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Fort Smith Denied Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Fort Smith Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim Lawyers

Northwest Arkansas Lawyers Helping to People with Denied Disability Claims

The news that your workers’ compensation claim has been denied is not only upsetting, but you start wondering why it was turned down. Although you get a letter outlining why it was rejected, it may not make sense because you’re hurting and need help paying your bills. We get that. At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, we sit down with you and go over your claim, all documentation, and other information, and fine-tooth comb it. If you filed independently, we could review the filing for possible errors and for extenuating circumstances.

Table of Contents

Reasons For Workers' Compensation Claim Denials

Administrative reasons for workers’ compensation claim denials

There are many reasons for your workers’ compensation claim to be denied. They include:

  • Late Injury Report – You failed to file an incident report, including your injuries during the specified time, which is “immediately” in Arkansas. There are exceptions, such as seeking emergency care after work. However, a claim must then be filed the day after the incident.
  • Not Filing Within the Allowable Time Limit – In Arkansas, you must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years. In some cases, the period can be truncated to one year.
  • Administrative Mistakes – This can and does happen. Mistakes can occur due to the volume and complexity of the forms, rules, and regulations that must be adhered to.
Workers' compensation basics

Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials

Limits On Circumstances Where Some Injuries are Compensable

Fort Smith Denied Workers' Compensation Claim Lawyers

Some claims may be easier to deny

For example, panic attacks are considered mental injuries. In Arkansas, such injuries may be covered if you can prove your panic attacks arose due to your employment by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Or, if you were a crime victim at work, you may be compensated for panic attacks. Death benefits may be paid if a loved one takes their own life within a year of developing a mental illness at work.

Additionally, Heart-related injuries due to stress at work may not be compensable. A heart-related injury resulting in death, injury, or illness is only compensable if an accident is the primary cause of the physical injury.


Additional Reasons for Workers' Compensation Claim Denials

In Arkansas, worker’s compensation is an “exclusive remedy.”
This means an injured worker can only file a claim with the Worker’s Compensation Commission. 

Most but not all Arkansas employers must purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance. To be covered, injuries must be work-related.

  • An Employer Has Less Than Three Workers – Companies with less than three employees are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you are injured at a workplace that does not have workers’ compensation, you would likely need to pursue another route to claim compensation, such as a third-party lawsuit. Your lawyer can explain this to you should you be in that situation.
  • Unprovable Injury – The kind of injury you sustained and the evidence provided may not necessarily prove your case. Some injuries are challenging, and others may not offer enough evidence to prove the injury occurred during work hours. 
  • The Injury Is Not Work-Related – If you were hurt before or after your work shift, the injury could be seen as being not work-related. Also, the injury may not be covered if it was already pre-existing. 
Workers comp benefits

An injury must have happened at work and during the performance of job duties. An employer may suggest the accident occurred outside of work.

How To Not Hinder Your Chances of Obtaining an Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Claim

Although missteps can happen along the way, it’s essential to understand what you should or should not do when pursuing a claim. The following examples could hinder your chances of obtaining a workers’ compensation claim without knowing it. Things you should not do when seeking a workers’ compensation claim in Arkansas include:

  • Failing To Seek Immediate Medical Care – If you are injured at work, you must seek medical treatment. Your claim may be denied if medical care is not provided and proven. 
  • Not Attending Doctor Appointments – If you refuse to see the doctor or miss appointments, the treating physician cannot confirm your condition. This may be reported to your employer. If the employer says you are no longer suffering from your workplace accident or did not follow the stated rules to seek workers’ compensation, they may stop payments.
  • Returning to Work for a Short Period – Benefits may be stopped if you go back to work, even for just one day or a short time. By returning to work, it has been proven that you “can” go back to work.
  • Refusing To Do Work – If you are not entirely disabled and can perform some tasks but refuse another job you can do, even with a disability, your employer can suspend benefits.
  • Retiring From the Workforce – If you ultimately retire from the workforce, your employer may be able to cut off your workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Doing Jail Time – If you end up in jail, your workers’ compensation payments may be stopped.
  • Being Intoxicated – If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be denied workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Disobeying Safety Protocols – If you failed to follow safety protocols and sustained severe injuries, you could be denied benefits.

If you wish to obtain help for your injuries, speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible. We bring more than 20 years of experience. We fight for our Fort Smith, Bentonville, Fayetteville, and other nearby communities to ensure the best outcomes. Contacting our office is the next best step to help ensure you receive proper medical benefits and pay for your time away from work.


Do You Need to File a Claim for Arkansas TPD or TTD?

You are not required to file for temporary partial disability, as your insurance carrier or the company you work for should provide your medical care and applicable disability benefits. They should also file all mandated reports with the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission.
Total Temporary Disability

You can apply for TTD. This category means an injury was sustained and it resulted in a non-permanent disability. The maximum time for  TTD is 450 weeks, and the compensation is 66 and two-thirds percent of the worker’s gross average weekly wage. Since this rate increases every year, double-check the criteria to ensure you are receiving the full amount of what you are owed.

There is a seven-day waiting period before benefits kick in. If workers have been off work for over 14 days, they can receive benefits for the first seven days. 

Permanent Partial Disability

PPD stands for permanent partial disability, which is a benefit paid by your employer’s insurance company as provided by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission.

This refers to a situation where you have been assessed as having a permanent injury. A doctor will assign a permanent impairment rating, and the insurance company is responsible for paying the proper PPD rates once a treatment plan is completed.

Man with amputated leg working at jobsite

If Your AR Workers Comp Benefits are Suspended or Denied

If your workers’ compensation benefits have been suspended or denied, you may be able to file an appeal. One of the first routes to an appeal attempt is through mediation. Mediation typically involves your workers’ compensation lawyer, you, your employer, or the employer’s insurance provider. If things do not go well, there is the option to appeal to an administrative law judge. 

Should the role of the administrative law judge be removed in this process, you may be able to appeal the decision. The process of an appeal claim varies depending on the circumstances of the case.

If the claims made to deny workers’ compensation are false, you have the right to appeal the decision. At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, we are with you every step of the way.

Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield P.A.

The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. represents workers’ compensation claims from Northwest Arkansas, including Fort SmithRogersSpringdaleFayettevilleBentonville, Berryville, and Harrison. Call us today for your free consultation at (479) 361-3575.

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