Alaska Workers Compensation Lawyer

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In Alaska, there is no need to file a claim after an on-the-job accident. The workers' compensation insurer usually learns about a work-related injury from the accident report. The insurer has up to 21 days to either pay the claim or deny it. This is a quick process, especially when compared to the same time frame in most states. If the time elapses or the insurer denies the claim, then the injured worker has the right to petition for a hearing.

Workers compensation is a type of insurance that accommodates employees who need compensation for medical care due to an injury during the course of work in exchange for the employee's right to sue their employer for negligence. Plans vary according to jurisdictions, though they can be made for weekly payments instead of wages as a type of disability insurance, compensation for past and future economic losses, the payment or reimbursement of the medical expenses as a type of health insurance, and benefits payable to the depends of workers who were killed as a type of life insurance. Not included in worker compensation plans are punitive damages for employer negligence and general damages for pain and suffering.

In Alaska, workers' compensation is compulsory, and waivers are permitted, though officers of for-profit corporations may waive coverage. There are no numerical exceptions. The employee has the first choice of their physician, though the employer may establish a preferred provider list, the employee does not have to choose one on that list. The waiting period for compensation benefits after an injury is three days, while compensation is retroactive if the disability continues for more than 28 days from the date of the injury.

Injured workers do have the option of representing themselves through the entire process. They have the burden of proof, and must supply evidence, expert witnesses, as well as resources that the state supplies him or her on the basic rules of the process. The employer and insurer sit on the opposite side of the room, always in the company of their seasoned attorneys. The entire defense side of the room stands ready to rebut every point that the plaintiff, in this case the worker, argues. The plaintiff must manage to present his case for benefits in the face of such skilled opposition.

There is also another option. The injured worker can hire a workers' compensation attorney to either sit in as an adviser or take over the case altogether. This attorney can match every rebuttal brought by the defense with his own. He is sometimes more skilled in the area of worker's compensation, using this skill to obtain the maximum benefits allowed by law for his client. The attorney has the knowledge of the law and can usually secure benefits that the unrepresented plaintiff could not have managed. These may include anything from a substantial lump sum payment to something as small as mileage for long distance doctor's visits.

The workers' compensation attorney is a personal injury attorney, despite the no-fault status of such cases. Any Alaskan worker whose initial claim is denied should consult a workers' compensation attorney. Even if they act solely as an adviser, the attorney can make a significant difference in the amount of benefits ultimately received, or the time in which it takes to receive them. Consult a worker's compensation attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights, and benefits, are protected.

Being comfortable with the attorney you choose is important, as they will be playing a large role in alleviating the stress that is associated with an injury and finances. You can focus on your own recovery while they focus on getting you your fair compensation.


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