The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation system is designed to get injured or sick workers medical care and lost wages while they recover. Wage loss payments are usually simple to calculate, and cover about 2/3 of your normal wages. The medical benefits, used to cover the cost of your medical care, may be more difficult to understand and calculate.
If you suffer from a workplace injury or an ongoing, work-related condition, talk to a Workers’ Compensation lawyer about filing your workman’s comp. claims. Fayetteville medical benefit lawyer Ken Kieklak represents injured workers and their families in Workers’ Compensation claims for lost wages and medical care coverage. For a free consultation on your case, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law today at (479) 316-0438.
Workers’ Compensation for Medical Care
Workers’ compensation has many rules concerning how and when it will pay out medical benefits, and what requirements you need to meet before receiving benefits. First, the condition you suffer from must be work-related. If you are unable to work because of an injury that happened at home, Workers’ Compensation will not cover it. Conditions, like cancer or other ongoing illnesses, may also be work-related and can get workers’ comp. medical benefits.
Many workers’ comp. benefits require using a doctor approved by your employer or their workers’ comp. insurance company. These groups ultimately pay for your medical care and want to make sure that you are not receiving extra treatment on their dime, so they may require you to use a physician they choose instead of a physician of your choice. If you fail to use the right doctor, they may deny covering your treatment. They may also require pre-approval before you seek treatment, except in emergencies.
Depending on your condition, the medical care you receive may be hard to predict. Permanent disabilities and persistent injuries and conditions could grow worse over time, requiring more care. Doctors may also begin treating certain injuries, then find the damage more severe than initially thought. Regardless, workers’ comp. should cover the full cost of your medical treatment.
If you are considering receiving a settlement for your workers’ comp. benefits rather than ongoing payments, it is important to talk to an attorney first. Because your condition could grow worse over time, you may end up needing more medical care than initially anticipated. If this happens, the settlement you accepted may be too low to cover new, emerging medical costs. This is always a calculated risk, but it may ultimately benefit you in other ways. Talk to an attorney to understand how settling for medical benefits may work in your case.
Types of Medical Benefits for Workers’ Compensation in Fayetteville, AR
When you receive Workers’ Compensation, any medically necessary expenses should be covered. Your employer and their workers’ comp. insurance company are responsible for paying the medical bills for any workers who are injured on the job or who suffer from a work-related condition. However, there are some complications with this process. You are required to keep up with your medical care. Missing an appointment or failing to follow through with your treating physician’s treatment plan might mean having your benefits suspended or canceled.
If your employer or their doctor denies your medical condition, you may not be able to get medical benefits right away. Instead, you may need to fight this denial by taking your workers’ comp. case before the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC) or an administrative law judge. Your attorney can help prove that you do have a condition that keeps you from returning to work and help you fight to get the medical care you need.
These workers’ compensation medical benefits should cover all necessary treatment, including:
- Doctor’s visits
- Imaging (X-Rays, MRIs, etc.)
- Medical devices (crutches, wheelchairs, etc.)
- Physical therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
This list is not exhaustive, and you may be able to get other reasonably necessary treatments covered, too.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Medical Treatment?
If you suffer a workplace injury or the sudden effects of work conditions, seek medical treatment immediately. If you were hurt at work, someone should call 9-1-1 and get you to a hospital so your injuries can be assessed and cared for immediately. If you have a heart attack or another sudden, acute episode caused by work-related conditions, it is vital to seek immediate medical care. Emergency treatment will usually be covered if your workers’ comp. case is accepted. Prompt care helps get you care to prevent further harm, but also acts as evidence that the problem was severe enough to get help, and that it was related to the workplace accident or work conditions.
If you do not need emergency care, it is important to go to a workers’ comp approved doctor. This means talking to your employer and their workers’ comp. insurance company to find what doctor should treat you. If they allow you to use your own doctor, that is excellent – but expect to see a physician they choose. Getting medical care should always be your priority, but it is important to follow the rules to ensure your care is covered.
While your Workers’ Compensation claim is pending, talk to an attorney about who pays for the treatment. Your employer may be required to pay for this treatment even before approval, and if your claim is approved, it will be covered anyway.
After your claim is approved, you should continue to seek whatever medical care your treating physician recommends. This will help you get back to 100% (or as close as possible) as quickly as possible. Ongoing, medically necessary costs will be submitted to your employer’s workers’ comp, which should cover the costs. If there are problems getting procedures or coverage approved, talk to an attorney to help ensure you get the medical care you need.
Fayetteville Medical Benefits Lawyer for Workers’ Comp.
If you suffer from a workplace injury or work-related condition, it is important to get your condition treated. Workers’ compensation helps ensure that you do not have to pay for injuries or conditions caused by your job and should cover your medical bills. For help filing your claims and getting your bills paid, talk to a Fayetteville workers’ comp. lawyer. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law offers free consultations to help workers understand their options, possible coverage, and how their case can proceed. For a free consultation on your case, contact Ken Kieklak today at (479) 316-0438.