Monthly Archives

September 2020

injured at work in Toledo

In Ohio, What Constitutes a Work-Related Injury?

By | Ohio, Personal Injury, Toledo | No Comments

Workers’ compensation benefits provide critical support for those suffering from work-related injuries. Many of our clients can receive reasonable medical expenses, along with partial wage replacement benefits. But what qualifies as a “work-related injury” for purposes of the workers’ compensation law? Our Ohio workers’ compensation attorney provides an overview of the law.

Injuries at Work

This is perhaps the clearest example of a work-related injury. If you were injured while working at your place of employment, you should qualify for benefits.

Injuries might result from a sudden accident, such as a fall or an explosion. If the shelves in your office collapse and the contents fall on you, then you have suffered a work-related injury.

By contrast, other injuries take time to develop, such as repetitive stress injuries or occupational illnesses. For example, someone who develops cancer from inhaling toxic chemicals over the course of years has suffered an occupational illness and should qualify for benefits. The same is true of someone who developed carpal tunnel syndrome slowly over the years of punching numbers into a computer.

Injuries away from Work

Under ORC §4123(C), an injury qualifies for benefits if the worker suffers it “in the course of” and “arising out of” their employment. Under this standard, injuries sustained away from work might qualify. For example, many people travel for their jobs or attend business functions as a representative of their company. If you are working when you were injured, then your injuries are possibly work-related.

This is a fact-specific analysis. For example, we want to see whether you are reimbursed for travel expenses and whether your employer required you to travel. These facts help show that the time away from the office was work-related.

Traveling to and From Work

You typically cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured driving to work or driving home when you have a fixed location for work. This is called the “coming and going” rule and it applies to those with “fixed-situs” jobs.

There are many factors to analyze with this type of claim. For example, do your work duties start only when you reach work? If so, then being injured while traveling to work does not qualify. Are you “on the clock” only when you reach a fixed location? If so, then the coming and going rule probably applies.

Pre-Existing Conditions

You might have been injured in an accident years ago, resulting in impairment. This pre-existing condition does not qualify as work-related. However, if your pre-existing condition was “substantially aggravated” on the job, then your injury is probably work-related.

For example, you might have herniated a disc while snowboarding three years ago. At work, you lift a heavy box and suddenly feel a pain in the same location, which makes it impossible for you to sit up or stand. Under these facts, your back injury is probably work-related.

Psychological Injuries

Generally, psychiatric conditions are excluded by the statute’s definition of an “injury.” However, there are exceptions, such as when the psychiatric condition develops out of an injury or occupational illness. Another exception covers psychiatric conditions that arise from forced sexual conduct, such as sexual assault at work.

Non-Covered Injuries

Some injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation. For example, any natural deterioration of an organ or body tissue does not qualify. Someone who naturally loses their eyesight has not been injured on the job.

An injury suffered when participating in fitness or recreational activity sponsored by an employer also does not qualify when the employee signs of a waiver.

Contact Us Today

Whether an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits is not always easy. Groth & Associates can review your case and help you decide the right step to take. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

expungement in Toledo

How to File for Expungement in Ohio

By | Criminal Defense, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

A criminal conviction can pop up at the most inconvenient time, such as when applying to the job of your dreams or when seeking an apartment. Many people are shocked that they need to disclose criminal records that are years, possibly decades, old.

Fortunately, many people can expunge their criminal histories in Ohio. This article explains how, but we encourage you to reach out to an Ohio expungement attorney for a consultation.

Check if You Can Expunge Your Conviction

Not all crimes are eligible. For example, you cannot expunge a conviction for sexual imposition, rape, sexual battery, public indecency, and other sex crimes. Felonies in the first-, second-, and third-degree cannot be expunged, either. Speak with an attorney if you have questions.

Satisfy the Waiting Period

Ohio law sets a waiting period before a person can apply for expungement. The amount of time will depend on whether you were convicted and the specific crime.

The clock does not begin to run until you have received a termination of the case or a final discharge. For example, you will need to complete all probation, pay all fines, and satisfy any restitution order.

Here are some sample waiting periods:

  • Unclassified misdemeanor: 1 year
  • Misdemeanor: 1 year from termination of the case
  • A single felony conviction: 3 years

A person can also expunge non-convictions, such as dismissals or acquittals, and there is no waiting period.

Obtain a Copy of Your Conviction

Visit the Clerk of Court where you were sentenced. Ask for a certified copy of “Judgment Order of Conviction.” You will have to pay a small fee. You cannot request expungement with a certified judgment.

Draft an Application

You need to draft an application asking the judge to expunge your record. Your attorney knows how to do this, but if you are representing yourself you should look for printed forms to complete. In Ohio, public libraries have fill-in-the-blank forms you can use. There are two forms you need:

  • Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record Pursuant to ORC §2953.32
  • Judgment Entry for Sealing

The “Application” will request information such as the charges and case numbers for the convictions you hope to expunge. You will also need the date of convictions and the date of termination.

The “Judgment Entry” is something the judge will sign at the hearing. However, you must provide the requested information in the appropriate lines.

Assemble the Packet

Attach the “Judgment Order of Conviction” to the “Application for Sealing of a Criminal Record.” You need 3 copies of this combined document. This is what you will file with the Clerk of Court.

Key: You are not filing the Judgment Entry for Sealing. Instead, you take that to the court hearing with you for the judge.

File at the Clerk of Court

Visit the Clerk of Court to file. The clerk should stamp all your copies and give one back to you. This is for your records.

You must pay a fee to file. Call ahead and ask the clerk for the amount and acceptable methods of payment. The amount of the fee can change over time. If you can’t afford the fee, you should complete a “Poverty Affidavit” at the clerk’s office.

Schedule a Hearing

The clerk should schedule a hearing date before the judge. Remember, you need the judge to sign off on your request only after he or she is convinced that you will not commit another crime. One advantage of working with an attorney is that we can discuss what facts to highlight that show you have been rehabilitated.

Need Assistance? Speak with an Ohio Expungement Attorney

Expungement is not a slam dunk, and many people are denied. Contact a lawyer at Groth & Associates today to discuss your case. Our consultations are free.

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