Fired or Abandoned?

Barkan Meizlish , May 13, 2015

Being injured on the job not only makes life more difficult in the physical sense but the following dealings with worker’s compensation claims can be a  mental nightmare if you don’t know how to approach the situation. Here at Barkan Meizlish, LLP our Columbus worker’s compensation attorneys help you make sense of your worker’s comp claim so you can get the compensation you deserve. Keep reading as we take an in-depth look at Temporary Total Disability and a specific case we had where the results relied on whether or not the employee was fired from or abandoned their job. 

What is Temporary Total disability? 

Temporary total disability compensation or TTD is a worker’s compensation benefit resulting from an injury that renders the employee in question unable to perform any job duties for a temporary period of time. When a worker receives this type of compensation they are entitled to a percentage of their weekly pay until returning to full-time work. This exact number varies but workers who are awarded temporary total disability compensation typically receive two-thirds of their regular income. This amount is paid until the worker recovers from his or her injuries and is reduced when the employee returns for part-time labor or restricted duty. TTD compensation ceases once the employee is cleared to return for full-time work.

Filing Workers’ Comp Claims

Workplace injuries can be a major setback to any household and can make it difficult to sustain the lifestyle that you are accustomed to. Workers’ comp insurance is there to make sure that you receive the assistance you need after an injury or illness is sustained through meeting your employer’s demands. I am going to cover some things you need to know before filing your claim so that you can ensure you get the compensation you deserve and then I am going to go over a past case where the employee essentially forfeits their workers’ compensation pay.

 

The first thing you want to do with any injury is to start a paper trail documenting the injury. To do this you need to make sure that you immediately report the injury to your employer or workplace supervisor. What this does is ensure that your injury has been documented and recognized by your place of employment. After reporting an injury to an employer they will likely require you to undergo a drug screening to ensure that your injury was not sustained due to being under the influence.

 

After you have reported your injury to your employer the next thing you are going to want to do is seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. This is an important step because if you neglect seeking treatment then a likely argument against you in regards to your workers’ comp case is going to be that your injury was not severe enough to seek medical treatment, therefore it is not severe enough to receive disability compensation.

 

Once the above steps have been completed you need to make sure that you file a workers’ compensation claim with whatever state you reside in – Ohio claims can be made through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Never rely on your employer to file your claim as it can easily fall to the wayside and be forgotten for a period of time long enough to essentially render your claim invalid.

 

If at any point in time you have any questions regarding your workers’ compensation claim we here at Barkan Meizlish, LLP are eager to help. We have helped Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding areas with these types of claims since 1957 and have become some of the most trusted attorneys in the area. Contact our team of workers’ compensation attorneys today to ensure you get the compensation that you deserve.

 

Now that you have a good understanding of the steps you need to take in filing your claim I am going to go over a case where an employee inadvertently surrendered their rightful claim to workers’ compensation so you know what to avoid.

 

Temporary Total Disability Case Results

On June 3, 2009 an employee injured himself while working as a mechanic. He was later diagnosed with a sacroiliac joint sprain/strain. He was released to work six days later with the ability to work in a light-duty capacity.

Upon returning, the employer confirmed that the employee could return to light-duty work and asked that the employee return a Jeep that the employee had borrowed from the employer. This upset the employee, and a disagreement followed, prompting the police to be called. The employee cooperated with the police and left the premises, ending his employment.

Upon filing for Workers’ Compensation, the employer objected to the claim, but the claim for a left sacroiliac sprain/strain was allowed. However, the employee’s request for temporary total disability compensation (TTD) was denied on the basis that the employee voluntarily abandoned his job. The Court held that the employee was barred from receiving TTD, as he voluntarily quit his job for reasons unrelated to his industrial injury.

“This disagreement happened to occur shortly after (the employee) reported working with a note from his doctor restricting him to modified duty.” Moreover, “His departure was not causally related to the industrial injury. … Temporary-total-disability compensation is intended to compensate an injured worker who is temporarily unable to return to the duties of his or her former position of employment as a result of a workplace injury.” Thus, it is important that when an employee leaves their job, it must be due to an industrial accident, if they wish to recover TTD benefits.

Now you have a better understanding of what constitutes TTD and what you need to do as an employee to ensure you get the compensation you deserve in the event of a workplace injury. If you have any questions concerning your claim our professional team of workers’ comp attorneys is here to help. Contact Barkan Meizlish, LLP today for all of your workers’ comp needs.

Sources: http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20150129/NEWS08/150129786?tags=%7C339%7C304%7C92
http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2015/2015-ohio-167.pdf

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