Arkansas Workers' Compensation Claims
UPDATED: March 10, 2020
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Arkansas workers' compensation claims may be filed by workers who are injured at their jobs, or in accidents connected with their work, as well as by employees who develop occupational illnesses because of their exposure to harmful conditions at their places of employment. Injured or ill workers are able to receive these workers' compensation benefits because employers in Arkansas are required by law to carry workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation claims for benefits should be filed with the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission.
Process for Arkansas Workers' Compensation Claims
If you have been injured or fallen ill as a result of work, you should promptly submit a written report of your occupational injury, including the place, time, and nature of your injury, to your boss or supervisor. Make sure to submit this injury report as an Employee's Notice of Injury (Form N). After your employer receives your written report, they must notify the Arkansas Workers' Compensation Commission and their insurer that you have been injured, using a "First Report of Injury" (Form 1). Your employer faces a fine of $500 if they file this report more than ten days after you have notified the employer of your injury.
Be aware that the Arkansas statute of limitations for submitting a workers' compensation claim is two years from the time you become aware or should have been aware that you have an employment-related disease, or two years from the date that you are injured. Despite the two year timeframe, it's in your best interests to report the injury and file the claim as soon as possible.
Finally, be sure to receive prompt medical attention from a healthcare professional after you have been injured, and mention to the treating physician that you were injured at the workplace. For the initial examination, your employer may dictate which doctor you may see, but following the initial examination, you may ask to change doctors.
If you have concerns or questions about filing an Arkansas workers' compensation claim, you shouldn't hesitate to get in touch with an Arkansas workers' compensation lawyer.
Reasons to Hire an Arkansas Workers' Compensation Attorney
Hire an Arkansas workers' compensation attorney if you are unsure how you should go about filing your claim for Arkansas workers' compensation benefits, or if you have questions or concerns about the specific benefits to which you may be entitled. Having an attorney makes it much easier to file your claim correctly and on time, and also gives you an experienced advocate to have at your side who can persuasively argue your benefits claim should it be disputed or denied.
In addition, it's a good idea to hire an experienced Arkansas workers' compensation lawyer if your situation is complicated because your boss does not have enough insurance, does not have workers' compensation insurance at all, or does not cooperate and contests your claim for benefits. The assistance of a workers' compensation attorney may also become crucial if a third party partially caused your injury and you are seeking to recover benefits from the third party in addition to your employer. An Arkansas workers' compensation attorney can formulate a strategy for your case and structure your claim to make such a recovery possible.