Visitor Question

Can I receive a cash settlement for breaking my hip at work?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Loudonville, OH)

I am a 62 year old female who works as a cook for McDonald’s in Ohio. In February I was putting food away in the walk-in freezer when I slipped on an icy patch on the floor and fell, breaking my right hip. I had a gamma nail surgery done the following day. My surgeon said I may have a permanent limp and I will never be the same as I was before the accident.

Workers’ Comp is paying the bills, and McDonald’s is paying me. Do I have a claim against them? Can I receive a cash settlement? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Workers who have been injured on the job are required to file their injury claims with their employer’s workers compensation carrier. Under workers comp laws, it is not necessary for an injured worker to prove his or her employer was negligent. The mere injury is sufficient for a worker to be entitled to benefits.

Those benefits can include payment of medical, chiropractic and dental bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for such items as medications, costs of travel to treatment, crutches, slings, etc.), and approximately two-thirds of the worker’s lost wages. Workers compensation does not cover payment for pain and suffering, mental anxiety, or emotional distress.

There is an exception. If the worker is able to prove his or her injuries were the result of the employer’s gross negligence, or that the employer exhibited a willful or wanton disregard for the worker’s safety and well-being, then the workers may pursue a third-party injury claim against the employer, which would include an amount for pain and suffering.

The ice on the floor, and management’s failure to eliminate it does not appear to constitute gross negligence.  Instead, it appears you are bound by Ohio workers compensation laws. Absent a finding of gross negligence, you would therefore be precluded from pursuing a separate third-party personal injury claim against the McDonald’s corporation.

In your situation, because your injuries are so serious, you should meet with several personal injury attorneys and workers comp attorneys in your area. They will be able to give you much more specific advice.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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