Can you sue your employer for equipment failure in Ohio?

by Diana

My husband got a part-time job driving a semi truck. On his second day one of the axles broke off and the truck flipped. The owner had had an extra axle welded on and the weld broke. He said he had it welded on almost a year ago. My husband has back and knee problems now. He is going to physical therapy, but he also has a fear of driving now due to the accident. He is in pain and his personality is not the same.

His boss kept calling him and telling him that he needed to come in and sign papers. The insurance company that his boss uses on his trucks called and told my husband that if he did not come in and sign some paperwork that he would not get workers compensation, but workers comp is paying for his therapy... so I'm a bit confused.

What paperwork could they be talking about? Is his employer responsible for anything more than just his medical bills? Can he sue his employer for equipment failure?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Can you sue your employer for equipment failure in Ohio?":

Diana (Ohio):

Under Ohio workers compensation regulations your husband is entitled to reimbursement or payment of his medical bills, out of pocket expenses for medications, crutches, etc., and about 2/3rds of his lost wages. Workers compensation benefits do not include pain and suffering. Unfortunately, your husband's fear of driving is not compensable. Under workers compensation regulations your husband is not entitled to sue his employer for equipment failure.

Your husband might want to go into the office and take a look at the papers. If he is already receiving workers compensation benefits there may be some perfunctory paperwork he needs to sign. If he doesn't understand the language in the documents he can always request a copy and bring them home for you to review as well.

If your husband isn't satisfied with the manner in which his claim is proceeding he can always consult with a workers compensation attorney. Most won't charge for an initial office consultation.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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