Alaska law requires an injured employee to report his injury to his employer within 30 days. AS 23.30.100. If the employee fails to report his injury timely, his failure to do so can bar his claim. That means that he won't get any benefits. That is the general rule.
There are exceptions. The first exception is when the Alaska Workers Compensation Board determines that the employer was not prejudiced by a delay in reporting the injury. AS 23.30.100 (d)(1). This means you have to go to a hearing and get a ruling.
When is the employer prejudiced by late notice? If he is unable to investigate the circumstances of the injury because of the delay, if he is unable to investigate prior medical conditions of the employee because of the delay, if evidence is lost or witnesses disappear.
If the insurance company refuses to pay your claim because it says that you failed to give notice, that isn't the end of your claim. It's the beginning of your fight. Meet with an attorney and explain the reasons why you gave late notice. "Lack of prejudice" is just one of a number of reasons for which the Board will excuse failure to give timely notice.
For more information, see http://keenanpowell.com/faq-wc.html.
Keenan Powell has more than 30 years experience representing injured Alaskans. For a free consultation, call the Law Office of Keenan Powell: 907 258 7663.