If you have an accident and are injured on the job, you should be able to get worker’s compensation to help pay for your medical expenses. You may also receive some compensation for lost wages while you are laid up. In Arkansas, any business or company with three or more employees must carry worker’s compensation insurance.
This all sounds straightforward enough but collecting the benefits you should be entitled to isn’t always easy. You may need the help of a Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorney with experience in this area. If so, contact Morris Bart.
How does the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation System Work?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means it doesn’t matter who or what may have caused an accident leading to injury, if an employee was on the job, worker’s compensation should be awarded.
There are some types of business, such as construction, that must carry worker’s compensation even if they only have one or two employees.
For a free legal consultation with a Workers’ Compensation lawyer serving Fayetteville, call 800-537-8185
Qualifications for Workers’ Compensation
To qualify for worker’s compensation, your injury or illness must have happened while on the job.
Accidents may cause immediate injury, such as a broken ankle you sustained from falling. Or your injury could be something that developed over time, such as a repetitive stress motion that resulted in carpal tunnel syndrome. Overtime injuries from your job are harder to prove.
What happens during your off time is another matter. If you tripped while in the lunchroom and you were off the clock, your injuries fall into a gray area and may not be covered by worker’s compensation. An injury that occurred while playing on the company’s baseball or bowling team may not be covered unless you are getting paid while playing.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
Arkansas recognizes two types of worker’s compensation benefits, medical coverage, and lost wage replacement.
Medical Coverage Benefits
Your worker’s compensation medical coverage benefits are designed to pay for the medical treatment you need resulting from an accident or condition from work. The exact amount you receive will be dependent upon the injury and treatment but could include such things as:
- Emergency department treatment
- Ambulance transportation
- X-rays and other tests
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Follow-up visits to the doctor
- Prescription medication
- Prosthetic devices
You may also receive mileage compensation for traveling to doctor and therapy appointments. Under the managed care system in Arkansas, only “reasonably necessary treatment” will be covered. As such, your doctor may request coverage authorization ahead of some treatment options.
Lost Wage Replacement Benefits
These benefits are designed to help you if you miss work due to your injury. Deemed as disability benefits, they are separated into four types – temporary partial, temporary total, permanent partial, and permanent total.
There is usually a seven-day waiting period following the date of injury for lost wage replacements to kick in. However, if your injuries take you out of work for more than two weeks, your benefit payments should include those first seven days.
Medical treatment is only paid for up to six months following the day you return to work or if your injury did not make you miss work. There is a total cap of $10,000 on medical treatment paid.
If you incur a mental condition because of a physical injury at work, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, this too could be covered. There is a cap of 26 weeks for mental injury benefits.
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Reasons Workers’ Compensation May Be Denied
In Arkansas, you have up to two years to file a claim. In some cases, however, the timeframe could be shortened to just one year. A failure to meet the proper allotment can result in forfeiting worker’s compensation.
There are a variety of other reasons a claim can be denied, including:
- Incomplete or inaccurate filing, including minor errors
- The employer was not notified immediately of the injury
- Employer disputes the claim
- The employee statements are inconsistent
- Use of a medical provider not included in the program
- Care that is not covered
- Failure to seek medical attention promptly
- Did not follow through with medical treatment
- Injury is from a pre-existing condition
Not working with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney in Fayetteville could be considered another reason your claim was denied. While filing a worker’s compensation claim may seem simple enough, having it done by a knowledgeable worker’s compensation lawyer ensures you the best opportunity of receiving appropriate compensation.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
If you were not already working with a worker’s compensation lawyer, now would be an excellent time to hire one. And do so quickly! In Arkansas, you only have up to 30 days to appeal a denial.
You can also dispute a claim determination if you feel it was unfair.
Appeals and disputes can be complicated. They involve civil procedures and rules of evidence you may not be familiar with, but your attorney will be. You need that knowledge and experience to prepare a compelling case and win.
You and your workers’ compensation lawyer in Fayetteville can analyze your denial together to understand the reasoning behind it. Then your lawyer can get to work to correct the problem.
What a Fayetteville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Will Need from You
When you first meet with your attorney, you should bring:
- Your denial letter
- All medical records related to your injury
- Documentation proving you were working at the time of the injury
During your initial consultation, your lawyer can review this information and help to determine how you should proceed. If your Morris Bart legal team agrees an appeal is warranted, you can count on them to make sure you get the best compensation possible. It could be a lengthy process, however, taking many proceedings.
A judge may schedule a formal hearing. If so, you will need to appear with your lawyer and present your evidence.
Contact Morris Bart for Help Today
You can count on Morris Bart attorneys to stand up to those involved in worker’s compensation cases and not back away. When you hire us, you should take comfort in our thoroughness to clarify how your injury was work-related and why you deserve your worker’s compensation benefits.
We will advocate for you. Contact Morris Bart today for a free consultation!
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