There isn’t much that is more stressful than being injured on the job. Not only is it a hassle to go through medical treatment to get back to work quickly, but getting a claim processed isn’t the easiest process either.
Regardless, it is important if you experience a workplace injury to you take care of yourself right away and get your claim filed to help pay for medical bills and missed time from work.
So where should you get started?
Filing a claim
Your first step should always be to seek first aid or medical care immediately. You should get treatment from a licensed doctor, and you will need to ask them to forward a report to your employer’s insurer within 14 days of treatment.
Under Alaska law, any employer with one or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance, unless otherwise approved as a self insurer. You can only change your treating doctor once, but make sure you tell the insurer you are making the change.
It is also important to notify your employer of the injury right away. A phone call or a passing conversation is not enough – you are required to provide written notice within 30 days of the accident to have a workers’ compensation claim paid out.
Injured workers can file Form 6101, “Report of Occupational Injury or Illness” to provide notice. Your employer likely has a copy of the form available for you, or you can obtain one from the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
What does the insurer need?
Write down your employer’s official name and address and the insurer’s name and address. Document your boss’s name as well as the names of any people who witnessed the accident or the work conditions under which you were injured.
Keep all receipt for medications, costs of medical care and travel expenses if applicable. The insurer will need those for reimbursement. If your injury keeps you from your job for more than three calendar days, you will also need to provide copies of your W-2 forms, wage stubs or other earnings records to the insurer.
What if my claim is denied?
While following these steps should result in your receiving compensation for your injury, insurance companies often resist paying out claims and may try to deny the claim. If you are concerned about your claim being paid out or are meeting resistance from an insurer or employer, you can contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
These professionals are trained to understand workers’ compensation law and represent you when going against a large insurance provider, and they can assist with the filing process. In Alaska, you are not charged a portion of your reward to cover lawyer fees. This means that if you got to court against an insurer and an attorney wins your case, all of the awarded money will go directly to you.
Don’t wait to file a claim. Submit the needed paperwork right away and focus on getting yourself the care you deserve and are guaranteed by law to be compensated for, so that you can return to work as soon as possible.