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D. Lee Johnson & Associates
3335 Meijer Drive #200
Toledo, OH 43617
Phone: 419-843-2424
Fax: 419-843-2533

Death in the Workplace

If death occurs while the decedent was on the job, the right to sue may change. Under the Ohio's Workmen's Compensation Act, an employee who elects to take workmen's compensation does not have a right to sue his employer for injuries in the workplace. O.R.C. Ann. § 4123.74. If the decedent accepts workmen's compensation and gives up his right to sue, beneficiaries or surviving relatives also cannot sue for wrongful death. O.R.C. Ann. § 4123.74. See also, Pratt v. Nat'l Distillers & Chem. Co., 587 F. Supp. 156 (S.D. Ohio 1984).

Employees are any workers under a contract of hire with the employer other than independent contractors. Generally, in workplace injuries or death, the presumption is in favor of employee status, and the burden is on the party seeking to avoid liability to prove independent contractor status. The Legislature has specifically mandated that the statutes be liberally interpreted in favor of coverage for employees injured in the course of employmentIf death occurs while the decedent was on the job, the right to sue may change. If an employee who elects to take workmen's compensation, they do not have a right to sue his employer for injuries in the workplace. The employee is afforded relatively swift and certain payment of benefits to cure or relieve the effects of industrial injury without having to prove fault but, in exchange, gives up the wider range of damages potentially available in tort.

If a person's death on the job was due to the negligent actions of a third party, however, Ohio's workmen's compensation statute allows dependents to pursue a wrongful death suit against the third party, regardless of whether the decedent elected for workmen's compensation through his employer. - O.R.C. Ann. § 4123.93.

In all matters involving wrongful death it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations. If a loved one has been a victim of wrongful death, call D. Lee Johnson & Associates now at 419-843-2424 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.

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