Northwest Arkansas Lawyers Who Seek Justice for Injured Employees
In 2019 in Arkansas, sixty-two workplace fatalities, thirty-one transportation accidents, seven slips, trips, and falls, eight were exposed to harmful environments and substances, and ten were in contact with equipment.
Slips, trips, and falls are common in the workplace. Unfortunately, they can cause severe injuries and sometimes death. Although each work injury is different, the extent of an injury, how the accident happened, and the work conditions at the time are essential information. Every bit of information about a work place accident is significant for workers’ compensation benefits.
If the rules for submitting a workers’ compensation claim seem unclear, call the experienced slip, trip, and fall workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield. We tell our workers’ compensation clients that seeking medical attention for any injury sustained at work is vital. We help steer your case in the right direction by sticking to the facts. Never offer an opinion on why you had the accident. Let us help you get the benefits you rightfully deserve.
Where Do Slip, Trip, and Fall Work Accidents Occur Nationwide
Nationwide, private industry employers reported 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020. More than one million nonfatal injuries and illnesses caused workers to miss at least one day in 2020.
Healthcare is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy, with over 18 million workers facing multiple job hazards, such as exposures to harmful chemicals and hazardous drugs, slips, trips, falls, and back injuries. Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses amongst healthcare workers are among the highest in any industry.
It does not matter if you feel your accident is minor and you feel okay to return to work. An employer must report that incident because if you do not report it, and weeks later, you need knee surgery, your employer may deny your claim. Always follow the submission guidelines for all worksite accidents. Your workers’ compensation benefits depend on you following the rules and providing the correct information as required.
Common Workplace Injuries
Aside from slip and fall accidents, several other common accidents can happen in the workplace. They include:
- Back Injuries
- Knee Injuries
- Crush Injuries
- Shoulder Injuries
- Vehicle-Related Accidents
- Sprains or Strains
What Is Considered a Workplace Accident?
It would seem evident that if someone were hurt at work, the employee would be entitled to workers’ compensation. In many instances, that is what happens. In other cases, it may not be clear-cut, and filing a claim may be problematic.
It does not matter what type of work you perform; you need the proper skills and training to carry out your duties. If the employer does not provide these things or offer a safe workplace, there can be instances where an injured worker can file a third-party personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation.
If you have been injured at work after slipping and falling, and the employer is not cooperating with your actions to file a workers’ compensation claim, it’s time to speak to an experienced slip and fall workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield. We know how important it is to you and your family to receive compensation that will tide you over until you can return back to work. With over 20 years of experience, we know the ropes and are here to help you.
When Injured at Work, Here’s What You Should Do
Inform your employer about your accident and all injuries that are sustained. Put your notice in writing and deliver it verbally to a manager. Keep copies of any correspondence you have with your employer regarding your injuries.
Get medical treatment quickly and keep notes of every step. Recording your journey from initial injury, diagnosis, treatment plan, rehabilitation and recovery is crucial for your case. Keep all receipts relating to your treatment and other medical bills. Once a physician has seen you, report the injury and complete an accident report in detail. Be accurate and state the facts about your accident.
After a claim is filed, your employer’s insurance company may ask you for medical records and other information. Keep detailed and accurate records of all visits to the doctor, all treatments, and tests you receive. This gives the insurance company the information they need to approve or deny your claim.
There are time limits on filing a claim and receiving benefits. Report your injuries as soon as possible. Arkansas law permits reporting up to two years from the injury’s date. However, waiting too long may mean your claim is denied for lack of proof and evidence. There are some instances where you only have one year to file a claim. Ensure there are no delay reporting issues. File your claim by the book and report your accident as quickly as possible.
Filing a Claim with the AWCC for a Slip and Fall Work Accident
In most cases, no matter how the accident happened or who may be responsible, your best option is to file a claim with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation program. A claim must be filed within two years since the first day of the work injury. The only information needed to file is proof that the injuries happened and the accident was work-related.
Not all accidents are considered to be work-related. If an employee was walking into work before their morning shift, slipped and fell on asphalt outside of their work building, this may not be considered a work-related accident. There are exceptions that your experienced workers’ compensation attorney can outline for you for situation like this.
If your situation necessitates filing a third-party claim, or you are an independent contractor, you may not be able to use the workers’ compensation system. Instead, with the help of a third party lawsuit attorney, you would go through a standard court trial or even a settlement for damages.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Include
Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits include:
- Medical – Your employer will provide a list of approved doctors and allow you to select one, or they may choose one for you.
- Mental Injuries – You must prove your condition was a direct result of a physical injury sustained during a work shift.
- Rehabilitation – This may involve physical or vocational rehabilitation. A physician approves this.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – You can receive two-thirds of your average weekly wages over the past 52 weeks. However, there are maximums.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – If your injury permanently impairs you, you may be able to keep getting benefits when you return to work.
- Permanent and Total Disability – If you cannot work in any position due to your injuries, you can receive 450 weeks of workers’ compensation payments.
Benefits usually begin on the ninth day of your disability. You receive back pay on the first day of the incident if you miss more than two weeks.
Why Your Workers’ Compensation Claim May Be Denied
Contact an experienced slip and fall workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield if your claim is initially denied. Have your claim reviewed so we can help you move forward.
Common reasons for claim denial include:
- You did not notify your employer as soon as possible after the accident.
- Your injury did not occur at work.
- Disputes with an employer claiming you are not eligible for benefits.
- You did not see an approved physician.
- You did not follow the doctor’s orders and did not complete treatment.
- The injury was a pre-existing condition. If the job makes it worse, you may be eligible for benefits.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield Today
If you were involved in a slip and fall accident, contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield by calling (479) 361-3575. Our dedicated team of slip and fall accident lawyers is here to help. If you have started the process already and are experiencing problems with your employer or with filing, consult with our experienced workers’ compensation slip and fall attorneys at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield.
Call us today for a free initial consultation and to find out what you can expect when you file a workers’ compensation claim. 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.