Questions We Often Hear
Workers’ compensation law is complicated. The law firm of Rehbock & Wilson is here to help guide workers through this process and get them back on their feet again whenever possible. We want to help, so see below for some brief answers to questions we often hear, or call us at 800-477-8574.
Am I eligible for workers’ comp?
Usually, an individual is eligible for workers’ comp if he or she is or was an employee and has been badly injured or has become ill in the service of an employer. All employers in the state of Alaska are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers.
How long before I get my benefits?
Once you notify your employer and the Workers’ Comp Board, in writing, they have 21 days to deny the claim. If they deny it, you can appeal. If you have not already contacted a workers’ compensation attorney, do so immediately if your claim was denied, as time limitations may apply.
What is the difference between a workers’ compensation claim and personal injury claim?
Workers’ compensation is a benefit that pays for medical benefits and some loss of earnings to workers injured at work. Payments are made every two weeks. Personal injury claims tend to be more complicated and drawn out. Payment is in a lump sum and, generally, it is a larger amount than workers’ comp would pay. Someone has to be at fault for a personal injury claim.
Why should I call a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim?
Alaska has a unique arrangement for workers’ compensation. Instead of paying your attorney out of benefits you are awarded, they are only paid if the case is won and the money comes from the insurers. Generally speaking, any benefits you receive are better than none at all, so you have nothing to lose by hiring a workers’ comp lawyer.
How long can I wait before filing a claim?
You should notify your employer or supervisor as soon as possible after the injury. It must be in writing, within 30 days of the injury.
Can I be fired for filing a claim?
No. It is against the law to be fired or to be punished in any way for filing a claim.
I am getting paperwork. What should I do with it?
Some people throw it in the trash because they do not know what it is or do not want to deal with it. This is a mistake. The paperwork will not go away, and it only hurts your cause to ignore it. Keep it together and organized and contact a workers’ compensation attorney if you have questions about it.
What does compensation provide besides the bi-weekly payments?
Other benefits include retraining if you are unable to return to the same or similar employment. It is a common misconception that workers’ comp pays pain and suffering damages; it does not. However, there are provisions for additional compensation for loss of limb. Additionally, medical treatment for your injury should be paid in workers’ comp. Finally, in rare cases of permanent, total disability, your employer may have to provide support for life.
Have Any Other Questions? Contact Rehbock & Wilson.
Remember, each case is different. Internet research is no substitute for speaking with an actual lawyer about the specifics of your case. Call our office in Anchorage at 800-477-8574 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. There is never any money out of your pocket or benefits when you file a workers’ compensation claim, so you have nothing to lose.