Siloam Springs Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
While worker’s compensation for Arkansas workers is a blessing, it is often confusing and complex when it comes to the rules that govern its administration.
At the Law Office of Jason Hatfield, we understand that and are here to help you not only understand how the system works concerning your claim but to outline your legal rights and how to file your claim. We’ve got you covered.
Who Determines Work Injuries for Siloam Springs Workers’ Compensation Claims
The Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing, OSH/CFOI section, operates two programs: the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), which collects data from random samples of public and private employers. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) gathers information on workplace deaths.
Safety, health policy analysts, and researchers assist in preventing work injuries by:
- Apprising workers of life-threatening hazards for various jobs.
- Focusing on safer workplaces and practices via better job safety training.
- Improving workplace safety standards.
- Targeting new areas for safety research.
We can address several issues relating to the workers’ compensation system. By having a detailed consultation with an experienced Siloam Springs workers’ compensation attorney today, we can help address your legal concerns.
How The Tricky Coming and Going Rule Applies in Siloam Springs Workers’ Compensation Cases
The first thing to understand about the coming and going rule as it relates to Arkansas workers’ compensation is that it applies to all commuting workers, “with” exceptions. Because there are exceptions to this rule, Arkansas workers’ compensation cases are only adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. This means the details and circumstances of each case are important, and your Siloam Springs worker’s compensation attorney needs to know all the facts to assist you to file a claim.
Generally speaking, the coming and going rule prevents a worker from receiving benefits for an injury they may have sustained while on the way to work (coming) or on their way home (going). Workers’ compensation benefits are not available if the injured employee was not performing services are the time of the accident in question.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, and the Siloam Spring workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Jason Hatfield explain them to you and also explain the “open and obvious” defense an employer may mount to deny a workers’ compensation claim.
What is the Open and Obvious Rule Mean?
The open and obvious doctrine is a defense that may be utilized in a premises liability injury claim. It states the defendant is not liable to the victim/plaintiff because the danger that existed on the property was apparent and out in the open. Put another way, “…if a danger is so obvious that a person could reasonably be expected to see it, the condition itself serves as a warning, and the landowner is under no further duty to remedy or warn of the condition.” Jacobs, supra, 221 Cal.Rptr.3d at p. 708.
In many slip-and-fall accidents at a job site, if a worker is not covered by workers’ compensation and they have not yet signed in or just signed out of work, the employer cannot use the “open and obvious” defense because the injured worker had no choice but to run into a dangerous situation while coming to work. Each case is different, as is each injury sustained, and at the Law Office of Jason Hatfield, our team discusses your case and helps figure out what the next steps would be in filing a claim.
In 2021, Arkansas had 2.4 work-related injuries and illnesses reported for every 100 full-time workers. On a nationwide level in 2020, the private sector accident rate was 2.7. In 2021 in the public sector in the public sector in Arkansas, there were 3.3 work-related injuries and illnesses reported for every 100 full-time workers when compared to 3.4 in 2020.
Common Types of Injuries Sustained at Siloam Springs Job Sites
Our skilled workers’ compensation attorneys handle cases involving a variety of injuries, including:
- Back injuries
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Hand injuries
- Head lacerations
- Herniated discs
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Internal lacerations
- Knee injuries
- Ligament tears
- Ligament sprains
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Arkansas also collects information on fatal work injuries via the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). In 2021, 74 workers lost their lives in Arkansas, up from 64 in 2020.
The CFOI sources various sources to verify fatal worker injuries. The information including a worker’s occupation and other worker characteristics, equipment involved, and circumstances of the event – is cross-referenced with workers’ compensation reports, death certificates, and federal and state agency administrative reports.
How Your Siloam Springs Workplace Injury Happened is Important
For our Siloam Springs workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of Jason Hatfield to get a clear picture of what happened when you had your accident, the answers to the following questions can be incredibly helpful in building a strong case on your behalf.
It is also important to know how your accident happened, where it happened, what you were doing, and how soon you reported it. This allows us to prepare a defense for you.
Questions that help us prepare your defense include:
- Were you driving between worksites?
- Were you driving in hazardous conditions?
- Did the trip involve moving material(s) related to your job?
- Do you have to drive your vehicle when traveling for work?
- Was the job you were performing an essential duty according to your job description?
- Were you injured while coming to work? Or while going home?
Generally speaking, to collect workers’ compensation benefits, an injured worker must prove their injuries happened while they were at work or while they were doing their job on the employer’s time.
The most important takeaway here is that there are situations where the coming and going rule does not apply, and this is one of the major reasons you need to discuss your accident with an Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of Jason Hatfield.
Each case is unique. Each defense is unique. Each client is unique. Each injury is unique. A claim must be filed within two years from the date of a death or injury, or one year from the date of the last payment of compensation. If there is a wrongful death involved, this is a different situation likely involving a third party. This is why your workers’ compensation attorney needs to know all of the details of an accident or death.
Types of Forms an Attorney Can Draft and Submit On Your Behalf
When filing an Arkansas workers’ compensation claim, several forms need to be filled out by your employer. Common forms that will need to be submitted include the following:
Form 1A-1 First Report of Injury (FROI): This is the first report to be submitted to your employer. It needs to be completer on notice of an injury. Deaths must be reported within 24 hours. The form is to be used for all manner of injuries, no matter how minor or major.
Form AR-W Wage Statement: Workers’ compensation uses this form to calculate the injured worker’s compensation. This form must be handed to the employers within five days of any accident resulting in a worker being disabled for more than three days of work.
First Fill Form: This form offers injured workers information about the Pharmacy Benefits Program and a phone number to contact a participating First Fill Drug Store. The employer provides this form to an injured worker. It is already filled in with the required information.
Accident Investigation Report: This form is filled in by the worker’s manager or supervisor as soon as possible in the wake of an accident. The form is then sent to the Employer’s Claim Department.
Contact Our Siloam Springs Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied or called into question due to the nature of the accident, talk to us as soon as possible. We have decades of solid experience helping injured workers. We discuss your case with you in great detail, take a look at all documentation, explain your legal rights, check filing dates, and more. We make sure you have all the information you need to understand why your claim was denied and how we intend to help you.
Reach out to the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield by calling (479) 361-3575. Our dedicated team of Siloam workers’ compensation lawyers is here to help.
Call us today for a free initial consultation and to find out how we can help you. We know you have questions, and we can answer them for you. The Siloam Office of Jason M. Hatfield is just one quick call away: (479) 361-3575.