Being a truck driver is a demanding job. Truck drivers often spend long hours on dangerous highways, often have to load and unload their freight, and be cautious getting in and out of their rig. Unfortunately, over a long career, you may find you have developed a serious degenerative condition or injured your back. What do you do if you find that you aren’t able to work like you used to? If you are a trucker and are seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it is important that you consult with an attorney who has experience handling claims in the trucking industry.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law has helped hard-working Arkansans navigate the workers’ compensation system following a serious injury. He can assist you in navigating the rules, processes and procedures that make up the Arkansas workers’ compensation system. Ken Kieklak fights for hard-working people who have experienced difficult circumstances.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance commonly provided by your employer that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who are injured during the course of their employment. Beginning around the turn of the 20th century a variety of workers compensation systems developed as industry expanded in the United States. These systems recognized that industrial work, including truck driving, could result in severe injuries and even death.
After an injury, a worker or their family had a difficult choice to make: they could either try to survive on a reduced income or they could attempt to sue their former employer for negligence. Litigation can be expensive and take years to be finalized. This system soon became too burdensome and as a result workers’ compensation systems became normalized. Workers’ compensation systems replaced the drawn out litigation process and the potential for massive monetary rewards in exchange for uniformity in administering claims.
Arkansas established the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission (AWCC), on December 5, 1940, directed to the moral, social and economic benefits of protecting employers, employees, and their dependents from financial burdens imposed by job-related injury and disease. The AWCC is not an insurance company, but rather The AWCC handles all compensation claims and can hear appeals or requests from the employee. Additionally, The AWCC regulates workers’ compensation awards to ensure that benefit providers make correct and timely payments to eligible claimants.
How Can I Start Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Bentonville?
The first step any truck driver needs to take when they want to receive workers’ compensation benefits is to provide notice to their employer that they have been injured while on the job. In Arkansas, once the worker has notified their employer, the employer then has an obligation to report the truck driver’s injury to the company’s insurance company. The company will often require that the employee undergo a physical exam by an insurance company physician to determine the extent of any injuries. You may request to change the assigned physician, however, it is important that you are cooperative and that you attend all appointments. It is also important that you cooperate and follow all instructions that are provided by the doctor. If you fail to cooperate with the doctor’s order or follow the process outlined by The AWCC, your employer may have grounds to either delay or altogether deny your workers’ compensation benefits.
The AWCC has developed a streamlined process, and if your claim proceeds routinely, most injured workers can expect to receive some form of compensation within 14 days. While most workers’ compensation claims in Bentonville proceed in a routine manner, some do not. A mistake or misunderstanding may delay your benefits or have your claim for benefits denied. While you may be able to appeal the decision, the process can be difficult and complex. In situations like these, having a dedicated and experienced advocate by your side can greatly improve your chances of a successful appeal.
Put Our Bentonville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer to Work for You
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, Attorney at Law 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.