Being injured at work can be extremely frustrating. It is terrible to go to work every day, only to be rewarded with pain and injury. Luckily, there are systems in place that can help you recover financially from your injuries give you the time and money to recover physically.
If you have been injured in an industrial accident or a workplace injury, you do not have to face the results alone. Ken Kieklak is an Arkansas attorney who handles Workers’ Compensation and workplace injury cases. If you would like to consult with Ken about your case, call (479) 316-0438.
What Options are Available to Me After a Workplace Injury in Arkansas?
Injuries sustained in the workplace may be sudden, specific injuries, such as sprains, breaks, burns, lacerations, or even amputations that occur on the job. There is also the possibility of succumbing to some sort of condition or illness that may take a while to build. Things like cancer, asbestos, and heavy metal poisoning can take years of exposure to form, but are nonetheless caused by exposure at your work place.
In most situations, your options depend on who was at fault for your injuries, some specific details about the injury, and what you want to receive. In most injuries, either caused by accident, the carelessness of fellow employees, or the negligence of your employer, your best option to seek immediate recovery is using your state’s Workers’ Compensation program.
Arkansas, like most states, has a Workers’ Compensation program. This is used to get employees who were injured at work money to cover their medical expenses and lost wages while they are unable to work. The only required proof to get this coverage is proof that the injury occurred and was work-related. There is no need to prove that anyone is at fault for the injuries, and so the system is designed to help a speedy recovery. It awards only medical coverage through doctors chosen by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company, and only 2/3 of your typical wages, so it does have its drawbacks.
In a case where a third party was responsible for your injuries, or you work as an independent contractor, you will likely not be able to use the Workers’ Compensation system. This means going through normal court proceedings. A personal injury lawsuit based on negligence usually requires proving that the party responsible for your injury had a duty to prevent injury, breached that duty, the breach caused harm, and the harm caused can be redressed by a court. If this lawsuit or settlement is successful, you can receive not only medical expenses and lost wages (without a 2/3 limit), but also damages to account for your pain and suffering. In some cases, you may also be able to get extra damages that punish the bad actor. Arkansas has no legal limit, called a “cap,” on how much these damages can be.
If your injury was caused at work, but by the intentional bad actions of your employer or another actor, then you may also want to use a traditional lawsuit. Workers’ compensation covers any work-related injuries, but cannot award damages for pain and suffering nor punitive damages. Sometimes, in cases of especially reckless or intentional injury by your employer, you may want to seek these increased damages.
Common Workplace Injuries
People get hurt at work often. Hopefully, most cases require no more serious treatment than a bandage or a few stitches. Unfortunately, though, many injuries can be life-threatening or put you out or work.
Sprains and strains can be extremely uncomfortable, even if they are not life-threatening injuries. They may be serious enough to prevent work while you recover.
Inguinal hernias, herniated discs, and slipped discs are all the sort of injuries that occur from lifting too much or otherwise overexerting yourself. They can put you out of work for a long time, need surgery, or even cause permanent pain and discomfort.
Workplace falls, whether from a ladder or other high place, have the potential for extreme injury. Even if you manage to land on the ground instead of a dangerous obstacle, you can still sustain serious injury. Landing on your back or head could cause permanent injury or death.
Amputations are far too common when working with blades and heavy machinery. Getting a sleeve caught in a machine can be one of the biggest fears for machinists, but for those who have experienced it, it is a nightmare.
Burns, whether chemical or heat, can be common in some settings, especially ones that deal with welding, forging, or chemicals.
Have You Been Injured at Work? Call an Arkansas Workers’ Comp Attorney for Help
If you have suffered an injury in the workplace, or suffer from some other work-related condition, you should speak with a lawyer about your options. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is an Arkansas lawyer that handles personal injury cases, workplace injuries, and Workers’ Compensation cases. For a consultation about how to get compensation for your injury, call (479) 316-0438.