Filing for workers’ compensation can be confusing. The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC) has various rules and instructions for how to fill out their forms and what is necessary for your claim. If you have trouble with these forms, talk to Fayetteville, AR workers’ comp lawyer Ken Kieklak, today. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, offers free consultations to help you and your family get the compensation you need after a serious workplace injury in Fayetteville or anywhere in Arkansas. Call today to schedule a free consultation on your case and get the help you need.
Filling Out Workers’ Comp. Forms in Arkansas
When filing for workers’ compensation, there are multiple forms you may need to fill out. Each form has its own set of instructions, available on the AWCC website. When filing for workers’ comp., you may need to fill out at least one of the following four forms:
- Form N – Notice to Employer
- Form C – Claim for Compensation
- Form D – Death or Permanent Total Disability Case
- Form L – Lump Sum Payment
You should always talk to an attorney or ask the AWCC for more information if you are confused about which forms you need to file in your case. For example, you may not need form D if you are not permanently disabled, and Form L might not apply if you are not seeking a lump sum payment. Talk to our Fayetteville, AR lump sum workers’ comp settlements lawyers for more information.
When filling out these forms, it is important to fill them out properly. Make sure that all statements are accurate and the forms supply enough information about the claim for your employer and the AWCC to understand what happened. These forms must be filled out either by filling the digital forms on your computer and printing them in blue or black ink, or filling them out by hand in blue or black ink.
In addition to handling the forms, you also need to inform your employer about the injuries you suffered. This is the primary way to get the ball rolling on your claim. You should also seek medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is handled promptly and there is no delay in treatment, which could worsen your injuries. If you are injured in a workplace accident, you should seek immediate, emergency medical treatment. If your injury or condition becomes apparent outside of work, you may need to seek treatment from a doctor your employer specifically chooses.
What Information to Include on Workman’s Comp. Forms in Arkansas
Most of the Arkansas workers’ comp. forms want information about who you are, who you work for, and what happened. The information about your name and your employer are often simple enough to fill out. It is important to make sure that your information matches the information your employer has. That means that if you go by an informal nickname or have multiple addresses, make sure that the information you submit on these forms matches the info your employee has on record so they can identify the proper person from their employment records. Similarly, your employer’s information should match the official records of your employer’s business name and address.
Some of the claims forms ask you what workers’ comp. benefits you are claiming for your initial benefits. In many cases, you might need all applicable benefits, and you should review your forms with a Fayetteville workers’ comp medical benefits attorney if you are unsure what benefits you need. The options for benefits you can claim on Form C are…
- Temporary Total Disability
- Temporary Partial Disability
- Permanent Partial Disability
- Permanent Total Disability
- Attorney Fees
- Medical Expenses
You can also claim death benefits if you lost a loved one to a work-related condition or workplace accident with the help of a Fayetteville, AR workers’ comp death benefits lawyer.
Many of these benefits are incompatible, such as permanent and temporary disability. Pick the type of benefits that most closely applies to your situation, plus any rehabilitation benefits, attorney’s fees, and medical expenses you might need.
These forms anticipate the fact that you might already be working with a Fayetteville, AR work injury lawyer, so do not hesitate to seek legal help with your forms. In fact, Form C includes a space for your attorney to sign the form if you already have representation. That means that you do not need to try to handle these forms by yourself. Especially if your injury is too severe for you to concentrate on filling out these forms or you are physically unable to do the forms yourself, talk to a lawyer about helping you apply for workers’ compensation.
Filling Out Your Employer’s Workers’ Comp. Forms
Aside from the forms that the AWCC requires, there might be forms and notices that your employer or their insurance company requests you to fill out. Because workers’ comp. is ultimately paid by your company and their worker’s comp. insurance provider, they will often have their own forms and processes that they need followed for you to get the benefits you deserve. However, many of these forms could be used against you in some capacity, so it is important to review your application with an attorney.
A company’s workers’ comp. forms might request information similar to an accident report, where you have to state what happened, who was involved, and other information about the event. In some cases, your employer could use missing information or information that does not match the AWCC’s forms to claim that you made a fraudulent or incorrect claim. They may also check that your conditions and injuries match on all forms, potentially denying your claim if there are any additional conditions you claimed benefits for. For instance, if your initial accident involved a fall off a ladder in which you suffered a head injury and you later discovered that the fall also caused a back injury, your employer might take issue with a report that fails to mention that the fall was from a ladder or that fails to mention that the back injuries also occurred during the fall.
One form that you almost always need to fill out for an employer is Form N. This is the notice form that tells your employer about the injury under the AWCC’s rules. Part of this form should be returned to you with notices you need as the employee.
Your attorney can help make sure that your claims are consistent and that the information the insurance company and the AWCC need to approve your claim is present on all documents and records related to your claim.
Appealing a Workers’ Comp. Claim After a Rejected Application
If you apply for workers’ comp. coverage and either your employer or the AWCC rejects your claim, then it is important to speak with an attorney about how to get the denial reversed through appeals. Without workers’ compensation benefits, it might be impossible for you to support yourself and your family, and it might be overwhelmingly expensive to get the medical care you need. Talk to a lawyer before applying so that you can get help with the initial application and potentially reduce your chances of having the application rejected. If your application has already been rejected, talk to an attorney about how to appeal your case.
In many instances, workers’ comp. applications and forms are rejected because of technical errors. Forgetting to sign, mismatched dates, or other errors in a form might make the form invalid or might make the claims impossible as written. In many cases, typos and other issues can be corrected without significant appeals, and working with an attorney, you can seek leave to correct these mistakes before your application is rejected or any potential accusations of fraud are levied.
If your application was rejected because it did not have enough information to support your claim, it could be possible to amend your documents and correct any problems. If that fails, you could be entitled to ask the insurance carrier or your employer to reconsider your application. This would mean that they should take another look at the application and make a fresh decision, potentially reversing course if there was important information that they missed.
If you need to appeal your denial further, you may be able to take the claim before the AWCC or an administrative law judge. In either case, a judge or a panel from the AWCC will review your claim, hear arguments, and listen to evidence and testimony that supports your claim. If they determine that your claim is valid, they may be able to order the insurance company to pay your claim.
Applications are usually denied for a few simple reasons:
Missing or Incorrect Information
Typos, mistakes, and other incorrect information on workers’ comp. forms could endanger your chances of getting coverage. A lawyer can help you ensure that you have all of the info you need before you submit your forms to help avoid rejections for these kinds of issues. Most of these errors are accidental and can be resolved if you act quickly.
Injury Not “Work-Related”
If your employer believes that your injury or illness was not related to your work or that it occurred outside of work, then they will reject your claim. Your employer might get this impression if the injury is something that was not clearly linked to work because of missing information or if it was not promptly reported. In many cases, the more time there was between the accident and the report, the more likely your employer will be to argue that the injury happened outside of work and that the claim is false.
It is vital when filling out your forms to fill out Form N. If your employer claims that they did not get proper notice of your claim, then they can often reject your claim and avoid payment. If you have proper documentation showing that you notified the right person at your workplace and that they confirmed receipt of the notice, then you can avoid these kinds of rejections.
Lack of Evidence
In many cases where no one else witnessed your injury or had enough information to completely fill out an accident report, it may be difficult to back-up your claims. If your forms and notices to your employer include facts that are difficult to verify, it could be harder to get your claim accepted. If that is the case, then you should definitely work with a lawyer to build your claim, especially if it may end up going before a judge or the AWCC before you can prove what happened.
Fayetteville Workers’ Comp. Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
Do not try to handle your workers’ compensation case on your own. Some steps, like reporting your injury to your employer or seeking emergency medical treatment, happen so quickly that an attorney might not be able to help. After the first steps, you still need to act quickly to file the proper forms and make your workers’ comp. claim official. Talk to a Greenland, AR workers’ compensation attorney for help filling out these forms if you have any questions about what forms you need and how to complete them. For a free consultation on your case, contact Fayetteville workers’ comp. lawyer Ken Kieklak today at (479) 316-0438.