Getting hurt in a car accident can leave you with severe and sometimes permanent injuries. However, in certain circumstances, you may be able to receive short-term (or even long-term) disability as part of your personal injury claim.
Your eligibility will depend on the nature of your accident and the severity of your injuries.
What Is Short-Term Disability?
Short-term disability provides earnings replacement or compensation for an injury that has not happened at work. You may be eligible for short-term disability if you were hurt in a car accident that prevents you from working for a limited time.
Often, employers offer short-term disability plans. However, in Ohio, they are not required to offer this arrangement. To be eligible for short-term disability, you must be a part of a short-term disability plan and unable to do your regular job.
A medical professional must validate your claim.
How to Claim Short-Term Disability
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is the federal law that mandates the minimum requirements for short-term disability. Your employer must inform you on how to file a claim, what to do if the claim is denied, and your legal rights to file a lawsuit.
Generally speaking, to file a short-term disability claim, you will need to:
- Obtain a claim form from your company’s HR department or online.
- Complete the form with the full medical details and the date you stopped work.
- Ask your employer to complete their portion of the form.
- Get a validation letter from your physician.
- Follow the instructions to submit your form.
If you fail to fill out the form correctly or miss your deadline, your claim may be denied. An attorney can help you fill in the form and make sure that you provide all the essential information and documentation.
Types of Injuries That Can Qualify for Short-Term Disability Benefits
Car accidents can cause various serious injuries that qualify for short-term disability. They include:
- Joint injuries
- Fractured or broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI) and other back injuries
- Vision or hearing loss
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety
These injuries aren’t the only ones that qualify for short-term disability benefits. A lawyer can review your situation and determine your eligibility.
Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability
The key difference between short-term disability and long-term disability is the amount of time you’ll receive benefits.
- Short-term disability: You may obtain benefits for several months only.
- Long-term disability: You would collect these benefits if you’ll be out of work for the foreseeable future or permanently.
If you are uncertain whether your need to claim short-term or long-term disability, you need to speak to an attorney. They will assess your case and explain which form of benefits you are entitled to collect.
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Other Damages You Can Pursue in an Ohio Car Accident Case
Depending on the seriousness of your car accident and injuries, you may be entitled to collect other forms of damages alongside disability.
If you are filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, the following could be available to you:
- Past and anticipated medical care costs: For surgeries, medications, hospitalizations, mobility aids, imaging scans, and follow-up doctor’s appointments
- Lost income: For bonuses, benefits, and wages
- Future loss of earning capacity: For the income your injuries keep you from earning long term
- Pain and suffering: For the impaired quality of life you’re experiencing from your injuries
- Mental anguish: For any mental or emotional turmoil you’re enduring from the accident
If your loved one lost their life to their accident-related injury or disability, you could recover wrongful death damages. Such forms of compensation may include loss of consortium and inheritance, as well as funeral expenses and final medical care bills.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Comes With a Strict Deadline
Ohio imposes a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10, the filing deadline is, in general, set at two years. There are exceptions. If you don’t submit your case before the two years end, you may be barred from pursuing a financial recovery from the liable party.
If you get an injury lawyer involved with your case early on in the claims process, they can help you comply with the deadline.
Contact The Fitch Law Firm LLC for Help
Do you have to take time off work because of a car accident injury? Are you struggling to make ends meet while you wait to return to work? If you live in Ohio, reach out to the Fitch Law Firm LLC as soon as possible at (614) 545-3930. We offer free consultations and work based on a contingent fee.
Our legal team can answer all your questions and set you on the right track to getting the compensation you deserve.