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An in-depth explanation of workers' comp benefits

Whether you have been at a position for an extended period of time or just started a job, workers in Ohio and elsewhere do not always consider the risks and dangers associated with their job. While many safety measures are put in place, this does not always prevent workplace injuries or illnesses from occurring.

When a work is injured on-the-job or suffers a workplace illness, he or she could be entitled to workers' compensation. Workers' comp benefits are designed to financially assist employee who have been harmed in the work environment, helping them with medical bills and other expenses. Depending on the industry an employee worked in, he or she could be entitled to special workers' comp benefit, such as federal government benefits and railroad employee benefits.

The purpose of workers' compensation laws is to award employees for their harms and damages without the need to litigate the matter. Essentially, workers' comp is a safety net for employee if they are injured on the job or suffered a work-related disease. Types of injuries typically covered by workers' compensation include preexisting condition that the workplace accelerated or aggravated, injuries caused during breaks, lunch hours and work-sponsored activities, diseases such as lung cancer if contracted by exposed toxins in the workplace and injuries resulting from mental and physical strain brought on by increased work duties and work-related stress.

It should be noted that workers' compensation is an exclusive remedy following a workplace incident. A harmed or injured worker is not entitled to sue for their damages unless it can be proven that a third party contributed to his or her injuries. For example, manufacturers of products or machinery could be held liable for the work injury if that product or machinery caused the injury. And if a third party claim in necessary, the worker is typically not directly involved. Rather, the workers' compensation system will handle that action.

Workers harmed in the work environment should understand their rights. This means timely taking action and reporting the incident that harmed you. Additionally, workers should be aware of all their options and rights in the matter, seeking legal advice when necessary.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Workers' Comp In-Depth," accessed April 9, 2017

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