You probably don’t expect to be injured when you leave for work on any given day. However, many workers suffer on-the-job injuries in Bentonville and elsewhere in Arkansas. These injuries can result from a variety of accidents including falls. Falls can be very dangerous especially if the victim falls from a great height and suffers head or back injuries. Workers’ Comp was designed to help with these injuries.
Falls from heights are especially common in the construction industry where workers have to do many of their duties from elevated positions. However, almost any worker can fall and suffer life-changing injuries. If you are unable to work because of your injuries, you should be able to get workers’ compensation benefits to relieve some of the financial burden. However, not every injury results in benefits. You will need to show that your injuries qualify for coverage. In some cases, you may need a Bentonville workers’ compensation attorney to help you.
Who Can Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits in Arkansas
There are certain criteria that you must meet in order to claim benefits. Firstly, you must be a formal employee. If you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, you won’t be covered by a company’s workers’ compensation insurance. It’s important for you to be clear on your employment status before something goes wrong. Other workers such as those employed in agriculture and on railroads are covered by a different program and are, therefore, not eligible for workers’ comp.
Secondly, your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance. In general, all employers in Arkansas who have three or more employees must have coverage. This protects them from being sued by workers who suffer job-related injuries. However, if your employer was supposed to have workers’ comp coverage but didn’t, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against them. A workers’ comp lawyer in Bentonville would help you to decide on the best course of action.
It is not enough to establish that you are an employee and your employer has workers’ comp coverage. You also need to prove your injury was related to your job. This means showing that your injuries occurred while you were acting within the scope of your duties. If you fell at work because you were engaging in horseplay or playing a practical joke, you’re unlikely to be able to claim benefits. However, if you fell when a piece of scaffolding suddenly collapsed as you worked, your claim is much more likely to be successful.
If all these criteria are met, you must then make sure you follow the rules set out by your employer, their insurer, and the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. You’ll need to notify your employer about your fall as soon as possible. Usually, you have 30 days, but your employer may have specific reporting requirements in place. If you don’t report your fall and injury within 30 days, you may lose the right to claim benefits. You should also familiarize yourself with the other state requirements. If you’re in doubt, an attorney can advise you accordingly.
Why Some Workers’ Comp Claims Are Denied
You may have colleagues whose workers’ compensation claims were rejected. There are several reasons why this may occur including:
- The injury didn’t occur at work
- Your employer is disputing your claim
- You didn’t notify your employer within the required timeframe
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when you were injured
- You didn’t obtain medical treatment
- You didn’t see an approved medical provider
- You didn’t file your claim with the Commission in time
- Your injury resulted from a pre-existing condition
- Your exaggerated or lied about your condition
If your claim was denied but you believe you sustained a legitimate workplace injury, you should reach out to a workers’ comp attorney. They will guide you through the appeals process and ensure you submit all the required documentation. This will increase the likelihood that you get the benefits you deserve.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield to Get Help with Your Claim
Falls can result in serious injuries that require lifelong treatment. If you were injured while carrying out your job duties, you should be compensated through your employer’s workers’ comp insurer. To improve the chance that your claim will be successful, you should hire a Bentonville workers’ comp attorney. At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield P.A., we understand the difficulties that injured workers and their families face. Call us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you to protect your rights as an injured worker in Arkansas.