Accidents and injuries in the workplace are a leading cause of workers missing days from work. Depending upon the nature and extent of your work injury, you may be entitled to receive, among other things, medical expenses; benefits to compensate you for time lost at work; benefits to compensate you for a permanent impairment; benefits to compensate you for a loss of earning capacity; and or vocational rehabilitation.
If you have been injured in your workplace then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault for the injury. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has decades of experience working with both employers and their insurance companies to negotiate workers’ compensation claims.
Workplace Accidents by the Numbers
The Arkansas Department of Labor has contracted with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics to conduct annual surveys of workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. As part of their findings, they tracked the number of fatal injuries over the past several years.
Findings on the number of fatalities in Arkansas for each subsequent year are as follows:
- 1992 – 82
- 1993 – 71
- 1994 – 85
- 1995 – 91
- 1996 – 88
- 1997 – 102
- 1998 – 86
- 1999 – 76
- 2000 – 106
- 2001 – 68
- 2002 – 80
- 2003 – 87
- 2004 – 70
- 2005 – 80
- 2006 – 78
- 2007 – 89
- 2008 – 85
- 2008 – 75
- 2010 – 87
- 2011 – 93
In 2014, there were a total of 5,260 nonfatal occupational injuries that required workers to miss days from work. While there are many reasons for workers being injured on the job, the following is a list of the most common accidents.
On the job violent acts – Employers have an obligation to try and provide a safe environment for their employees. This can entail providing security and install surveillance and barriers. However, workplace violence does not always come from outside threats, but can come from inside the company itself.
Repetitive motion injuries – rapid repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel, gradual onset back injuries, and even hearing loss can potentially lead to an injury claim in the workplace.
Machine entanglement – Machine entanglement injuries are often the result of employers failing to conduct adequate and sufficient maintenance, or implementing proper safety measures and training. Despite the risks of working with heavy machinery, many industries and companies rely on heavy machines to do much of the labor. However, when an employee is working and part of their body because entangled in a machine they may find themselves facing serious injuries.
Vehicle crashes – Many workers throughout Arkansas are required to drive as part of their business. However, as you are aware, auto accidents can happen at almost anytime and often result in serious injuries.
Falling object injuries – Objects that fall from shelves, scaffolding, or other pieces of equipment can cause significant injuries to workers. While these injuries have been a continued source of legislation and workplace safety training, they still are a major concern for many workers.
Injuries from these accidents can range from minor sprains and strains to fractures and even death. However, many of these accidents and injuries can be prevented by employers implementing adequate training and safety measures.
What is the Process to Receive Benefits?
Arkansas employees who have been injured in the workplace may be entitled to workers compensation. However, before a worker can begin to receive benefits from for a workplace injury there are several steps and procedures that a worker must go through. To begin, any worker who has been injured in the workplace must report their injury to their employer and subsequently to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. After the injury has been reported to the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier an injured worker will be required to go to the doctor chose by the employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In addition to reporting an injury and then going to the prescribed doctor, workers who have been injured at work will be required to fill out all of the appropriate forms in an accurate and timely manner.
Unfortunately, injured workers often find that there are too many forms and appointments to keep up with and keep track of. The stress of dealing with an injury and illness while trying to navigate the complicated workers’ compensation system often leads to employees failing to properly fill out key pieces of paperwork or missing crucial deadlines.
What Benefits Might I be Eligible to Receive?
Often workers who have been injured while they are at work are concerned with what types of benefits and payments they can receive for their injury. Under the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation system there are generally three types of benefits that an injured worker is entitled to receive.
Medical Care Benefits: Medical care benefits are payments needed to provide coverage for all reasonably necessary services and treatment related to an injury or illness. Common forms of medical care benefits include doctor bills, medication, hospital costs, lab tests, X-rays, and crutches. Your employer’s insurance provider pays these costs directly.
Rehabilitation Services: Rehabilitation services are another type of benefit that a worker is entitled to receive for their injuries. Often rehabilitation services will include vocation rehabilitation so that a worker can return to their former position. However, in certain accidents and injuries, a worker may have to undergo different types of physical therapy which can also be covered by rehabilitation services.
Cash Payment: Workers who are severely injured during the course of their employment often miss extended periods of time away from work. Typically, cash payments are made in the form of temporary total disability benefits. These payments compensate you for wages lost while you are recovering from your injury. If your injury results in permanent impairment then you may be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits, or if your injury has affected your ability to perform your job, then you may be entitled to wage loss benefits.
Contact Benton County Workplace Injury Attorney Ken Kieklak Today
For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has fought for hard-working Arkansans who are injured at work. To schedule your free and confidential initial consultation, call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.