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Should I get a lawyer for my workers’ compensation claim in Arkansas?

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Note: Justin and Anna’s stories are fictional scenarios presented to help illustrate the role particular circumstances may play in someone’s decision to retain legal counsel for their workers’ compensation claim. 


Getting a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim may be advantageous depending on the situation. In this article, we will outline workers’ compensation laws in Arkansas, when you may benefit from a lawyer, and how The Law Offices of Craig L. Cook can help. 

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Laws in Arkansas

Workers’ compensation, also sometimes referred to as “workman’s comp,” is a type of insurance policy employers may be required to hold in case one of their employees is injured on the job or contracts a job-related illness. Employees can report such incidents to file a claim. Employers may file a claim on behalf of their employees for compensation of lost wages, coverage for related medical expenses, and/or disability benefits. 

Most Arkansas businesses with three or more employees are required by law to carry this type of insurance coverage. There are exceptions to this rule, but for the majority that are required to have it, it is the employer’s responsibility to obtain insurance and file claims. 

Should I Get a Lawyer?

Whether or not to get a lawyer is a personal decision, and there are several factors to consider when making that choice. The extent of your injuries, your employer’s cooperation, and your comfortability moving through the legal process given the complexity of your case are all worth discerning. If you have questions about your claim or the case becomes complicated, it is good to speak with an attorney to gain clarity and direction on your case. Someone may get a lawyer for the following reasons:

  • your claim is denied by your employer
  • your benefits aren’t paid on time or in full
  • your job performance is affected by your work-related injury or illness
  • your case involves Social Security benefits (a legal counsel can write the settlement agreement in a way that ensures your workers’ compensation benefits don’t lower your Social Security disability payments)
  • your employer takes unfair action against you for filing a claim, such as reducing your hours/pay rate/the position you hold at the company
  • you want to sue outside of workers’ compensation because your employer or a third party contributed to your injury/illness, doesn’t hold the insurance (if required), or there was negligent behavior that harmed you

The first scenario below outlines a situation that typically does not call for a lawyer. The second scenario describes a set of circumstances where a lawyer is advisable for many reasons. 

Justin’s Story

Justin is a construction worker who sustained a minor abrasion on his arm while on-site. It required a few stitches. He told his boss about the incident and left work for the emergency room. He knew the ER bill would be hefty and that his company had workers’ compensation insurance. After receiving medical attention, he asked his employer to file a claim. Justin’s employer agreed that this injury was work-related, so she filed a claim. The insurance company paid Justin’s medical bills without pushback. He was back at work soon after the injury. Throughout this process, he did not think getting a lawyer was necessary because the case was simple, the injury was mild, and his employer willingly complied by taking immediate action on his behalf.

Anna’s Story

Anna works as a chef at a restaurant in Little Rock. Late one night, she was working in the kitchen on a new dish. It was past closing time, so all the other employees had left. She started feeling weak and dizzy, so she laid down and called for help. When her friend arrived, he found her lying on the floor, unconscious. She was rushed to the hospital, and they later discovered high levels of carbon monoxide in her system. Once Anna reported the incident to the restaurant owner, he suggested that the leak may have happened somewhere other than work, such as her home. The extent of her illness caused her to miss months of work, so she lost a lot of income during her recovery. Medical costs were through the roof because they had to put her on a ventilator. Anna retained a lawyer to prove the CO detectors in her home were working correctly and that the restaurant’s detectors were faulty, making the employer liable for the cause of her illness. She also asked her legal counsel to help her pursue payment for the additional damages: lost wages, medical bills, and disability benefits for residual symptoms.

How Can The Law Offices of Craig L. Cook Help?

Combined, our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience helping clients get the benefits they deserve. We can help you fill out forms, meet deadlines, and gather evidence. If your claim is denied, we can help you appeal a denial, which involves asking an insurance company to reconsider its decision. We can also help you negotiate with the insurance company and advocate for you during a hearing or trial. The purpose of a hearing is to screen cases for legitimacy and discover the other side’s evidence. A trial may be held to determine the defendant’s guilt. We are here to assist as you maneuver your way through all of the processes involved. 


If you contracted a job-related illness or injury, The Law Offices of Craig L. Cook is here to help. Even if your situation is similar to Justin’s, and you’re unsure if you need a lawyer, you can book a free consultation with our firm for expert legal advice. We can answer any questions and determine the best course of action for your workers’ compensation claim. We will ensure you are fairly compensated based on your case’s circumstances, your employer and insurance company’s actions, and your legal rights.