Suffering an injury while working is never easy. Injuries can take a physical toll and leave you with medical debt and lost wages due to your inability to go to work. Luckily, there are resources such as workers’ comp and health insurance available to workers, both of which can ease the financial burden of medical costs. But what’s the difference between workers’ comp and health insurance, and how does it affect workers in Arkansas? Read on as the Fayetteville, AR Workers’ Compensation lawyers from The Kieklak Law Firm explain the difference between Workers’ Compensation insurance and health insurance and what it means for workers of all industries who are employed in Arkansas.
The Difference Between Workers’ Comp and Health Insurance in Arkansas
In Arkansas and across the United States, there is a significant difference between workers’ comp and health insurance. Workers’ comp insurance is paid by the government and only administers benefits (medical costs and lost wages) to employees if they are injured while working. Health insurance is paid for you, though a large portion, if not all of it, is often paid for by employers. Health insurance covers not only medical care for injuries but also other medical needs. While both can cover medical costs, Workers’ Compensation policies and health insurance are meant to provide different benefits for workers throughout Arkansas.
When You Can File for Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas?
Employees can only file for Workers’ Compensation if they have suffered from a work-related injury. The injury must have been an on the job injury, and it must have happened while the employee was performing a work-related activity. It is also possible to qualify for Workers’ Compensation insurance if your time in the workplace aggravated a pre-existing condition. Workers should note that they will be denied Workers’ Compensation benefits in Fayetteville or elsewhere in Arkansas if they inflicted an injury on themselves or suffered an injury because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or were not adhering to commonly accepted safety protocol.
To apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits, workers must provide their employers with a detailed account of their injury, the type of injury it is, how the injury happened, and when exactly the injury occurred. Workers should notify their employers about their injuries as soon after the incident as possible. Waiting too long to file a claim can reduce a worker’s ability to have their claim accepted and, if they wait too long, they may surpass the statute of limitations.
Once a worker alerts their employer to their injury, the employer will report the incident to the company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance provider. In many cases, the employer will select a doctor who the employee can visit for an injury evaluation. If the doctor determines that the injuries will prevent the employee from being able to work, the employee will begin to receive workers’ comp benefits soon after. If the employee’s workers’ comp claim is denied, they should get in touch with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible for help with filing an appeal.
Your employer should then report the accident to the company’s insurance carrier. The employer may then select a physician to evaluate the extent of your injuries. If the physician determines that your injuries will keep you from working, you should begin to receive workers’ comp benefits. If your claim is denied, you should speak with an experienced Crawford County workplace injury attorney that can help you file an appeal.
When You Can Use Health Insurance for a Work Injury in Arkansas?
If your health insurance plan covers the treatment, you need to deal with an injury you sustained while at work, you can use it. However, your health insurance plan will only cover medical treatment. It will not cover any wages you lose while you’re unable to work. Workers’ compensation policies do cover lost wages, which is why it’s crucial to file a claim quickly if you have suffered an injury while working. Arkansas is a no-fault Workers’ Compensation state, which means that the worker’s degree of fault in their workplace injury is not taken into account.
Workers’ Comp Benefits in Arkansas
Workers’ comp policies in Arkansas cover both medical costs incurred due to the injury and a portion of wages lost while the worker was unable to go to work.
Workers’ comp policies cover medical bills from a work-related condition. Employees should note that they may be required to visit a doctor selected by their employer. They will be required to keep up with all of the medical care they need; missing necessary appointments is grounds for having workers’ comp benefits suspended or canceled. The medical costs included in workers’ comp policies include doctor’s visits, prescriptions and medications, surgeries, X-rays, and other types of imaging, medical devices, physical therapy, and vocational rehabilitation.
Workers’ comp policies allow injured workers to receive replacement wages every other week while they are injured. Employees can receive only 66.66% of their regular weekly wages but no less than $20 per week.
Work with an Experienced Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you or a family member has been injured while working in Arkansas, get in touch with an experienced Fayetteville Workers’ Compensation benefits attorney today. The Fayetteville workers’ comp attorneys from The Kieklak Law Firm can assist injured workers with their Workers’ Compensation claims or appeals of denials of claims. To schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case, call the Kieklak Law Firm at (479) 316-0438.