Fort Smith Workplace Accident Attorneys
Workers are guaranteed certain rights and protections by law. If you have been hurt on the job, you may be eligible to recover money for your injuries, even if you were partly responsible for the accident. As the Fort Smith workplace accident attorneys at McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm know, it would be unreasonable for you to shoulder the financial burden of the accident on your own.
With that in mind, you should consider working with one of our Fort Smith workplace accident attorneys to develop a legal strategy designed to help you recover fair compensation for your injury. We will fight on your behalf so that you can better focus on recovering from your injuries.
Workplace Accident Claims Attorneys in Fort Smith
After your workplace accident, you may be out of work for a long time or be injured so seriously that you are left with permanent impairment. As you work to rebuild your life, an experienced attorney will be critical to the process of recovering compensation from the responsible party. While workplace accidents may result from any number of different circumstances, our Fort Smith attorneys most often pursue claims involving the following:
- Repetitive Motion
- Defective Equipment
- Exposure to Hazardous Materials
- Inadequate Safety Training
- Inadequate Safety Standards
- Reckless Conduct
With the help of an experienced Fort Smith lawyer, you will be able to better determine who may be held responsible for the accident itself. There are a number of factors to take into consideration with these cases; our Fort Smith attorneys have the experience and the resources to pursue legal action against the party that is found to be responsible for the accident. In every case, we help our clients develop legal strategies that are intended to recover the highest possible level of compensation.
Common Types of Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries can range from minor to severe. Even minor injuries can keep you from working, and result in loss of income. More severe injuries can result in long-term disabilities that prevent you from working and can impede your ability to earn an income in the future.
While there are many types of injuries that can occur in the workplace, there are some that are more common than others. Call McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, if you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident, including:
- Leg injuries from being crushed or run over by heavy machinery
- Wrist, hand, and finger injuries from repetitive motions or being crushed by heavy machinery
- Shoulder injuries from heavy lifting and carrying
- Low back injuries from repetitive motions, stress, and heavy lifting and carrying
- Knee injuries from repetitive walking, kneeling, lifting, and carrying
- Ankle and injuries including sprains and breaks from falling from high surfaces, heavy carrying, or being crushed by machinery.
What To Do After a Workplace Accident
When you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, the first thing you should do is report the accident. Even if you are unsure if you have been injured, or you believe your injury is minor, it is necessary to report the accident to your supervisor. Waiting to report your accident could result in lesser or no recovery to cover the costs of your injury and the time you miss from work.
When you report the accident, make sure to document the report in writing. You will want to photograph the scene of the accident and any immediately visible injuries, such as bruises or cuts. Also, make sure to write down the names of any witnesses to the accident and their contact information.
After you’ve reported your accident to your supervisor, it is important to seek medical treatment. As mentioned before, even if you don’t believe your injuries are severe, there may be one that can only be diagnosed by a doctor.
Tell your doctor exactly what happened so that he can properly document the injury and its cause. This will be necessary for insurance purposes and trial if that becomes necessary. Be sure to follow the doctor’s orders, and keep all medical bills and other documents in your records.
Upon seeing a medical professional, you should file a worker’s compensation claim. Make sure that you and your employer fill out the appropriate forms completely, and file the forms with the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. Also, be sure to keep a copy of all documents you file.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to appeal. You can ask the insurance carrier why you were denied compensation. From there, your attorney will work to investigate further and gather evidence related to the accident and your injury. It is possible that the insurance company will reverse its decision before you are required to file a formal appeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
While your case may be completely unique, many people facing injuries from workplace accidents do have many of the same questions. We’ve provided a few of these below. If you have further questions that are not answered here, please contact us at (479) 783-0036 today.
What if I need more than my employers’ workers’ compensation coverage has offered me?
Employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation coverage to provide you with the means to pay your medical bills and expenses after a workplace accident. However, if you feel that you are owed additional compensation because the insurance company underpaid or otherwise diminished your claim, you should consult with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Your attorney can help determine if you have been offered a fair amount for your injury claim and may help you pursue additional compensation if necessary.
Who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?
In Arkansas, any employer who has three or more employees is required by law to purchase a worker’s compensation policy to protect their employees in the case of a workplace injury or illness. According to the Arkansas Workers Compensation Commission (AWCC), the employer must pay for the insurance policy and cannot pass any of the costs to the employees of the company, and failure to comply with the law may result in penalties against the employer. Any employee of a company with three or more employees should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they have been hurt in a workplace accident, with a few exceptions for sole practitioners, independent contractors, and other exempt employees. Although the law stipulates that companies must have three or more employees, employers should check with the state, because a few industries like building construction may still need to provide coverage even if they have fewer than three employees.
Why do I need an attorney?
In most cases, it would seem that the process after a workplace injury is fairly cut-and-dry. You become injured at work, you immediately report the injury and situation to your employer, you get seen by the company doctor, and then you’ll be compensated for the injuries you experienced and the time you’ll be missing work. However, this is often not how this process goes. If you were injured at work, it’s imperative you tell your employer immediately, but if they run out the clock on your claim, you may not get help. If you see your company doctor, but they underreport your injuries or fail to report some injuries at all, you may be looking at the short end of the deal. If your injuries were the result of malicious intent, what are you supposed to do to get those punitive damages you deserve? It’s of the utmost importance that you seek help from an attorney in the case that any of these situations are true for you. Contact us today.
Consult with a Workplace Injury Attorney in Fort Smith
Injured workers are guaranteed certain rights by law and—depending on the circumstances of your accident or injury—you may be entitled to more than just workers’ compensation. If you would like to learn more about the legal action that may be available to you, please call our Fort Smith offices at (479) 783-0036 or complete one of our online contact forms today.