Most people don’t think that they will be injured while they are working at their jobs, but many people are injured or suffer work-related illnesses every year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.9 million people who worked in private industries suffered work-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2016 alone. If you have suffered an injury or have contracted a work-related illness, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook can explain the different types of benefits, help you file your claim, and fight for you to recover the benefits to which you are rightfully entitled. Combined, we have more than 40 years of experience assisting our clients and helping them obtain the benefits they deserve.
Fighting for Your Rights to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Most employers in Arkansas and Oklahoma are mandated to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage to protect their workers. This type of insurance provides benefits to people who are injured at work or who contract work-related illnesses or conditions.
In exchange for the availability of benefits, you are unable to directly sue your employer. However, some employers and their insurance companies try to dispute or deny valid claims for workers’ compensation benefits. Insurance companies may do this to reduce the amounts of money that they may be forced to pay, and employers do this to try to keep their premiums from increasing. Our attorneys are prepared to fight for you if your employer or the insurance company attempt to deny or dispute your claim.
Types of Benefits
There are several different types of benefits that might be available to you if you have been injured at work or suffered a work-related illness. If you are a surviving spouse of a worker who was killed because of a work-related accident, you may also be eligible for benefits. Our attorneys can review your situation and advise you on the types of benefits for which you might be eligible. We can then help you submit your claim and advocate for your recovery.
The following types of benefits may be available to you if you have been injured or sickened at work:
- Medical benefits
- Wrongful death
Medical benefits under workers’ comp cover many different types of expenses. These benefits pay for such things as surgeries, hospital costs, doctor visits, and medication. They also may cover any prosthetic devices that you need and therapy. However, experimental therapies and procedures are not covered, so you will need to make certain that you choose from the covered medical services. You do not have to use your own medical insurance or pay any copays when you have medical benefits coverage through workers’ compensation.
Many people need to undergo rehabilitation after they have suffered work-related injuries, including physical and emotional therapy. Workers’ compensation can cover these expenses along with the costs of any work-related retraining that you might require to qualify for a new job.
If your work-related illness or injury prevents you from returning to your job either temporarily or permanently, you may be eligible to receive weekly or monthly disability benefits for partial or total disabilities. Our attorneys can explain the type and amount of disability coverage that you might expect to receive.
Finally, if you are a surviving spouse or child of a worker who was killed while on the job, there are a number of different types of workers’ compensation benefits that might be available to you.
What to Do If You Have Suffered a Work Injury or Illness
If you are injured in an accident while you are working, or you discover that your illness or condition was caused by your work conditions, there are several steps that you should take:
- First, you should tell your employer about your work-related injury or accident as soon as you can. It is important for you to inform your employer quickly so that the statute of limitations does not expire. Your employer must explain the benefits that you might receive within a few weeks.
- Next, you should seek medical treatment. It is important for you to get a medical evaluation from a doctor. This can help to determine the types of benefits for which you might be eligible.
- Finally, you will need to file your claim. If your employer denies your claim outright or does not notify you about its status within 21 days, you will need to file your own benefits claim. It is best to work with an attorney when you file your claim as the claims process can be complicated.
Contact the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook today
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, it is important for you to talk to the experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook as soon as possible. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 479-783-8000 or fill out our contact form.