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How does the workers' compensation system in Arizona work?

Workers in Arizona who are injured in a workplace accident may choose to pursue workers' compensation benefits. However, the workers' compensation system can seem complex to those who are not familiar with it and simply want to be compensated for the expenses that they suffered in the accident. In these situations, workers in Arizona may simply want to know how the workers' compensation system works. While the following information is not meant to be legal advice, it should provide you with a better understanding of the workers' compensation system in Arizona.

In Arizona, the workers' compensation system is considered to be "no fault," meaning that a worker injured on the job may be entitled to seek benefits, regardless as to who may have caused the accident. The worker may seek compensation for medical bills and may be awarded either a temporary or a permanent award, along with job retraining, if all the necessary prerequisites are met.

There are two state divisions involved in the workers' compensation process: the Administrative Law Judge Division and the Claims Division. The Claims Division is in charge of regulating self-insured employers and other insurance carriers that deal with an injured workers' claims. The Claims Division is also responsible for seeing that workers receive the compensation to which they are entitled under the law. The Claims Division receives applications for compensation, so the claim can be processed by the insurer or employer, depending on the situation. In fact, the Claims Division makes more than 30,000 decisions each year on issues relating to ensuring that Arizona's workers' compensation laws are being followed. In addition, nearly 6,000 documents are processed daily by the Claims Division. The Claims Division also keeps a database of all applications for compensation that are filed by workers.

The Administrative Law Judge Division hears legal disputes regarding workers' compensation claims. Such disputes may concern continuing benefits, reopening of claims, compensability, lost earning capacity or supportive care. A claimant's hearing plea will first be filed with the Claims Division and then will be referred to the Administrative Law Judge Division.

The workers' compensation system in Arizona strives to ensure workers are properly compensated for their injuries. Workers who want to get more information on how the workers' compensation system in Arizona works may want to seek the advice of a professional.

Source: Industrial Commission of Arizona, "What is Workers' Compensation and How Does It Work?," accessed Nov. 10, 2014

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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