Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas
Workers’ compensation in Arkansas (also known as workmans comp, work compensation, and workers’ comp) is a system that gives employees injured, or who become sick on-the-job, income to replace lost wages, and medical care while they heal, without forcing them to file a lawsuit. Arkansas requires that all employers with three or more workers must have work compensation insurance, though independent contractors will most likely not be covered. The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission deals with workers’ comp claims.
Assistance from an Arkansas workmans comp attorney is necessary for some workman’s comp claims. If a third party was involved in your injury, for example, a manufacturer who is responsible because you were injured by its defective product, or if your boss contests your claim or is under or uninsured, an Arkansas workman’s compensation lawyer can be of great help to you.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Workers’ comp insurance covers injuries caused by accidents at your workplace. These may include a worker falling, tripping, slipping etc. on the job.
- There are some injuries that are not covered, such as an employee’s self-inflicted injury, or an injury that springs from his intoxicated (by drugs or alcohol) condition. Certain conditions are also rarely compensable: carpal tunnel syndrome, gradual on-set back injuries, and hearing loss.
- Diseases where there is a casual connection between the employment and the disease. The disease must arise out of and in the course of employment.
- Dependents of employees who die on the job may receive death benefits.
The Arkansas Workers Comp Claims Process
- Filing a Workman’s Comp Claim
- An employee should immediately notify his employer of his injury in writing, and be sure to include the time, place, and nature of the injury. The injury should be reported on an “Employee’s Notice of Injury,” (Form N).
- When the injury is brought to the employer’s attention, the employee’s boss should then report the injury within ten days of notice on a “First Report of Injury,” (Form 1). If the employer fails to file this form within ten days, it will incur a fine of $500.
- Note that the statute of limitations for a work compensation claim in Arkansas is two years from the date of injury, or two years from when the employee knew or should have known that he had an occupational illness.
- Seek medical attention as soon as you are injured.
- Your boss may choose the doctor you initially see for you injury, but you may then request a change of doctor one time.
- An Arkansas workmans comp attorney can assist you with filing deadlines for your claim, give you advice, and/or argue your case if your claim has been disputed or denied.
Benefits Received in Arkansas Under the Workers’ Compensation Program
If you are injured on-the-job, make sure to discuss the following possible workers’ compensation benefits with an Arkansas workers comp attorney who focuses on work compensation law:
- Medical Treatment: The employer or his insurer must provide you with reasonable medical care (including physician’s visits, hospital expenses, and other treatment) for your work injury or occupational sickness.
- Wage Reimbursement: Mileage reimbursement for travel to and from medical appointments and other medical travel is permitted in the normal Arkansas workers’ comp case.
- Funeral: $6,000 for burial costs.
- Death: Payments may be made to surviving dependants of an employee who passes away as a result of his work-related injury or disease.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Retraining and job placement may be available for workers whose injuries cause them permanent damage. The vocational rehabilitation program must be reasonable in relation to the injury.
- lIncome Benefits: compensation for wages lost because of the injury or illness:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): Cash payments made while the worker is healing and is completely unable to earn wages. The payments are made weekly in the amount of 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage, subject to a state mandated maximum.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): Payments are made at the difference of the worker’s current wage rate and 2/3 of his pre-injury average weekly wage when an injured worker can work in a reduced capacity while he recovers.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): Indefinite inability to earn wages in any kind of gainful employment because your injury is so severe. The payment rate is 2/3 of your former average weekly wage, paid weekly.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): When the hurt employee has forever lost the use of a certain part of his body as a result of his injury (i.e., lost limb, toe, disfigurement, etc.). The amount of the payments you receive depends on the part of the body injured. Benefits will continue for up to 450 weeks.
Why Hire an Arkansas Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a challenging process, the outcome of which may have a tremendous impact on your life. Because of this potential impact, hiring an Arkansas workmans compensation lawyer can reassure you that your claim is being filed on time, correctly, and that you are considering all of your alternatives for recovery and compensation. In addition, if your claim is difficult to prove, or if you are facing a significant period of disability and recovery, an Arkansas work compensation lawyer can help you argue your case and get you the benefits to which you are entitled.
Arkansas Workers’ Compensation - Arkansas Code Annotated
Find Arkansas work compensation statutes here:
- Employers Subject To Workers’ Compensation
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 11, Chp.9 § 401.
- Covered Employees
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 11, Chp.9 § 523.
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 11, Chp.9 §§ 501-603.
- Claims Procedure
- Labor and Employment, Tit. 11, Chp.9 §§ 529, 701.