Working on a farm can be grueling, demanding work that leaves workers susceptible to injuries. The agricultural industry is the largest in Arkansas and is responsible for employing thousands of Arkansas residents. If you were injured while working on a farm in Arkansas, you shouldn’t have to be burdened by medical debt for the treatment you receive for your injury. Fortunately, you can get benefits through your Workers’ Compensation policy administered through the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. For help with filing your Workers’ Compensation claim, you can use the services of Fayetteville, AR Workers’ Compensation lawyer Ken Kielak, who will explain here more about getting workers’ comp benefits as an employee of a farm in Arkansas.
Can Farmworkers Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Arkansas?
Workers’ compensation policies in Arkansas allow farmworkers to get compensation if they suffer from a workplace injury in Arkansas, which means the injury happened while they were working. Since Arkansas is a “no-fault” state, injured employees can recover compensation through their employers’ Workers’ Compensation plans without having to prove who was at fault for the injury.
Injured workers can apply for workers’ comp through the state’s Workers’ Comp Commission; no appearance in court is required. The Workers’ Comp Commission will manage the employee’s application, certify that their injury is work-related, and then pass their case to their employer and their Workers’ Compensation insurance company so they can handle the benefit payments.
Benefits Farmworkers Can Get Through Their Workers’ Compensation Policies
Farm employees who are injured while on the job in Arkansas are entitled to recover both medical costs and lost wages through their workers’ comp policies.
Arkansas Workers’ Comp Medical Benefits
Workers’ comp policies allow employees to recover medical costs they incur from treating their injury or work-related condition. Often, injured employees will have to get medical treatment from a doctor selected by their employer. Injured employees should note that they have to keep up with all the medical care their condition requires. Missing an appointment or failing to adhere to medical recommendations made by a doctor can result in suspension or cancellation of benefits. Medical costs that can be covered in workers’ comp policies include physical therapy, medical devices and equipment, medical imaging (X-rays and MRIs), surgeries, prescription medications, visits to doctors and specialists, and vocational rehabilitation.
Arkansas Workers’ Comp Wage Loss Benefits
Workers’ comp policies allow workers who suffered injuries that occurred on a farm in Arkansas to receive payment to replace their missed wages while they are recovering from their injuries. Employees are only able to recover two thirds (66.66%) of their typical wages while they are unable to work. Lost wages can only be recovered if the injured employee missed more than fourteen days of work. The payments do not begin until the 8th day of their injury, starting on the date that the injury occurred.
How to Qualify for Workers’ Comp. in Arkansas as an Employee of a Farm
Employees must be employed by a company or employer based within Arkansas to qualify for workers’ comp benefits in Arkansas. Employees who work for the federal government do not qualify for state workers’ comp benefits and have to navigate the federal workers’ comp system instead.
Workers can only qualify for workers’ comp benefits if they have suffered an injury that is considered to be “work-related.” This means that the injury must happen while the employee is in the workplace, doing a work-related activity. Injuries that occur during commutes or in spaces in which work isn’t being done (such as the lunchroom or break room) cannot qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits. However, workers can qualify for workers’ comp benefits if they have pre-existing conditions that are aggravated by the tasks they perform in the workplace. Workers’ claims will be denied if they inflicted an injury on themselves. They will also be denied if the injury happened while the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to adhere to safety protocol, or failing to use the proper protective gear.
When applying for workers’ comp benefits, employees must provide a detailed account of their injury to their employer. They will have to describe the injury itself, how the injury occurred, and when the injury happened. Employees need to notify their employers about their injuries as soon as possible. Allowing too much time to pass before alerting an employer can impact an employee’s ability to have their claim accepted. If an employee waits too long to file their claim, they could surpass Arkansas’ statute of limitations for filing workers’ comp claims.
Arkansas Agricultural and Farmworker Workplace Injury Attorney
It’s common for Workers’ Compensation claims to be denied, even if the employee has a legitimate injury. If your Workers’ Compensation claim has been denied, you may need the help of an Arkansas Workers’ Compensation attorney for agricultural and farmworkers to fight on your behalf for the compensation you need. Your case may be assigned to a judge. If this happens, you’ll need the help of an attorney to make sure proper evidence of your injury is shown in court.
If you were injured while working on a farm in Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR workers’ comp attorney Ken Kieklak might be able to help you file a claim. You don’t have to cover your medical bills on your own if you were injured in your workplace. Call (479) 316-0438 today to schedule a free consultation with Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law.
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