What Should Arkansas Truck Drivers Know About Workers’ Compensation?
Many truck drivers working in Arkansas have real questions concerning the process, how to get disability benefits, and what type of benefits they can get. Unfortunately, disability questions often come up for truckers due to the rigorous nature of the job. Many people who think of the trucking occupation may first think about the risk of injury due to a vehicular accident. There is no doubt that an accident on the highway or any one of the roads in Arkansas or beyond can cause serious injury. But, this is far from the only workplace injury risk faced by truckers. Truck drivers must also concern themselves regarding repetitive stress injuries and delayed-onset back and neck injuries. In short, there are an array of ways a trucker can suffer an injury causing partial or full disability.
Thankfully, Arkansas has established a worker’s compensation regime. This regime provides compensation for the hard-working individual who is forced to halt his or her work, temporarily or permanently due to a serious injury or condition. People who use the Workers’ Compensation system are often dedicated people who often agonize over their decision to go on disability. But, in many cases, such action is the most likely means for them to recover or the only safe decision.
If you are suffering from an injury or nagging condition that has made full-time work impossible, you may qualify for worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits are often awarded routinely, but misunderstandings regarding the system, an independent medical examination that goes badly, and other factors can seriously impact your eligibility. If you have a legitimate claim but are facing pushback from the Arkansas Worker’s Compensation Commission (AWCC) or your employer contact Ken Kieklak at Gunn, Kieklak, & Dennis LLP at (479) 316-0438. He is a worker’s comp lawyer who can fight for you
How Does an Arkansas Truck Driver Get disability Coverage for Work Injuries?
Many truck drivers are surprised to learn that most employers in Arkansas have worker’s comp coverage for their employees. This coverage is provided at no cost to the worker. The coverage can pay for any payments the worker may need to reasonably treat his or her injuries. Furthermore, the benefits provided by the program can provide a part of the wages you will lose due to you medical inability to work. Unfortunately, part of the trade-off for getting these benefits is that the employer gets to choose the doctor you can use for treatment. However, there are ways to request a change in physician. But please be sure to keep all scheduled appointments. Missing an appointment can jeopardize your ability to continue to receive benefits.
The First Steps to Getting Disability Benefits in Arkansas
Getting benefits under Arkansas’ worker’s compensation system can range from a relatively straightforward process to one that is complex and requires many hearing and administrative proceedings. However, all benefits claims begin with an injury to the worker that he or she must promptly report. The trucker then attends a medical examination by a doctor of the employer’s choosing. Steps that a trucker takes that makes it more likely that he or she will not face delays or disruptions in obtaining benefits include:
- Keeping all scheduled appointments with doctors or any agent of the AWCC.
- Completing all subsequent AWCC or employer requests for information in a timely and expeditious manner.
- Reporting any and all earning obtained after the injury report to the AWCC.
- Getting pre-approval before seeking any medical treatment.
- If you wish to change your doctor, you must comply with all required processes and procedures.
- Keeping copy of any records or materials obtained as a result of the worker’s compensation claim.
The above only accounts for the basics a trucker or other injured worker should account for and comply with when interacting with the AWCC. Above all, the worker should be honest in any proceeding. Do not make statements because you believe the doctor wants you to make a certain claim or experience a certain symptom or result. Statements that do not comport with you medical condition can often cause major headaches and problems when seeking future benefits.
Work With an Arkansas Worker’s Comp Lawyer
If you have run into difficulties with your Arkansas Worker’s Comp claim, you likely have more than enough on your mind in light of your severe injury or other condition. Ken Kieklak of Gunn, Mason, Kieklak, & Dennis LLP can fight to secure the benefits you are entitled to and deserve. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call us at (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.
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