Let’s face it, when you’re injured at work, the last thing you’re thinking about is how to navigate the Workers’ Compensation claims process. And who could blame you? All you know is that you’re hurting and you want to get better – so you can get back to work. After all, there are bills to pay and mouths to feed.
But, in all honesty, figuring out how your Workers’ Comp injury translates into future medical expenses and possible job limitations should be at the top of your list. Because the longer you wait, the more uninformed decisions will be made that could jeopardize your Workers’ Compensation claim, your health and your future.
Here are the major steps to consider as you work to settle your Workers’ Compensation claim:
- Reach the end of your healing period.
- Make sure your employer has provided you with sufficient medical care.
- Verify that you’ve been paid benefits at the correct compensation rate.
- Assess the seriousness of your injury, most importantly, if you have a permanent impairment and permanent work restrictions.
- Determine if you have lost the ability to make your pre-injury wage.
- Decide if your injury will require training to perform a different job.
- Understand how much medical care you will need in the future and the cost associated with these healthcare services.
- Figure out how much all of this is worth under the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Act and come up with a dollar figure reflecting that amount.
- Approach the insurance claims adjuster with a demand for settlement (this is often referred to as a “demand letter”).
- Convince the insurance claims adjuster – and likely their attorney – to agree to that settlement amount.
- Review and sign a lengthy set of settlement documents, prepared by the insurance company’s attorney(s).
- Go to court and ask an administrative law judge to agree to let you settle the case for the agreed upon amount.
If you have any questions about the Arkansas Worker’s Comp claims process, feel free to call us at 1-800-520-5874, or go hartlawfirmllp.com/#faqs. Helping injured workers is what we do. And even if we don’t represent you, we can help point you in the right direction.
My brother-in-law had to go through the workers compensation process and it was a huge hassle. He was also recovering from surgery at the time which made it that much more difficult. They did it on their own but my sister said that if it ever happened again they would hire a workers compensation attorney just because there was so much to take care of.
Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. That has been our experience, as well. There’s a reason why insurance companies have lawyers. Only seems fair that the injured worker should have one, too. Hope your brother-in-law is recovering and back on his feet. We’re always here to help.