Arkansas Workers Compensation and Statute of Limitation.

by Steven R. Mcneely on Jun. 07, 2019

Employment Workers' Compensation 

Summary: The Arkansas Workers Compensation Statute of Limitation is basically two years from the date of injury, however it can be extended by the voluntary payment of benefits, but beware of relying on this provision.

The Arkansas Workers Compensation Statute of Limitation is two years from the date of injury. Arkansas Code Annotated, section 11-9-702 provides for  the filing of the claim for additional benefits within two years from the date of injury.

There is a difference between an “original” claim and a “claim for additional benefits.  A claim for additional benefits is when benefits have already been paid.  

A change of physician is not considered a claim for additional benefits.

The Statute Arkansas Code Annotated, section 11-9-702 also provides for  the filing of the claim for additional benefits one year from the last payment of compensation, if longer then two years from the date of injury, but only in regards to that specific benefit last recieved, and no other. John Kirk v Central Manufacturing, 2018 Ark app 78.

    Example: If you are injured on January 1st 2019, and you receive medical treatment for three years, but no indemnity (cash payments) then you have one year from the last payment of medical treatment to file a claim for additional medical treatment, but you are SOL on additional cash benefits or any other type benefit for that matter.

Specific incident type injures are easier to classify when the injury occurred.  If you lifted something and hurt your back, you know exactly when it happened and can count two years from there.  However, Arkansas recognizes (5) five types of gradual on set injures: 

    1. Back injures,
    2. Neck injures
    3. Hearing loss,
    4. Carpal tunnel syndrome
    5. Rapid and repetitive type injures.

The Statute starts to run on gradual on set injures when you know or should have known you had the injury. (Why do you think some employers give hearing test at work, so they can prove when you know or should have known you had hearing loss)

    Occupational Injuries: Two (2) years from the date of the last injurious exposure to the hazards of the disease or infection.  Silicosis or asbestosis must be filed with the commission within one (1) year after the time of disablement, and the disablement must occur within three (3) years from the date of the last injurious exposure. ACA 11-9-702

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