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Is a construction company liable for workers' comp insurance?

Ohio laws clearly state that if an employer has any employees, they must have an active workers' compensation insurance policy in place. If an employee suffers an injury on the job, they may seek workers' compensation benefits, which should help cover lost wages and medical bills.

But due to the complexity of the law, even the most knowledgeable of employers may still have questions about coverage and whether they are required by law to provide it to their workers. One question that can arise among construction companies is whether they are liable for workers' compensation coverage or not. To answer this question, we must first look at the state's definition of an employee.

According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, a person within the construction industry is considered an employee if they meet at least 10 of the criteria listed on the BWC's page regarding the definition of an employee. Most of the criteria apply to pay, work performed, supervision of this work, and the extent of direction given to the construction worker regarding the job. If an employer has direct control over the work and pay of an individual, then the individual may be considered an employee and is therefore eligible for workers' compensation coverage.

As our Columbus readers are well aware, construction work can be an incredibly dangerous job that can end in serious or even fatal injuries. Providing benefits to workers in this field is important because injuries can force a person out of work, oftentimes putting their financial security in jeopardy.

It is just as important for employees to know the laws regarding workers' compensation as it is for employers. Employees who don't know what laws apply to them may not know when it's necessary to seek legal counsel or what to do when facing litigation. Talking to a lawyer can help clear up this confusion though and get you on the right path towards benefits that could prove crucial after a workplace accident.

Sources: The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, "Employer questions and answers (Q&As)," Accessed April 15, 2015

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, "4123.01 Definitions," Accessed April 15, 2015

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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Columbus, OH 43215

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