Getting a neck injury in Arkansas is quite common, both in an individual’s personal and professional life. A neck injury can result in light duty at work, keep you out of work for a few days, or result in a permanent disability. If your injury happened at work, you should be covered for your medical expenses and time out of work. Our workers’ compensation attorneys at the law office of Jason M. Hatfield are here to assist you with handling your workplace injury.
To file a worker’s comp claim for a neck injury in Arkansas there are requirements that one must meet. Some are quite obvious, others are state-specific.
Is Your Neck Injury in Arkansas Covered by Workers’ Comp?
You must be employed by the company to file a worker’s compensation claim with them. Self-employed, contracted, and seasonal workers are usually not covered by worker’s compensation. There are also exclusions for some other employer types.
In Arkansas, all employers with 3 or more employees are required by law to have worker’s comp on their employees. If they have an injured worker and violate this law, they will be fined by the state and expected to pay the employee’s medical bills and lost wages. If necessary, the employee can file a civil suit against the employer.
The other basic requirement is that the injury must have occurred while performing job duties. You cannot claim worker’s comp if you hurt yourself at home or doing something at the job location that was not work-related. If these 3 requirements are met, the following 5 steps will help you with your claim.
Report the Injury Immediately
This is one of the most important steps you need to take. When you incur your injury, report it as soon as possible. Report to the appropriate person: your supervisor, Human Resources Department, or owner of the business. If you leave the premises by ambulance, they will get the report, but you will need to be able to give all the details leading up to the accident.
Be Detailed and Honest
Be certain you are always following the company protocols. If you do something that is not in the company procedures, they can fight your worker’s comp coverage. Don’t take that risk. Always be honest and consistent in your reporting about what happened. If the incident turns into an expensive payout for the insurance company; they will scrutinize every move you made.
See Their Physician
Your company will have a workman’s comp physician that exams all the on-the-job injuries. You will normally be referred to that physician first unless your neck injury is beyond his scope of medicine. In that case, you may be sent immediately to a neurologist or neurosurgeon.
A neck injury can be very serious and must be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid permanent damage. You will restate your accident again. Be sure you report everything exactly the same as the way you reported it to your employer. This report will go back to them and the carrier.
Follow the Physician’s Advice, or Request Another Physician
You and your employer will need to follow the physician’s recommendations after your neck injury in Arkansas. You may need to only take Ibuprofen for a few days, wear a neck brace for a short period, or have surgery. The treatment recommended will depend on the extent of your injury.
If the doctor recommends light duty for work, your employer must offer you a temporary position that qualifies for this level. If they cannot, they must pay you for these days off. If the injury requires extended time out of work, you are to be paid for that time off also.
If you are dissatisfied with the company physician or his recommendations, you have a right to request a referral to another doctor. The company will pay for this exam but usually will cover a second opinion only once.
Contact Our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
At this point, you need to evaluate the way you are being treated by your employer and the workman’s compensation insurance carrier. If they are doing everything they can to help you in recovery, paying the bills, and your wages, continue as is. If you are being met with obstacles and problems at every step, it may be time to consider consulting an attorney.
If you feel you need help with your worker’s compensation claim for a neck injury in Arkansas, contact our experts at the law office of Jason M. Hatfield online or call (479) 361-3575 for a free consultation.