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Arkansas: Court Clarifies What is Meant by “Objective Medical Findings”

March 07, 2021 (1 min read)

In Arkansas, a workers’ compensation claimant must ordinarily establish his or her injury claim with medical evidence “supported by objective findings” [see Ark. Code Ann. § 11-9-102(4)(D) (Supp. 2019)]. Acknowledging that requirement, a state appellate court held that while the presence of observed muscle spasm could be sufficient to provide the necessary “objective” medical evidence, it was not necessary that any of claimant’s physicians actually observe the spasms to support a diagnosis of muscle strain. Accordingly, the court reversed a decision by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission that had denied a claim filed for a right buttock and thigh injury. The appellate court noted that the diagnoses had followed medical examinations. Prescriptions for pain management medication had been written by the physicians. That was sufficient to support the claim.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law(LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Melius v. Chapel Ridge Nursing Ctr., LLC, 2021 Ark. App. 61, 2021 Ark. App. LEXIS 67 (Feb. 10, 2021)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 128.05.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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