Workplace injuries are very common but that doesn’t make them any less stressful. If you were seriously hurt while on the job, you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions. Injuries don’t only affect your physical health but also your mental and financial wellbeing. When they occur at work, there’s the added challenge of getting workers’ compensation benefits.
It’s important for workers to know their rights under Arkansas’ laws as well as how they can get the benefits they deserve. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the questions that individuals often have. To get advice on your specific case, you should reach out to a Springdale workers’ compensation attorney.
Am I Even Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Most employers in Arkansas who have three employees or more are required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. However, there are some exceptions such as maritime and railroad workers who are covered by federal rather than state laws. Agricultural workers, domestic workers, and people hired by non-profit, religious, charitable or relief organizations are also exempt.
If you believe you should be covered but your employer says otherwise, you should contact the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. Keep in mind that you must be categorized as an employee for the injury to be covered. Some independent contractors function a lot like employees but they’re not, so you need to be clear on your status.
What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits following accidental injuries that arise out of employment and in the course of employment. They must cause harm to the body internally or externally and generally be caused by a specific incident that occurred at a specific time and place.
There are three conditions that can be covered although they don’t meet these requirements. These are hearing loss, rapid repetitive motion injuries, and gradual on-set back injuries. Mental injuries must generally result from a physical injury in order to be covered while heart attacks are compensable under certain circumstances. If you are diagnosed with an occupational disease, you can also receive benefits. The disease must not be one to which the general public is exposed.
Do I Need to Be Injured at My Workplace to Get Benefits?
It doesn’t matter where your injury occurred as long as it is work-related. If you get into an accident on your way from the office to an off-site meeting, your injuries should be covered. However, if you were driving from home to work or you were on your lunch break, you probably wouldn’t be able to get compensation. That being said, you may find that your employer challenges your claim and argues that it was not work-related. If this happens, you should contact a Springdale workers’ comp lawyer to discuss your case.
How Soon Do I Need to File?
In Arkansas, you must file your claim within two years of your injury or one year from the last day that you received payment. However, you should notify your employer of your plans to file a claim as soon as possible after seeking medical attention. It’s in your best interest to act quickly even though the law gives you some leeway. If your injuries are serious, you could be out of work for some time and you won’t be earning any money if you don’t file. You’ll also make your employer suspicious if you wait too long since most workers need their benefits as soon as possible.
Do I Need to Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney?
It’s not mandatory that you hire a lawyer. However, as with all legal matters, it can be difficult to understand the finer points. Also, it can be difficult to get your claim approved under certain circumstances. If you have serious injuries and you’re likely to be out of work for a long time, it’s best to have a lawyer guiding you through the process. If you’re not sure of your rights, you may not get the compensation to which you’re entitled. Having an attorney will give you peace of mind.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield P.A. Today!
If you want to improve our chance of getting all the benefits you’re due, you’ll need a workers’ comp attorney in Springdale. We’ll answer all your questions, help you to fill out your claim correctly, and submit all the necessary supporting evidence. Call us today to schedule a consultation and get an expert medical opinion on your case.