Injured workers in Arkansas are typically protected under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This means that if you are hurt in a work-related accident, your medical expenses should be covered and you should receive weekly payments to cover your lost income. The exact benefits you receive will be based on the severity of your injury and are also prescribed by Arkansas’s workers’ compensation law.
For example, anyone who is injured at work should have all their medical bills paid for through workers’ comp. Unfortunately, lost wages are only partially covered. The length of your benefits will depend on how badly you were injured. To ensure you receive the maximum amount of available benefits, you should have our experienced Arkansas workers’ compensation lawyers at your side.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, advocates for and represents people who were injured on the job. To help maximize your benefits and ensure you do not miss any critical deadlines, call our office at (479) 316-0438.
Medical Benefits Under Arkansas Workers’ Compensation
Through your Arkansas worker’s compensation benefits, all your medical expenses should be covered. However, your employer’s liability ends six months after you were injured if no time from work was missed. If you did miss time at work, the six-month period begins running from the date you returned to your job. Furthermore, medical benefits are capped at $10,0000.
There are some important things to remember regarding your medical benefits. Once your employer has reported your injury to their insurance carrier, you will have to go to a physician that your employer or their insurance company chooses. It is crucial to cooperate or your benefits could be delayed or terminated.
In order to avoid issues, be sure to keep all appointments, get approval from the insurance provider before receiving treatment, do not change doctors without authorization, and return to work when your doctor determines you are ready. Additionally, your right to receive medical benefits will end if there has no necessary medical treatment provided for one year.
You should also keep a thorough record of the treatment you received, saving all your paperwork. If you have to contest or appeal any decisions, this information will be valuable for our Benton County workers’ compensation attorneys.
Disability and Income Through Arkansas Worker’s Compensation Benefits
Another key component of workers’ compensation benefits is the ability to receive part of the income you have lost because of your injury. The amount of compensation you will receive and the length of time you will receive it is determined by the impact of your injury. Your employer’s insurance provider will determine whether you are eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, permanent total disability (PTT) benefits, or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If your injury is determined to qualify for TTD benefits, you will have to wait seven days before any benefits will be paid. However, if you are out of work for over fourteen days, you will be compensated for the first seven as well.
An injured Arkansas employee will receive 66 2/3% of their regular wages. However, this amount is capped at $522, which is 85% of the average weekly salary in Arkansas. Additionally, these benefits are only available for 450 weeks.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
Benefits are slightly different if you are determined to qualify for PTD benefits. The weekly benefits remain the same, 66 2/3% of your regular salary, capped at $522. However, the weekly benefits will continue for the duration of your disability.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If the injured employee is determined to qualify for PPD benefits, their weekly payment remains 66 2/3% of their ordinary wages. However, this amount is now capped at $392 per week. If you have a non-scheduled injury, the maximum benefit period is limited to 450 weeks. Additionally, the amount you will receive is capped at $176,400.
Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Arkansas
The benefits described above are disbursed according to Arkansas workers’ compensation law. If you qualify for benefits, your medical expenses and lost wages will be covered under a prescribed formula. However, an injured worker could reach a settlement agreement. In many cases, settling a claim benefits both the employer and the employee. Nonetheless, you should speak with our Fort Smith workers’ compensation attorneys before accepting an offer.
Typically, in a settlement agreement, an injured employee will accept a lump-sum payment instead of going through the workers’ compensation process. This payment should be enough to cover their medical expenses, continuing treatments, and their past and future wages. By accepting a settlement offer, the employee frees their employer from the workers’ compensation claim. Furthermore, the employee is prohibited from filing additional claims base on their injury.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Arising from Work-Related Injuries in Arkansas
As you can see, there are limits on the benefits available under worker’s compensation insurance. However, depending on the facts of your case, you could have a valid personal injury claim against a liable third party. While Arkansas law prohibits employees from suing their employers, other negligent parties, including property owners, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, and even other employees, are not immune to personal injury claims. If you are hurt at work, contact our Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyer to determine if you have claims against other liable parties.
Call Our Experienced Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for a Free Consultation
While you might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you might not understand what benefits are available or how they are calculated. Knowing what you should receive is essential information for planning your next steps. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is available to answer your questions regarding workers’ compensation benefits, your ability to sue third parties and advocate for your rights. Call (479) 316-0438 to review your case.