Arkansas Workplace Injury Attorney
Being injured at work can be extremely frustrating. It is terrible to go to work every day, only to be rewarded with pain and injury.
Experiencing an injury can be a difficult and overwhelming time, both physically and financially. However, there are resources available to aid in your recovery. In the case of an industrial or workplace injury, you can seek assistance from various systems that provide financial support while you work on your physical recovery. You do not have to face the aftermath alone, as our firm is here to help you through it.
Reach out to our workplace injury attorneys at (479) 316-0438 to receive your free case review today.
What Options Are Available to Me After a Workplace Injury in Arkansas?
Injuries sustained in the workplace might be sudden, specific injuries, such as sprains, breaks, burns, lacerations, or even amputations that occur on the job. There is also the possibility of succumbing to some sort of condition or illness that might take a while to build. Things like cancer, asbestos, and heavy metal poisoning can take years of exposure to form but are nonetheless caused by exposure at your workplace.
In most situations, your options depend on who was at fault for your injuries, some specific details about the injury, and what you want to receive. In most injuries, either caused by accident, the carelessness of fellow employees, or the negligence of your employer, your best option to seek immediate recovery is using your state’s Workers’ Compensation program.
Arkansas, like most states, has a Workers’ Compensation program. This is used to get employees who were injured at work money to cover their medical expenses and lost wages while they are unable to work. The only required proof to get this coverage is proof that the injury occurred and was work-related. There is no need to prove that anyone is at fault for the injuries, and so the system is designed to help a speedy recovery. It awards only medical coverage through doctors chosen by your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company and only 2/3 of your typical wages, so it does have its drawbacks.
In a case where a third party was responsible for your injuries or you work as an independent contractor, you will likely not be able to use the Workers’ Compensation system. This means going through normal court proceedings. A personal injury lawsuit based on negligence usually requires proving that the party responsible for your injury had a duty to prevent injury, breached that duty, the breach caused harm, and the harm caused can be redressed by a court. If this lawsuit or settlement is successful, you can receive not only medical expenses and lost wages (without a 2/3 limit) but also damages to account for your pain and suffering. In some cases, you might also be able to get extra damages that punish the bad actor. Arkansas has no legal limit, called a “cap,” on how much these damages can be.
If your injury was caused at work but by the intentional bad actions of your employer or another actor, then you might also want to use a traditional lawsuit. Workers’ Compensation covers any work-related injuries but cannot award damages for pain and suffering nor punitive damages. Sometimes, in cases of especially reckless or intentional injury by your employer, you might want to seek these increased damages.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries in Arkansas
Workplace injuries are, unfortunately, a frequent and concerning issue that can jeopardize the well-being and safety of employees. It is crucial for workers to be aware of the various factors that can lead to such accidents. In Arkansas, there are several common causes of workplace injuries that every worker should take into consideration, including the following ways:
Slip and Fall Accidents
As we all know, workplace safety is of paramount importance. One of the most frequent hazards that workers face is the risk of slipping, tripping, or falling due to unsafe conditions. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, such as the presence of wet or slippery floors without adequate warning signs, uneven surfaces or loose floor tiles, cluttered walkways, or obstructed aisles. It is important for employers to take appropriate precautions to identify and mitigate such hazards, as well as to educate their employees on how to avoid them.
Machinery and Equipment Accidents
It is possible for workplace injuries to happen when machinery and equipment malfunction, are poorly maintained or are not used properly. A few examples of such injuries include amputations or crush injuries caused by unguarded or faulty machinery, electrocutions caused by faulty wiring or equipment, and burns caused by hot surfaces or steam.
Workplace injuries can happen due to various reasons, especially accidents related to transportation equipment and vehicle collisions. These accidents can involve collisions between company vehicles on the job site, forklift accidents that can cause harm to employees or pedestrians, and instances where employees are struck by moving vehicles or equipment.
Falls from Heights
Working at heights can be dangerous, and falling from elevated surfaces like ladders, scaffolding, or roofs can result in serious injuries. These falls can be caused by factors such as improperly secured or defective ladders, inadequate safety measures on scaffolding, and a lack of fall protection equipment or training when working on roofs. It is important to prioritize safety measures and proper training to prevent these types of accidents from occurring.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Certain movements repeated over time or excessive physical effort can result in injuries that lead to musculoskeletal disorders. A few instances of such injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome, which is caused by prolonged computer usage or assembly line work, and tendonitis or bursitis, which can result from repeatedly lifting or carrying heavy objects.
Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Exposure to harmful substances can lead to workplace injuries and illnesses, such as respiratory problems from prolonged asbestos exposure or chemical burns and poisoning from hazardous materials contact.
Common Workplace Injuries in Arkansas
People get hurt at work often. Hopefully, most cases require no more serious treatment than a bandage or a few stitches. Unfortunately, though, many injuries can be life-threatening or put you out of work.
Sprains and strains can be extremely uncomfortable, even if they are not life-threatening injuries. They might be serious enough to prevent work while you recover.
Inguinal hernias, herniated discs, and slipped discs are all sorts of injuries that occur from lifting too much or otherwise overexerting yourself. They can put you out of work for a long time, need surgery, or even cause permanent pain and discomfort.
Workplace falls, whether from a ladder or other high place, have the potential for extreme injury. Even if you manage to land on the ground instead of a dangerous obstacle, you can still sustain serious injury. Landing on your back or head could cause permanent injury or death.
Amputations are far too common when working with blades and heavy machinery. Getting a sleeve caught in a machine can be one of the biggest fears for machinists, but for those who have experienced it, it is a nightmare.
Burns, whether chemical or heat, can be common in some settings, especially ones that deal with welding, forging, or chemicals.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Workplace Injury in Arkansas
If someone gets injured while working, it is essential that they receive compensation promptly. However, settling a Workers’ Compensation claim can take time. It is vital to team up with our experts to ensure that the process goes smoothly with no unnecessary delays. Our team can assist you in documenting your injuries, submitting your claim, and even appealing it if required.
Document Your Injuries
If you are planning to submit a Workers’ Compensation claim in Arkansas, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure its success. The most critical step is to document any injuries sustained carefully. Notify your employer of the accident as soon as possible, as delaying it might cause your damages to appear insignificant.
Once you report your injuries to your employer, it is essential to seek medical attention from an approved physician. Only the documentation of your injuries by a medical professional will make your Workers’ Compensation claim successful. In Arkansas, employers might provide you with a list of approved doctors to consult for your injuries.
It is imperative that you visit one of your employer’s approved physicians as soon as possible. Failure to do so might result in the rejection of your Workers’ Compensation claim. Losing access to critical benefits due to not following the necessary steps can be avoided by seeking assistance from an experienced attorney. They can help you meet all necessary reporting deadlines and ensure that your injuries are thoroughly documented immediately after a workplace accident.
File Your Claim
Sustaining an injury at work in Arkansas can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process when it comes to filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. The process requires extensive information about the accident, along with medical evidence of the injuries sustained. Gathering all the necessary documentation can be a challenge.
To make sure your claim is handled properly and expediently, it is best to work with our team. We will start investigating your case immediately and gather all the evidence required to support your claim. Our attorneys will guide you through the paperwork and ensure that everything is filed correctly and on time.
Review Your Claim
When you file for Workers’ Compensation, it can take some time to prepare your claim. It is important to note that employers and insurance carriers have a limited amount of time to review it. While you are waiting for a decision, you might experience financial strain if you are unable to work and earn an income to support your family.
To speed up the claims review process, it might be helpful to have an attorney compile the necessary information beforehand to build a strong claim. If you have not received a decision within 21 days of filing, we recommend that you contact our firm immediately.
Appeal a Claim Denial If Necessary
If you have been denied Workers’ Compensation benefits in Arkansas, you have the option to file an appeal within three years from the date of denial. The appeals process can be lengthy and typically involves a hearing. In some cases, a judge might suggest an alternative dispute resolution to reach a settlement. If this fails, the judge might make a decision on the case themselves.
Unfortunately, the appeals process can take months or even years, which can be too long for many Arkansas workers who depend on their benefits.
Our Arkansas Workplace Injury Attorneys Can Help
For a free case analysis with our workplace injury lawyers, contact us today at (479) 316-0438.