Injured employees rely on the Workers’ Compensation system in Arkansas to make ends meet while recovering from work-related accidents and injuries. If workers are injured at work and then fired, their Workers’ Compensation benefits might become complicated.
You can still file for Workers’ Compensation if you are injured at work and then fired. While it is possible to be fired while collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits, your benefit payments should continue for as long as you are approved to receive them. Unfortunately, employers sometimes try to fire injured employees as a form of retaliation for filing a claim in the first place. This is extremely illegal, and you should talk to a lawyer about your Workers’ Compensation and firing as soon as possible. If your benefits end or are terminated sometime after you are fired, we can help you explore other legal options.
If you were fired from your job after being injured at work, you should not be barred from collecting Workers’ Compensation. For a free evaluation of your case, call our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation attorneys at (479) 316-0438.
Collecting Workers’ Compensation for an Injury After Being Fired in Arkansas
Ideally, a person should report work-related accidents to their supervisors immediately. Waiting even just one day reduces your chances of getting a Workers’ Compensation claim approved. In some cases, employees are fired after their injuries happen but before they can file their Workers’ Compensation claims. In such cases, employees can still collect Workers’ Compensation if they meet the right criteria. Our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you if you believe you were wrongfully denied compensation.
In Arkansas, as long as your case meets the criteria for Workers’ Compensation, you can file a claim and collect benefits even after you are fired. According to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission, injured employees may collect benefits to pay for medical expenses and a portion of lost Wages if a doctor determines they should not return to work for a certain length of time. Even if you are fired after your injury, you can still be checked out by a doctor and file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
It is illegal to fire injured employees to avoid paying Workers’ Compensation. Similarly, it is illegal to fire an injured worker as retaliation for filing a Workers’ Claim. Talk to a lawyer immediately if you believe your firing was unlawfully related to your injuries and Workers’ Compensation claim.
Being Fired While Collecting Workers’ Compensation
If you are fired while collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits, those benefits should continue for as long as you are approved to receive them. If you are terminated because your injuries prevent you from returning to work, but you have not yet filed a Workers’ Compensation claim, you should still be able to file. Employees may be terminated for lawful reasons, like being physically unable to return to work, but their rights to file Workers’ Compensation claims remain.
If you are fired while receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, our Bella Vista Workers’ Compensation attorneys can review the reasons behind your firing and the terms of your employment. The way in which an employer can terminate employees will vary based on the terms of employment. However, no employee can be fired as retaliation for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Being Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Arkansas
As discussed before, you cannot be fired as a form of retaliation for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. Employers sometimes want to prevent injured employees from filing these claims for a whole host of reasons. Perhaps your employer is concerned that your claim will trigger an investigation into the unsafe work environment by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In some cases, employers fire employees after an accident because they do not carry any Workers’ Compensation insurance (which is illegal).
The fact that you were fired after filing a Workers’ Compensation should not prevent you from getting your claim approved. However, the issue might come up during the application process, and our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you explain that we believe the firing was unlawful retaliation.
If your employment is considered “at-will,” you can be fired for almost any reason. You can even be fired for no reason at all. However, you cannot be fired for unlawful reasons like race, ethnicity, religion, or as retaliation for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. It might be very challenging to prove your retaliation claims if your employment was at-will, as your employer can claim nearly any reason for the firing. Our Bentonville Workers’ Compensation attorneys will stand by your side and advocate for your compensation.
What Do I Do if My Workers’ Compensation Benefits End After I am Fired in Arkansas?
If you lose your job and your Workers’ Compensation benefits come to an end, you can explore other options for getting benefits or compensation. People are sometimes fired for legitimate reasons while collecting Workers’ Compensation. Perhaps the company had to downsize, and your department was cut, or maybe your injury prevented you from ever being able to return to work again.
Our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you explore other legal options so you can get compensation or benefits after you are fired and your Workers’ Compensation payments end. You can sue your former employer for wrongful termination if you were unlawfully fired.
You should also think about the prognosis of your injuries. If you will eventually be able to return to work, we can help you fight to keep your Workers’ Compensation benefits for a bit longer. If you do not think you can come back to work any time soon or at all, filing for disability benefits might be the way to go. If you do not qualify for disability benefits but still need to make ends meet, perhaps filing for unemployment is an option worth looking into.
Our Springdale Workers’ Compensation attorneys can help you argue for additional benefits or an extension to your existing benefits. We can refer you to our disability attorneys if other options must be explored.
Call Our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Assistance
If you are fired after suffering a work-related accident, you should be able to continue collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits. Our Rogers Workers’ Compensation lawyers can help you determine whether your firing was lawful or not. Call us for a free case review at (479) 316-0438.
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