Arkansas Workers Compensation Attorneys Who Fight for Burn Injury Victims
Burn injuries at work are nothing to be trifled with. They can be painful, life debilitating, and sometimes, deadly. Healthcare services, construction, manufacturing, and autobody-related accidents are among the highest industries to receive the most burn injuries. The severity of burn injuries is most likely labeled as second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree burns. Depending on how severe a burn is, seeing a physician and specialists are critical in developing an effective recovery plan.
Several options are available for workers who have sustained a burn injury at work. The options available include:
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim;
- Filing for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA);
- Filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. Sometimes these benefits are attainable through supplement workers’ compensation payments. A workers’ compensation burn injury attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield can explain how your case would go and if there are other avenues to seek additional benefits; or
- Filing a third-party lawsuit. An example would be if a worker suffered from burn injuries while doing work at a construction site, doing mechanic work and a vehicle fire erupts, an explosion from an unknown source, or other situations involving a third party. If filing a lawsuit is desirable and a settlement is reached, it can help with recovering lost wage pay, pain and suffering, and healthcare bills. By speaking with our team of workers’ compensation attorneys, we will analyze your unique situation and craft a plan to help you obtain the best outcome.
Common Types of Workplace Burns
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), electrocution is listed as one of the “Fatal Four” deadly construction site accident causes in the nation. On the other hand, being scalded is common for workers in private, commercial, and industrial kitchens. Other types of workplace burns include:
- Fire Burns;
- Contact with Hot Objects; and
- Electrical Burns.
Often, high-pressure water hoses are used to clean deep fryers and commercial-grade dishwashers. Kitchen workers or other retail-food workers are at high risk for sustaining some type of burn. Also, engineers and mechanics are exposed to the possibility of obtaining a severe burn. This can happen when they are repairing vehicle parts, working with heavy machinery. HVAC compressors, and other equipment.
Two of OSHA’s frequently cited workplace safety violations are controlling hazardous energy and electrical wiring methods. Violations like these can result in fast and horrific burns. Although some home remedies might help a small burn, it’s best to seek medical attention and receive a proper diagnosis of the severity of the burn.
What You Need to Know If You Have Severe Burns
Burns can be classified as electrical, heat, or chemical burns. The SSA looks for burns severe enough to interfere with a claimant’s ability to work. If a burn affects other soft tissue, the SSA recognizes the injury as a disability if the applicant needs frequent, surgical management over a year. If a burn is not affecting other tissue, the SSA looks for severe limitations that would continue for at least twelve months.
If a burn injury does exist, and a worker cannot support themselves, then they can apply for disability benefits. Those who can work despite a painful injury often do not qualify for benefits. Before applying for Arkansas workers’ compensation, an Arkansas employee must gather evidence demonstrating that they do qualify for benefits. The SSA will then examine each claim.
If you are in a difficult situation, speak to the experienced workers’ compensation burn attorneys at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield about what medical evidence is required to prove the severity of your burn.
What Applying for Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Means
Applying for workers’ compensation means receiving benefits that cover medical expenses and paying replacement wages. It is important to remember that even though you are receiving benefits due to your accident, it is often limited to a specific period.
Burn injuries can be partial or leave a worker completely disabled. Varying degrees of burn injuries can lead to long-term or partial disabilities, depending on the severity.
The severity of the burn directly affects how long benefits may last. It also means that payments may not last longer than a few months, and you are expected to return to work. If you or someone you know is confused about their legal rights, contact us today and we will help guide you on the next best steps.
How SSDI Benefits Can Help Workplace Burn Injury Survivors
Applying for disability benefits in Arkansas largely depends on the type of benefits you want to apply for. For instance, if you do not have a long work history, it may be best to apply for SSI, a need-based program. If you have a work history and pay Social Security taxes, you can apply for SSDI. The valuable part of this process is that SSDI has a mandatory waiting period, but SSI may be able to supplement your benefits.
Workers’ compensation is complex and confusing, and the amount of information required to apply for benefits can often be overwhelming. The forms require in-depth and detailed medical and biographical information, including how your burn injuries interfere with your life and ability to work. You may also need a medical evaluation by a doctor to prove you have a severe disability.
It’s beneficial to discuss your workers’ compensation burn injury with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you sort and gather your paperwork, point out what you may be missing, and find any mistakes that you have made which can potentially result in your benefits being denied. If they are denied, a skilled worker’s compensation attorney can help you apply for reconsideration or an appeal.
Who Is Responsible for Workplace Burns?
Responsibility for workplace burns revolves around the circumstances that caused an accident. If an Arkansas worker’s actions, or inactions, contributed to their injuries, it could be challenging to prove they were not at fault for the work accident.
On the other hand, if the employer failed to do the following, they could be held liable:
- Properly train a worker in the safe use of equipment;
- Provide them with proper safety gear;
- Safely maintain equipment; or
- Take action on warnings about a potential hazard.
If any of the above have occurred, there is a good chance the employer can be held responsible for a survivor’s burn injuries. This would mean that an employer could be held financially responsible for all costs of the survivor’s recovery, including lost wages and medical expenses.
Often, the difficulty is proving liability, which generally triggers an extensive investigation. This may be highly relevant if it is suspected that the employer hides details and does not keep good records or workers’ employment documentation. Discuss your case with a workers’ compensation burn injury attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield when in doubt about a workplace burn injury.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield to Discuss Your Claim
Not sure you have a case? Not sure what you need to do or prove to qualify for workers’ compensation for your burn injuries? Are you confused about the process for applying? You are not alone. Reach out to the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield by calling (479) 361-3575. Our dedicated team of workers’ compensation burn injury lawyers is here to help.
Call us today for a free initial consultation and to find out what you can expect should you file a claim for workers’ compensation. We know you have questions, and we can answer them for you. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield is just one quick call away: (479) 361-3575.