In Arkansas, employers with three or more workers are, by law, supposed to have workers’ compensation insurance. Even though this is the law, some workplaces may not have workers’ compensation. According to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs 2022 Statistics, a total of 794 claims have been filed in Arkansas. A total of 253 final decisions were approved thus far. Despite having workers’ compensation where you may work, this does not mean it is easy to collect the benefits you are entitled to for your injuries.
Do these things immediately to ensure you get a good start on filing your workers’ compensation claim.
Do not assume anyone else will tell your employer. To be safe, put your notice in writing and deliver it verbally. Deliver it and/or speak to a manager or employer to ensure they are aware of your accident. Always keep copies of any correspondence you have with your employer regarding your injuries.
After the claim is filed, your employer’s insurance company probably will ask you for further information, such as medical records. Make sure you keep accurate records of all visits to the doctor, and of all treatments and tests you receive. This information gives the insurance company the information they need to either approve or deny your claim.
Get medical treatment quickly, and document every step of the process, from the injury to treatment. Make sure you keep all receipts relating to your treatment and any other medical bills you have paid. Once a physician has seen you, report the injury and fill out an accident report in great detail. Be as accurate as possible, and just state the facts relating to your accident.
There are time limits on filing a claim and receiving benefits. Report your injuries as soon as possible, even though Arkansas law allows up to two years from the date of the injury. If you do not report, you may not receive workers’ compensation benefits. There are situations in which you only have one year to file a claim. To ensure there is no delay in reporting issues that could plague your filing for benefits, do it by the book and report your accident as quickly as possible.
In most cases, Arkansas workers cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against their employers for on-the-job injuries. This is what workers’ compensation is for in the event of an accident, and workers’ compensation claims must be tried before administrative law judges. The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission makes the rules for these administrative hearings.
However, should someone other than your employer be liable for the accident, an injured employee may file a third-party injury claim.
A claim can be made against a negligent third party in state circuit courts by filing and serving a formal complaint against the defendant. By being served a complaint, the negligent third party may be held liable for parts of or all of the plaintiff’s claim. Each element of negligence must be proved to a judge and jury in state circuit courts.
• Religious & Charitable Organization Workers
• Maritime Workers & Railroad Employees
• Federal Workers
• Independent Contractors
• Agricultural Workers
• Farm Laborers