Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation

By Justin S. Eppler

A workplace injury can be a traumatic and expensive event, no matter who was at fault. These injuries may have lasting effects that linger far past the initial incident. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to help you through these times by supplementing your salary and covering medical expenses. However, many people find the coverage to be ultimately inadequate. If your claim isn’t completed properly, you may find yourself saddled with unpaid medical bills or non-monetary expenses like reduced quality of life or pain and suffering.

Alaska has one of the highest payouts for workers’ comp, covering up to 80% of workers’ wages when injuries leave them temporarily disabled. It’s helpful and wise to have an attorney on your side to ensure you the workers’ comp you deserve. Those in the Anchorage, Alaska area can turn to the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC for professional guidance on how best to proceed with your case.

Here are some common questions regarding workers’ comp:

Who qualifies for workers’ compensation?

Most workers who are hurt on the job while performing their stated job functions can apply for and receive workers’ compensation. All employers in Alaska are required to carry workers’ comp insurance.

How much time do I have to file?

In Alaska, you must submit a workplace injury report within 30 days of your injury or you risk not receiving benefits. That said, all injuries should be reported immediately to your employer to avoid delays or complications. After receiving your injury report, your employer will then report the injury to the Alaska Workers' Compensation Board (AWCB).

What if the injury was partially my fault?

Alaska has a no-fault system, meaning that it doesn’t matter whose fault it was when the injury occurred. Many workers incorrectly believe that they aren’t entitled to compensation or somehow deserve less if the accident was their fault. Unfortunately, this can lead to many workers not reporting their injury and missing out on crucial financial assistance.

What benefits are injured employees entitled to?

Workers’ comp is designed to cover medical bills of the injured party as well as a portion of their salary for any time at work they must miss due to the injury. In Alaska, this means employers must pay all “reasonable and necessary” medical treatments for up to two years after your injury. You may also be able to claim temporary disability benefits or compensation for expenses like travel to and from health care services.

Do I need an attorney to file a workers’ comp claim?

You don’t need to hire an attorney to file a worker’s comp claim, but it’s a good idea if you want to ensure all your expenses are covered or if your original claim is disputed and you have to go to a hearing. Many who file for workers’ comp can also file a personal injury claim for added benefits, and a qualified attorney can advise you on your best course of action.

What if I was injured on my way to work or while on a break?

It depends, and this is where hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can be crucial to help your case. In general, if you’re injured while taking a mandated break on company property, there’s a realistic chance you can receive workers’ comp. However, many states have laws called “portal rules” in which workers’ comp is not available to workers who are traveling to and from work and their homes.

How the Law Office of Justin S. Eppler, LLC Can Help

You and your family shouldn’t have to go through any more distress than you’ve already been through when it comes to workplace injuries. Our office will listen to your story and provide the best counsel for you, whether that means using mediation and collaboration to come to an agreement or taking your case to court. We proudly serve all workers in the Anchorage, Alaska area and beyond in Fairbanks, Juneau, and Wasilla. Call us today to set up a consultation.