Union workers often have increased job security, support for collective bargaining, and others they can turn to for help in disputes with their employers. However, some disputes are important enough to talk to an attorney rather than relying upon your union. Workers’ compensation is often one of those work issues.
If you or a loved one was injured in a workplace accident or suffers from a work-related condition, talk to an attorney today. Arkansas workers’ compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak helps injured union workers work with their union reps to ensure that they get the workers’ comp. coverage they need for serious injuries. For help with your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.
What Does Workers’ Comp. Cover in Arkansas?
Workers’ compensation is designed to cover lost wages and medical expenses after a work injury. Rather than making you sue in court, prove your employer was at fault for your injuries, and prove what damages you need, workers’ comp. allows you to get compensation more quickly without proving fault. However, there are some conditions.
When you file through workers’ comp., you are usually entitled to 2/3 of your normal wages. When you are injured, there is a 7-day waiting period before you start receiving wages. If your injury lasts longer than 14 days, you should receive payments to cover back to the first day after your injury.
In addition to wages, you should be entitled to receive coverage for all medical expenses. Your employer should cover immediate, emergency expenses when you suffer a workplace injury. After that, your employer or their workers’ comp. insurance company may require that you seek treatment through a doctor they selected. This doctor is still required to provide adequate medical care, and their treatment plan will dictate what procedures and treatments you need to perform to continue receiving medical care coverage.
How Unions Help with Workers’ Comp. in AR
If you are a union worker, you may already be aware of much of the information you need to know about workers’ comp. If not, you may be able to talk to your union representative to get additional information about how to inform your employer about work injuries and get the compensation you need. However, our attorneys are also available to help you with these things.
Union workers are often more successful in making workers’ comp. claims because of the additional support they receive through unions. Unions often encourage workers to learn about the process and file for workers’ comp. if they were injured at work. While most employers do not like to pay for workers’ compensation, union workers also have less fears that they will be fired for filing workers’ comp. – even though it is illegal to fire a worker for filing for workers’ comp.
Legal Issues for Workers’ Comp. Applicants
One of the most important things to understand about workers’ comp. is that it is the “exclusive remedy” for workplace injuries in Arkansas. This means that, in most cases, you cannot file a lawsuit for your injuries. Though a lawsuit may open additional damages, such as pain and suffering, you cannot file a lawsuit for workplace injuries unless you meet certain requirements. For instance, self-employed contractors can sue a client for injuries, and state workers’ comp. does not cover most federal workers nor some dock and railroad workers. Additionally, you can sue for work injuries if your employer fails to carry the required workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ comp. is intended to cover people until they can get back to work. If you retire or quit the workforce, you may no longer qualify for workers’ comp. In addition, you only qualify for continued wages as long as you are unable to work. If your injury heals and your doctor confirms you no longer suffer from the injury or condition, you may be expected to return to work.
Workers’ comp. can be combined with some other programs. Disability payments are often compatible with workers’ comp., but your disability payments may be reduced if you receive both benefits at the same time. On the other hand, you cannot receive workers’ comp. and unemployment at the same time. Workers’ comp. requires you to be unable to work, while unemployment is for those who are willing and able to work. In fact, filing for unemployment and workers’ comp. at the same time may disqualify you for both.
If your employer challenges your workers’ comp. filing, denies you benefits, or terminates your benefits, talk to an attorney right away. This is often something that your union rep cannot help with, and a lawyer may need to appeal your case.
Arkansas Workers’ Comp. Lawyer Offering Free Consultations for Union Workers
If you or a loved one was injured in a workplace accident or suffers from a work-related condition, talk to our Arkansas worker’ comp. lawyer today. While your union rep may be able to help you understand more about workers’ comp. and help you discuss your injury with your employer, you may need an attorney to help fight denials and ensure you get the coverage you need. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (479) 316-0438.