Arkansas Worker’s Compensation Laws

Arkansas worker’s compensation laws have been designed specifically to protect the rights and interests of both the employees and employers in cases where an employee gets injured at the workplace. As per the laws, the injured employee has the right to get compensated for the injuries and the resulting financial loss. If the employer does not agree to give any monetary compensation or tries to give a lower amount of compensation than expected, the employee has the right to sue the employer for this. It is very important for you to keep in mind that the laws regarding worker’s compensation vary significantly from one state to another. If you are living in the state of Arkansas and want to make the best use of legal rights in these types of cases, you must have a thorough understanding of the state laws. Following is a brief rundown on it.

Workers Compensation Insurance Is Compulsory For Employers

As per the Arkansas worker’s compensation laws, it is mandatory for all employers to have a worker’s compensation insurance policy in place. However, there can be certain exceptions as well. For example, those employers who have less than three employees working in their organization do not require obtaining such an insurance policy. However, they still can be held liable for the compensation to an employee who gets injured while at job. It is just that such employers can cover those compensations under regular insurance. Likewise, those who are running a partnership firm or are running a sole proprietorship also have the right to elect not to be covered for worker’s compensation. Besides that, Arkansas laws also allow self-insured employers and the executive officers of a corporation to get the workers compensation coverage waived.

Choice Of Physician

The Arkansas worker’s compensation laws allow the employer to select the doctor for the injured employee for the diagnosis of the injuries and its treatment. But, at the same time, the laws also provide an option to the employee to file a petition with the state agency and request to change the doctor. However, this type of petition can be filed just once. It means if the petition gets rejected, it will become mandatory for the injured employee to get the treatment from the physician chosen by the employer.

Retroactive Compensation

If the physical disability caused by the workplace injury remains for more than two weeks from the date of the incident, the compensation becomes retroactive. In general, the waiting period for the compensation benefits is seven days from the date of the injury. It means if the injuries last for less than seven days, you may not be entitled for any compensation benefits. On the other hand, if the injuries stay for longer than fourteen days, it is legally mandatory for the employer to pay indemnity (cash) benefits to you for the 7-day waiting period. Here, it is very important to note that this 7-day waiting period does not necessarily have to be seven continuous calendar days.

Legal Requirements For Injury Prevention

Arkansas worker’s compensation laws have also issued an array of instructions for the employers so that the number of such incidents could be limited. There are certain legal requirements in this regard that employers must follow. For example, they must get their prevention efforts thoroughly evaluated at least once every year by their insurance companies. Further, they must also work properly on the suggestions made by the insurance companies to improve the safety standards. Some of the important factors that need to be evaluated include the number of workplaces in the business, the probability of serious accidents occurring, possible hazards, total number of employees, and other such things.

Limitations On Attorney’s Fee

Arkansas worker’s compensation laws have also imposed certain limitations on the maximum amount that an attorney can charge you in such cases. As per the laws, an Arkansas workers compensation lawyer cannot charge more than 25% of the total amount of compensation you receive. In Arkansas, attorneys also have the right to charge their fee and take money out of the indemnity cash (some states do not allow this).

The laws also make it mandatory for the employers to report all incidents of workplace deaths and sever injuries to the State Commission within ten days of the accident. As per the legal definition provided under the Arkansas worker’s compensation laws, all those injuries where the disability thus caused stays for than seven days are considered as “severe injuries”. For injuries that do not come under the category of “severe injuries” (where the disability stays for less than seven days), the employers have a thirty-day period to notify the Commission about such incidents.