Arkansas workers’ compensation policies are very strict. According to state law, every organization or employer that has more than three employees has to offer workers’ compensation to their employees. This is crucial not only for legal reasons but for the safety and well-being of the workers.
Workers’ compensation laws are enacted by the state with the purpose of providing timely medical benefits and with the hope of quickly returning the injured employee back to work. Workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to compensate injured workers regardless of who was at fault for the injury. Employees do not receive their full wages and are not entitled to pain or suffering as a result of the work related injury. Workers’ compensation insurance covers injured Arkansans working across different industries, such as: trucking, poultry, construction, etc. By law, employers are expected to pay the full amount of Arkansas workers’ compensation insurance and insurance premiums are not to be deducted from the employee’s wages.
Employers who fail to provide workers compensation insurance for their workers and practice negligence can be heavily penalized and fined. The government deems this compensation highly important, hence negligence is frowned upon.
However, there are a few exceptions that exist that prevent injured workers from collecting workers’ compensation benefits from their employer. The next section of this article will outline what these cases are.
Who Does Not Fall Under an Arkansas Workers Compensation Policy?
There are certain worker categories who are not eligible to claim workers’ compensation in Arkansas:
1. Organizations with Just Two Employees:
While there are many businesses operating in Arkansas, some employers only have two employees. According to state laws, employers do not have to purchase Arkansas workers’ compensation insurance if they employ less than two workers.
2. Agricultural Workers or Domestic Help Staff:
Unfortunately, agricultural workers such as laborers working on farms or even domestic help staff are not required by Arkansas law to be covered with workers’ compensation insurance. These employers may choose to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, but they are not required to do so. Often people working as housemaids or farm laborers must prove their injuries were the result of their employer’s negligence in order to pursue other avenues of recovery.
3. Railroad or Maritime Workers:
Railroad or maritime workers in Arkansas usually fall under the category of government employees; hence they are already covered by the state. Therefore, these employees are not offered Arkansas workers’ compensation because they have a good alternate. Double insurance is not provided to the same individual under any circumstance.
4. Covered by Federal Department:
The federal government also provides its employees workers’ compensation insurance that is covered under federal laws. Arkansas workers compensation laws do not apply to federal workers.
What Are the Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
The purpose of workers’ compensation benefits is to provide necessary medical benefits in hopes of returning the injured worker back to work as quickly as possible. In the event of serious injury, the injured workers is provided with temporary total disability (TTD). These benefits are two-thirds of the workers’ average weekly wage (AWW). In case of permanent injury, the worker is assigned a permanent impairment and will receive permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits based upon the assigned impairment rating. In the case of a fatality, the dependent spouse and minor children can receive some benefits.
In some cases, permanent total disability (PTD), prosthetics, vocational retraining, or funeral expenses are paid by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
What to Do if You Don’t Have a Compensation Package?
While most of the population enjoys the benefits of the Arkansas workers’ compensation policy, there are a few who must suffer because they are not given any coverage by their company. What remains essential is that you should recognize your right and contact a competent law firm who can guide you better in this regard. Reputed law firms can help you go over other options.
Even if you do have a workers’ compensation package, it can still be a long process for someone who does not know about the legal process. Hence, it is always advised to have a professional attorney by your side who can accompany and support you.
The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield prides itself on advising people about their legal rights and providing viable options for them that will keep them and their family members safe.
From evaluating your condition to handling the paperwork, we cover everything. If you are involved in a work-related accident, don’t be complacent and contact us today!