Workers Compensation in Alaska

You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Alaska state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation. Then the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Alaska workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Alaska?

The Alaska Department of Labor reports that seafood processing has the highest workplace injury rate. State and local government has the second highest rate, and educational & health services has the third. The most common causes of injuries for Alaska manufacturing are contact with objects, followed by overexertion. Examples in the first category include being cut by a knife or dropping a box of frozen fish on a foot.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Alaska?

There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Alaska workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss. 

The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Act states that every employer with one or more employees must either purchase private workers’ compensation insurance or self-insure, with very limited exceptions. If an employer fails to do so, injured workers can still obtain care and compensation through the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Benefits Guaranty Fund.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Alaska are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from an Alaska healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.

Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Alaska workers comp works.

In Alaska, you must fill out a First Report of Injury no later than 30 days after your injury or illness began and give it to your employer. You can also send a copy to the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board. If accepted by the employer’s adjuster, you should receive the appropriate compensation benefits. If the adjuster stops your benefits you may file a Workers Compensation Claim with the Board to recover benefits. The statute of limitations on a workers’ compensation suit is four years from the date of injury.

What to Know about the Report

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report  with the report of injury.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. 

If a claim is straightforward, it is usually resolved quickly. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the employer or insurer has 14 days from notice of the injury to make the first payment. No compensation benefits are paid for the first three days unless you are disabled more than 28 days. Your case will take more time and work if your employer has denied the claim, you are considering a settlement, or if your employer isn’t insured.

Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

In learning how Alaska workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may question whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire an Alaska workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Alaska

Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job. You will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky, you should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Alaska state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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