Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
It is an unfortunate reality, but many workers are injured in the workplace throughout the country. Injured workers rely on their workers’ compensation insurance to help them obtain compensation while they recover from their injuries. Many wonder if this compensation system will afford them coverage if they’re injured under less conventional circumstances, such as while out on a business trip. Fayetteville worker’s compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, has prepared the following information to address this critical question.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
The workers’ compensation system is designed to help people who are injured or who have developed an illness in the workplace. It helps them obtain compensation while they are unable to return to work. However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to obtain the benefits provided by the workers’ compensation system.
For starters, you must be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance. This means your employer must provide you with coverage, unless you are part of an excluded clasification of workers; normally, an employer with three or more employees is required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees.
Additionally, your injury or illness must be related to your job. This means you will not be able to obtain compensation for an injury suffered outside the scope of your work obligations. Also, you will need to make a timely report of your injury to your employer and comply with other rules to qualify for the program’s benefits. If you are eligible, you can obtain compensation to help you recover after your workplace injury.
The workers’ compensation system provides coverage for things such as lost wages, medical care, death benefits, and other losses. Keep in mind that you can obtain coverage only for injuries or illnesses related to your work. In this regard, a business trip injury may qualify for workers’ compensation depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. For instance, if your injury occurred while making a trip to meet up with a client, or to otherwise act within the scope of your obligations as an employee, then you may be covered under the workers’ compensation system.
Reasons for Denying Workers’ Compensation Coverage
There are different reasons why your workers’ compensation was denied. Keep in mind this system is designed to help workers who are injured at the workplace or within the scope of their job obligations. However, coverage is not automatic, and it requires workers to meet all rules set forth by their workers’ compensation policy. Some of the reasons why your claim may be denied include the following:
Failure to Report Your Injury
Notifying your employer about your work-related injury is one of the most critical steps in your workers’ compensation claim. Failure to do so may prevent you from qualifying to obtain your compensation. You must notify your employer about your injury as soon as you possibly can to avoid complications.
Medical Follow-Up Noncompliance
Part of your workers’ compensation claim requires you to obtain medical attention from a physician provided by your employer. As part of your claim, you will need to follow up on any medical appointments. Refusing to do so can hurt your chances of getting workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if you refuse to get treatment from one of your employer-selected physicians, your claim may be denied.
Your Injury Is Not Job-Related
If you suffered an injury that is not related to your job, your claim can be denied. For instance, if you were driving a vehicle on your way home from work and had an accident, any injuries you suffer may not be covered by your workers’ compensation insurance.
Can I Appeal a Workers’ Compensation Denial?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you can file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Once you have filed your claim, an investigation will ensue. Your case may be referred to mediation where you and the other parties will try to find common ground and solve your claim.
If the two parties can’t reach an accord, your case can be referred to an administrative law judge who will oversee your case to in an effort to solve the issue. If you disagree with the determination made by the judge, you can file an appeal with the Arkansas Court of Appeals. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the entire process.
Workers’ Compensation Attorney Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured at the workplace, you need the legal representation of a skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced lawyer by your side. Filing for workers’ compensation benefits requires knowledge of how the system works. Navigating through the workers’ compensation system without proper guidance can hurt your chances of obtaining your benefits. To discuss your claim in a free, confidential consultation, call Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today at (479) 439-1843.
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