Losing a finger, hand, arm, or leg in a work-related accident can be devastating for injured workers and their families. A severe injury can cause you to miss time from work and lose your wages, and it could require costly medical treatment. However, there is a way to obtain compensation from your employer for medical expenses and lost wages.
The workers’ compensation program could provide you with assistance while you recover from your injury. Fayetteville workers’ compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak invites you to read on as we explain more about specific loss claims process in Arkansas.
What is a Specific Loss Claim?
Specific loss claims are filed by an injured worker who lost a limb or proper function on such limb due to an accident while performing his or her duties. This type of claim is designed to provide aid to the injured worker for things like lost wages and medical expenses. A specific loss claim must be filed after suffering a serious bodily injury and must follow certain rules and procedures set forth by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission.
The coverage for an injured worker in a work-related accident will change depending on the extent of the damage. As an injured worker you should understand the differences between the following disability categories to understand which category of workers’ compensation they should receive:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
TTD is the designation used to identify a work-related injury that will totally incapacitate a worker for a set period. In other words, if a worker suffers an injury that will affect him or her for a specified period, then they will be granted the TTD benefits. These benefits are comprised of two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
Different from TTD, TPD contemplates a partially disabling injury for a set period. While workers may receive benefits somewhat similar to TTD, the compensation is usually reduced to cover only the reduced function, as opposed to TTD’s coverage for total loss of function.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
PPD refers to a partial injury or reduced function in a body part that is not expected to improve over time. For workers’ comp purposes, all body parts except the back, neck, and shoulders qualify for PPD. The benefits an injured worker can receive for a PPD can range from $20 to $463 weekly.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
PTD benefits apply to severe occupational injury cases where the worker suffers a severe bodily injury that is not expected to improve over time. Benefits granted will depend on the date of the injury.
What is the Process for Filing a Specific Loss Workplace Injury Claim?
To file a worker’s compensation claim for specific loss, you need to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Normally after reporting your injury, your employer will assign you a physician to assess your injury to determine whether you are safe to return to work. However, if your injury requires immediate medical treatment, your expenses for emergency treatment should be covered by workman’s comp.
After reporting your injury to your employer, they are supposed to file your worker’ compensation claim within ten days to start the process. Once your employer has filed your petition, it’s up to the system whether they grant the benefits or not.
Keep in mind, your employer may contest your claim, your workers’ comp may be denied, or you may lose your benefits altogether. For instance, if you are injured in the workplace, and refuse to follow all instructions given by your physician, they can use your noncompliance as a basis for denying your benefits. Also, make sure to follow up on your specific loss case.
There are set deadlines to file your workers’ compensation claim. If you miss your filing window, your claim could be denied. Most denials or benefits suspensions can be appealed. However, it is almost impossible to appeal your case if you don’t comply with the specified deadlines. Keep in mind, all injuries, no matter how small, must be reported to your employer before a workers’ comp claim. The sooner you make your report and file your claim, the better your chances of obtaining your benefits.
Specific Loss Claim Attorney Serving Fayetteville, Arkansas
The devastating consequences of losing a body part in a work-related accident can be strenuous. This is especially true for workers whose injury requires costly medical treatment. If you or a loved one suffered a workplace injury and lost a limb, there is no time to waste. Filing a timely specific loss claim is vital for receiving your worker’s compensation benefits. However, do not try to take on your workers’ comp case alone. There are important elements in your claim that require special attention to detail. A knowledgeable, skilled Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the confusing workers’ compensation process. To schedule a free consultation on your case, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438 today.