Suffering a workplace injury or developing a repetitive stress injury or other occupational disease can cause severe financial harm to you and your family. However, it doesn’t have to be this way – Arkansas, and most states, have developed and implemented programs to assist workers who have suffered a severe injury and can no longer work.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
A broad array of workers compensation systems developed around the turn of the 20th century as industrial economies took hold in the United States and throughout the world. These systems developed in recognition of the fact that industrial work, by its nature, can produce severe injuries or death. Following an injury, workers’ families faced a choice: struggle to make ends meet or take the risky step of suing one’s former employer. Employers then would have to defend in expensive litigation and face potentially huge monetary awards for damages after a severe injury or wrongful death. Such a system soon proved unworkable and workers’ compensation systems were developed. Workers’ compensation exchanges the potential for large monetary awards for injured workers for certainty in administration of claims.
What Types of Benefits are Available in Arkansas?
The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation system can provide monetary compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and lost wages. However, before seeking non-emergency care you should always seek pre-approval because otherwise your employer is not obligated to cover it. Compensable medical expenses include:
- Doctor visits
- Medications that are prescribed
- Hospital bills
- Pre-operative care
- Surgical care
Following the acute treatment of your injury, you may require longer-term rehabilitative care. Rehabilitative care can improve outcomes and can include items and services such as:
- Wheel chair
- Physical therapy
- Medical braces
- Many other approved medical devices
Compensation for lost wages may be available, however you only become eligible for wage compensation after a waiting period and with a doctor’s approval. After the 7th full day following your injury you will, with your doctor’s approval, become eligible for wage compensation at 66 and two-thirds percent of your average weekly wage. If you are disabled for more than 14 days, then you become eligible for compensation for the first seven days of your disability as well. The fourteen total days of disability is not required to be continuous nor must the days be contiguous.
How Can I Start Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Springdale?
In Arkansas, every workers’ compensation claim process begins with the injured worker informing his or her employer of the workplace injury. Once the worker has notified his or her employer, the employer will then report the injury to its insurance company and often requires a physical exam by an insurance company physician. You request to change your physician once, but you should always be sure to keep all appointments and cooperate with all instructions provided by the doctor. Failure to cooperate with the doctor or the process can provide your employer with grounds to delay or deny your workers’ compensation benefits.
If your matter proceeds routinely, most people receive compensation within 14 days. The vast majority of workers’ compensation matters do proceed routinely and in such circumstances, your interaction with the AWCC is minimal. However, misunderstanding and mistakes do and can occur. In situations like these having a dedicated and experienced advocate by your side can greatly improve your chances of a successful appeal.
Put Springdale Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Ken Kieklak to work for you
For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has stood-up for hard-working and dedicated Arkansas who have suffered a serious injury at work. For your free and confidential workers’ compensation consultation contact Ken Kieklak by calling (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.