting to your doctor’s office as soon as possible. Quickly addressing your injuries will help you have the best physical recover possible.
- Report your injury – Inform your boss or employer about your work related injury. Ask for a copy of their written report about the incident.
- Call an experienced lawyer – Work accidents are generally complex, and your lawyer must be experienced in personal injury law as well as Ohio’s workers’ compensation system.
- Work closely with your doctor – Take follow up visits and continuing treatment seriously. Make sure your doctors know that your injuries are from a work related accident.
- Follow through with your case – Many people don’t continue pursuing their case once they are physically improved. You have the right to compensation after a work injury, and we encourage you to work closely with your lawyer in order to recover damages.
Recovering Compensation After a Work Injury
The legal process following an accident at work can be complex. You might not know who is at fault for your injury or how you will get the help you badly need. State law may require you to file a claim under Ohio’s workers comp system. Being a no-fault process, your lawyer may be able to secure compensation without having to prove who holds liability. However, workers comp is only for actual employees and not independent contractors or certain domestic or agricultural workers. Furthermore, you cannot recover for non-monetary damages such as pain or emotional distress. Workers’ compensation insurance is only for financial losses related to things such as medical bills and lost wages.
Your lawyer may pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent party in your accident. Unlike workmen’s’ comp, this case would require your lawyer to show how the other party’s negligence directly resulted in your harm. This claim for damages can be done if workers’ comp does not apply to you, or it can be done as a third party claim in addition to a workers’ compensation action. Third party actions are those where you are not seeking damages from your employer, but instead from a third party who you believe is responsible for your injuries. Our Toledo work injury lawyers can use a third party claim to recover the following:
- Lost wages – You may be out of work for a long time after your accident, and you can seek damages for wages lost. Additionally, your lawyer can pursue lost future earnings that will not be available to you due to your injuries.
- Medical bills – It’s possible to recover medical expenses like doctors’ visits, surgeries, and therapy needs. This can also include future medical needs that your injury will require.
- Pain and suffering – Your injury can cause enormous stress and difficulty for you and your family. The party responsible can be required to pay compensation.
- Equipment necessary after the accident – Many accident victims need equipment to help them navigate their homes, workplace, or use their vehicles. You can recover damages to help pay for these expensive items.
A Lawyer From Kisling, Nestico, & Redick Can Help You
It’s important to act without delay after a workplace injury because the impact on your life can be significant. It may be difficult to return to work, and your injuries may make routine tasks impossible. Contact an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney to help you and your family seek compensation after being hurt on the job. Your legal counsel must understand how to investigate your accident, negotiate with insurance companies, and recover your damages in court if no acceptable financial settlement is offered. Our Toledo work injury lawyers have helped many victims in your position. We will work with your doctors, first responders, and witnesses to build a strong case for your damages. Ohio’s statute of limitations law requires you to contact your lawyer as soon as possible. Personal injury claims must be filed within two years, but workers’ compensation actions must begin within one year. You need a lawyer who understands this complex process.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about recovering damages after suffering an injury at work. Our team has years of experience representing our clients in Ohio in personal injury claims as well as workers’ compensation actions. Contact our office in Toledo today at (419) 324-8205.