Arkansas law requires, with very few exceptions, that all employers provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This is done either by the employer purchasing an insurance policy from a licensed insurance company or by being self insured. This is a type of “no fault” insurance and is in no way affected by any negligence on the part of either the employer or the employee.
As with any situation involving insurance, disputes often arise between the insurance company or self insured employers and the insured employee. However, unlike most types of insurance, the benefits to which the insured worker is entitled are not controlled by the terms of the policy. Rather, these benefits are set by the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Act.
Under this Act an insured worker is entitled to:
- Reasonably necessary medical services, including medications.
- Mileage expenses to obtain medical services.
- A one time change of physicians, if dissatisfied with the doctors being provided by the insurance company of employer.
- Benefits for an employer’s unreasonable refusal to return an injured worker to available suitable employment.
- Temporary disability benefits when unable to work or even if continuing to work at light duty, when the light duty wages are less than the wages received at the time of the injury.
- Permanent disability benefits and rehabilitation benefits for permanent injuries which in some cases results in a lump sum settlement of your benefits.
You do not have to allow the insurance company to decide what benefits you should receive. You have a right to have the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission make this determination. This Commission was created by law to resolve disputes over benefits between the insurance company or employer and injured worker.
An injured worker also has the right to be represented by an attorney of his or her choosing in any proceeding before the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. Attorney fees are only paid when you receive money benefits. The legislature has set out that attorneys may charge no more than 12.5% of their fee to you and those fees are contingency fees. In other words, if unsuccessful in prosecuting your claim, you pay nothing.
Why Medlock and Gramlich, LLP?
We have 6 attorneys on our team dedicated to helping you through your problem. Jered Medlock and Mike Ellig regularly practice Worker’s Compensation law and are readily available to help with your worker’s compensation case. Jered has been practicing workers compensation law for almost 10 years. Mike Ellig is a retired workers compensation judge where he served for 34 years. There is no better team to handle your workers compensation claim than Medlock and Gramlich, LLP.