Arkansas Workers Compensation Laws
Home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, Arkansas has a dynamic economy with a dedicated workforce that keeps it running. As with any such environment, the Natural State’s more than 1 million employees face workplace injuries, which can happen anywhere. When they do, Morgan & Morgan is here to help victims get the benefits they deserve. Our workers’ compensation attorneys will ensure that people injured on the job know their rights, and we will fight to collect the money they deserve. Here’s what you should know about Arkansas workers’ compensation laws.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Most employers with three or more employees in Arkansas are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their staff. Arkansas has exceptions for farm labor, domestic help, and nonprofit, religious or charitable work. Workers’ compensation applies to trauma caused by a specific incident as well as repetitive motion injuries, gradual onset back injuries, and hearing loss. Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits provide partial wage replacement and medical care for employees who are wounded on the job. The benefits you receive will depend on the severity of your ailment and how much it affects your ability to do your job. Workers’ compensation covers any injury that occurs during the normal course of work, so you do not have to prove that your employer was at fault for the injury.
What Are Disability Benefits?
If your injury takes you away from work for more than 14 days, you may be eligible for disability benefits such as:
- Temporary Total Disability: Temporary total disability (TTD) covers two-thirds of the wages you were earning at the time of your injury up to a state maximum equal to 85% of the state average weekly wage, or $695. Benefits continue until one of the following occurs:
- You can return to work.
- Your doctor concludes that your condition won’t get better with further treatment (known as maximum medical improvement, or MMI).
- The time allowed for TTD expires.
- Temporary Partial Disability: You may be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) if your doctor says you can return to work but with restrictions that impact your ability to earn the weekly wage you made before your injury. TPD benefits are equal to two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage prior to your injury and your wage following it, up to a maximum of $521.
- Permanent Total Disability: If you have lost both hands, arms, legs, eyes, or any combination of at least two of these, you are eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. This category is reserved for workers who are unable to find gainful employment in any industry. PTD payments continue at the TTD rate for as long as you are disabled, up to $225,875.
- Permanent Partial Disability: If you have a permanent impairment that is not considered totally disabling, you may still be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. These are paid at the TTD rate for a period of time determined by a schedule of injuries. Unscheduled wounds may be eligible to be treated as whole-body injuries and pay up to 450 weeks. Trauma causing disfigurement to the face and head may be subject to additional awards of up to $3,500.
What Else Is Covered?
Under Arkansas workers’ compensation law, employees are provided additional benefits including:
- Medical care such as doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and mileage to and from appointments
- Vocational rehabilitation if you can no longer fulfill the duties of your previous occupation
- Death benefits for a deceased worker’s spouse, children, or other dependents, as well as reasonable funeral expenses up to $6,000
What if My Benefits Are Denied?
Although Arkansas workers’ compensation laws seem cut and dried, employers and their insurance companies will often try to reduce their costs by claiming they are not responsible for paying for your injury. Often, they will allege that your wound was not work-related. Without a lawyer on your side, fighting against these fabrications can be an uphill battle.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
If you are injured on the job, it is essential that you thoroughly understand your rights and how workers’ compensation laws apply to you. At Morgan & Morgan, our Arkansas attorneys have helped workers just like you recover the benefits they deserve. Fill out a free case evaluation today to get started.