Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be stressful, especially if you are seriously injured and the tasks of completing paperwork and making phone calls are daunting. When preparing for your workers’ comp. claim, it is important to talk to a lawyer about how to prepare a strong claim to get the workers’ comp. benefits you need. If you or a loved one was injured at work, talk to Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak today for help with your claim.
Preparing to File for Workers’ Comp
If you were injured at work, you should immediately begin discussing your injury with a workers’ comp. lawyer and work toward filing your claim. Part of the process of filing a workers’ comp. claim is to talk to your employer and inform them of your intent to claim workers’ comp. benefits. As part of working with an attorney or filing your case on your own, you will need to take the following steps to prepare your case:
Seek Emergency Treatment
If you were injured in an accident at work, you should seek immediate medical treatment. Emergency medical treatment compensation should be paid through workers’ comp. regardless of whether your later claim for ongoing injury benefits is successful. You should never risk an injury getting worse because you did not seek treatment, and your employer will usually suggest that you seek treatment after an injury. Getting a baseline assessment of your injury can help you determine the full extent of your injury or your medical condition and help guide you through the rest of your claim preparation.
Gather Information About the Injury
Filing a workers’ comp. claim means telling your employer about the injury, how it happened, and what the results are. Think of this as an incident report. Your employer needs to know when the injury happened, what incident or circumstances lead up to the injury, how the injury was treated, how the injury continued to develop, and what injuries you face now. Your attorney can help you assemble this information into a usable format and help you fill out any paperwork pertaining to this information.
Gather Paycheck Information
If you are seeking wage loss benefits during your recovery, you will have to show what your average weekly wage is. This average is used to determine how much workers’ comp. will pay you for lost wages. Workers’ comp. pays you 2/3 of your normal weekly wages for each day you miss because of the injury. This is sometimes subject to other limits, and many injuries do not allow permanent, ongoing payments. It is important to calculate your expected weekly paycheck from workers’ comp. so that you can start budgeting and planning for your recovery.
Filing a Claim for Workman’s Comp. in Arkansas
As part of your claim, there are complex – and often confusing – rules that your attorney can need to help you understand.
First, you typically must use a doctor that your employer chooses. This physician should be able to provide you with quality healthcare and help develop a treatment plan that lays out appointments, procedures, follow-ups, physical therapy, and other care that you should undergo. If you cannot keep up with the treatment plan, your employer may terminate your workers’ comp. benefits by claiming that you aren’t following the plan. To ensure you use a doctor who is covered by your medical benefits and to avoid termination of workers’ comp. benefits, it is important to work with a lawyer.
Workers’ comp. claims are not always successful. Sometimes, technical rules may allow your employer to reject your claim – but sometimes more serious errors call your claim into question. Working with an attorney and filing your claim properly on the first attempt has the highest success rate for workers’ comp. claims. However, if your claim is denied, you may be able to appeal the case.
Appealing your workers’ comp. claim means taking a denial to the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commissions or an administrative law judge to get the decision reversed. Many employers deny claims because of insufficient evidence or because they suspect the claims are not true. Your lawyer can hep you prove your injury was work-related, help you prove that it keeps you from working, and help you get the treatment, coverage, and lost wages you need by filing a workers’ comp. appeal or seeking a hearing for your workers’ comp. case.
Fayetteville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Offering Free Consultations on Workplace Injury Claims
If you or a member of your family was injured in a workplace accident or suffers from a work-related illness, talk to an attorney today. You may be able to take steps on your own to prepare to file a workers’ comp. claim, but an attorney can help guide you through the preparation of your claim and fight to get your claim accepted. To schedule a free consultation with Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, about your claim, contact our law offices today at (479) 251-7767.
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