2012 Arkansas Code
Title 11 - Labor and Industrial Relations
Chapter 9 - Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 7 - -- Proceedings Before Workers' Compensation Commission
§ 11-9-704 - Proceedings on claims.
(a) Notice. Within ten (10) days after a claim for compensation has been filed, the Workers' Compensation Commission shall notify the employer and any other interested person of the filing of the claim.
(b) Investigation -- Hearing. (1) The commission shall make or cause to be made such investigation as it considers necessary in respect to the claim, and upon application of any interested party, or on its own motion, shall order a hearing.
(2) An application for a hearing must set forth clearly the specific issues of fact or law in controversy and the contentions of the party applying for the hearing.
(3) If any party is not represented by a lawyer, the administrative law judge shall define the issues to be heard.
(4) (A) If a hearing on the claim is ordered, the commission shall give the claimant and other interested parties ten (10) days' notice of the hearing served personally upon the claimant and other parties, or by registered mail.
(B) The hearing shall be held in the county where the accident occurred, if the accident occurred in this state, unless otherwise agreed to between the parties, or otherwise directed by the commission. If the accident occurred without the State of Arkansas, and is one for which compensation is payable under this subchapter, the hearing may be held in the county of the employer's residence or place of business, or any other county in the State of Arkansas which will, in the discretion of the commission, be most convenient for the hearing.
(5) The award, together with the statement of the findings of fact and other matters pertinent to the issues, shall be filed with the record of the proceedings, and a copy of the award shall immediately be sent to the parties in dispute or to their attorneys.
(6) (A) If an application for review is filed in the office of the commission within thirty (30) days from the date of the receipt of the award, the full commission shall review the evidence or, if deemed advisable, hear the parties, their representatives, and witnesses, and shall make awards, together with its rulings of law, and file same in like manner as specified in the foregoing.
(B) A copy of the award made on review shall immediately be sent to the parties in dispute, or to their attorneys.
(7) The full commission may remand to a single member of the commission or administrative law judge any case before the full commission for the purpose of taking additional evidence. The evidence shall be delivered to the full commission and shall be taken into consideration before rendering any decision or award in the case.
(c) Evidence and Construction. (1) (A) (i) At the hearing the claimant and the employer may each present evidence in respect of the claim and may be represented by any person authorized in writing for such purpose.
(ii) The evidence may include verified medical reports which shall be accorded such weight as may be warranted from all the evidence of the case.
(B) Any determination of the existence or extent of physical impairment shall be supported by objective and measurable physical or mental findings.
(2) When deciding any issue, administrative law judges and the commission shall determine, on the basis of the record as a whole, whether the party having the burden of proof on the issue has established it by a preponderance of the evidence.
(3) Administrative law judges, the commission, and any reviewing courts shall construe the provisions of this chapter strictly.
(4) In determining whether a party has met the burden of proof on an issue, administrative law judges and the commission shall weigh the evidence impartially and without giving the benefit of the doubt to any party.
(d) Order. The order denying the claim or making the award shall be filed in the office of the commission, and a copy shall be sent by registered mail to the claimant and to the employer or to their attorneys.
(e) Award after Death. (1) No compensation for disability of an injured employee shall be payable for any period beyond his or her death.
(2) However, an award of compensation for disability may be made after the death of the injured employee for the period of disability preceding death.
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