How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas

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Every worker wants to know that they are covered under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Arkansas’ workers’ compensation program provides injured workers with a safety net should they suffer a serious injury while working. However, a worker does not simply begin to receive compensation benefits as soon as they are injured; there is a process that must be completed. If you or a family member was injured at the workplace, consult with an experienced Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyer today. The Kieklak Law Firm understands the stress and uncertainty that can come from sustaining a serious work injury and we are here for you. Ken Kieklak is here to explain how to apply for workers’ compensation in Arkansas.

Requirements to Receive Workers’ Compensation

The purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide injured workers with wages and other benefits if they suffer an injury while working. In Arkansas, workers compensation insurance is handled by your employer and does not cost an employee any money from their wages. However, this often means that an employer has the right to choose the medical providers you see when you suffer a work injury.

The following is a list of requirements that an injured worker must fill to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

Work-Related Injury

An employee must suffer a work-related injury to be eligible for workers’ compensation. A work-related injury is an injury that occurred within the scope of a person’s employment. For example, if you were injured while using a forklift to transport materials for your employer, this qualifies as a work-related injury. Trying to pass off a non-work injury as work-related can lead to a denial of benefits.

It can sometimes be difficult to find the distinction between work-related injuries and non-work injuries. For example, if you are injured on your commute to work, your employer will likely treat your injury as a non-work injury.

It is important to note that certain circumstances may negate a work-related injury. If an employee arrives to work intoxicated and causes an accident that results in their injury, it may be difficult to receive compensation benefits. However, even if you were not intoxicated, but you feel you were partly responsible for an accident, this should not stop you from filing a workers’ comp application.

Filing an Injury Report

Once you are involved in a work-related accident and suffer an injury, you need to inform your employer as soon as possible. It is best to submit a detailed written report of the injury so that you can keep track of your application. Once the employer receives your report, they should submit a “First Report of Injury or Illness” to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. You should ensure that your employer timely files this document to ensure that your potential benefits are not affected.

Receive Medical Treatment and Evaluation

As mentioned, you will have to receive medical treatment from a healthcare provider that is chosen by your employer or their insurance carrier. If you want to see another healthcare provider, you should make that request of your employer as you could end up having to pay the medical expenses if your decision is not approved.

The medical provider should treat your injuries and evaluate the extent of your injuries. This information will then be relayed to your employer’s insurance carrier so that they can make a determination on whether you should receive workers’ compensation benefits.

To ensure that your application has a high likelihood of being approved, you should work with your employer to meet all requirements. For example, you will have to meet several deadlines for filing various documents, and you will be required to keep all your appointments with your assigned healthcare provider.

If the insurance carrier approves your application, you may be eligible for various benefits:

  • Braces, crutches, and other medical devices
  • Hospital visits to an employer-chosen healthcare provider
  • Access to surgical procedures
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Wage loss benefits

If your workers’ comp application was denied, you do not need to panic. You may be able to successfully file an appeal of the decision depending on the circumstances of your case. The Kieklak Law Firm can help you explore your options when it comes to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Our Fayetteville Workers’ Compensation Attorney is Ready to Work with You

If you or a family member sustained an injury while working, contact an experienced Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney today. Workers’ comp attorney Ken Kieklak has more than 20 years of legal experience litigating a wide range of injury claim, and he would be proud to use this experience to represent you. You do not have to file your workers’ compensation claim alone. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact the Kieklak Law Firm at (479) 262-9766, or contact us online.

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