Suffering a severe injury at the workplace can be devastating. Fortunately, Workers’ Compensation benefits are a safety net for workers that become injured on the job. This is especially true if you are an essential worker operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing when to file a claim for Workers’ Compensation can help you receive the funds you need to cover your medical bills and many other related expenses. If you or a family member was injured at the workplace, consult with an experienced Fayetteville, AR Workers’ Compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, understands how a severe injury can impact a worker’s life, and we are prepared to offer you the legal representation that you deserve to pursue your benefits. Workers’ compensation attorney Ken Kieklak is here to explain how to file a Workers’ Compensation claim in Arkansas.
What Qualifications Do You Need for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Arkansas?
Workers’ compensation benefits in Arkansas are regulated by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC). Business owners that employ three or more employees are required to retain Workers’ Compensation insurance in the event that an employee is injured on the job.
It is important to note that not all employees may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Specifically, the following individuals may have to seek alternatives to recover benefits for a work injury:
- Agricultural workers
- Domestic workers (e.g., housekeepers)
- Workers employed by charitable organizations
- Employees of religious organizations
- Maritime employees
- Railroad workers
If you are unsure of whether your job qualifies you to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Additionally, Workers’ Compensation benefits must be linked to a work-related incident. There are a number of factors that an employer may use to determine whether an injury was genuinely work-related. One important factor is that the injury must have occurred within the course of your employment. For example, if you suffered a leg injury because your coworker failed to operate a forklift correctly, this would be considered a work-related injury. Alternatively, an injury that occurs while an employee is eating lunch may not qualify for Workers’ Compensation.
Injuries that occur outside of the scope of the worker’s employment cannot qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits. For example, if you were injured while commuting to work, this will not be considered a work injury.
Work-related injuries must also result in an employee suffering some type of loss. For example, if an employee needs extensive medical care to recover from their injury, this would be considered a sufficient loss to claim Workers’ Compensation benefits.
What to Do After a Work-Related Injury in Arkansas
If you suffered a severe injury at work, there are steps that you can take that will help you when filing for Workers’ Compensation. One of the first steps you should take is to seek medical attention for your injuries. Be sure to inform the medical staff of how the accident occurred so that you can use this information when reporting the injury to your employer.
When you are able, you should report the accident and your injury to your employer. Make sure to be as detailed as possible. Include the date and time of the accident and the circumstances that caused the accident.
You should not hesitate to report your injury if you believe that you may have contributed to the accident. You may still be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits if you were partially responsible for the accident. However, there are some circumstances where an employer may attempt to avoid providing an employee with benefits. For example, if a worker caused intentionally caused their own injury to file Workers’ Compensation, they would be denied.
After reporting the injury to your employer, the insurance company for your employer will request that you visit a healthcare provider they selected. This healthcare provider will evaluate your injuries to help determine the full extent of your injuries. This information will then be used to determine how long an employee will be unable to work and the amount of benefits they should be provided. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to request that your employer allows you to be evaluated by a healthcare provider that you chose.
It is important to note that there are a number of reasons that may result in a denial of Workers’ Compensation benefits. For example, if you failed to follow the treatment plan set out by your healthcare provider, your employer may attempt to revoke your benefits. Alternatively, if your employer believes that your injury is not work-related, they may challenge your claim for benefits.
Our firm is here to help you weigh your options when seeking compensation from a serious work injury.
Work with Our Experienced Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Discuss Your Claim
If you or a family member was seriously injured due to the negligence of an employer, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville AR workers’ comp lawyer today. With over two decades of legal experience, injury attorney Ken Kieklak is prepared to use his knowledge to help you file your Workers’ Compensation claim. Victims of an injury at the workplace should not have to bear the burden of medical bills and other mounting expenses due to an employer’s mistake. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal options, contact Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438. You can also contact the firm online.