USPS priority mail envelopeWhen you send any documents to the insurance company, you need to have proof they got it. There are two ways to do that:

1.  You can fax the document to them.  Keep a copy of the fax and a copy of the fax confirmation sheet showing they received it.

2.  You can mail it priority mail.  A bar code number will be assigned to the letter and you can track delivery on USPS.com.

It's important to prove when you sent the documents because the insurance company doesn't owe you money until they receive them.  They don't owe you TTD (temporary total disability)  until they receive a doctor's note taking you off work.  They don't owe you travel benefits until they receive your travel log.  They can cut off your benefits if they don't get releases you requested.  If whatever you are sending to the insurance company is important enough to send, its important enough to prove that you sent it.

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for over 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans handling hundreds of cases. www.keenanpowell.com.

All consultations are free.  To make an appointment, use the contact form on this website or call:  907 258 7663.

SettersphotoWhen I accept a personal injury case, I collect all of the medical records, police reports and other documentation to prove my client's claim. Then I sit down with my client and evaluate the claim taking into consideration the disruption it has had in their lives and jury verdicts for similar injuries.

Then, and only then, with the express agreement of my client, I extend a settlement offer.  Settling without filing suit is always preferable, if possible, because it maximizes the amount of money that reaches the client and the funds reach the client 1-2 years sooner than if suit is filed.

Then, and only then, if the client agrees to a counter offer from the insurance company, we settle the claim.  If the client does not accept the counter offer, that is when the client, and only the client, will decide if he or she wants to file suit.

For more information about my practice, see:  http://www.keenanpowell.com/settlements_pi.html.

If you have any questions regarding your personal injury case, please call.    To contact me, use the contact form on this page or call 258-7663. ALL CONSULTATIONS ARE FREE.

 

 

 

 

workmenReemployment benefits are for injured workers who cannot go back to the job they were doing when they were injured or any of the jobs they held in the preceding ten years.  There are many in and outs to reemployment benefits and this is a basic idea of how the process goes:

If you are off work for more than 90 days because of your work injury, then the Employer is supposed to notify the Reemployment Benefits Administrator (RBA) and then the RBA will start an investigation.  A employment counselor will contact you to obtain your employment history and medical information.  Then s/he will contact your treating physician to ask whether you will be able to go back to your old job, or the other jobs in the preceding ten years. Then s/he will report back to the RBA and the RBA will determine whether you are entitled to benefits.

If you are entitled to reemployment benefits, the maximum benefit that can be paid is $13,300 for books and tuition plus a stipend paid to you during your studies.  The stipend, called "41k", is paid every two weeks and is roughly ten percent less than your temporary total disability.

If you don't want retraining, you can elect Job Dislocation Benefits instead, which is usually $5,000.  The RBA will send you a form when you are found eligible.  You must return the form to the RBA on time and keep a copy for your records.

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for over 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans handling hundreds of cases. www.keenanpowell.com.

All consultations are free.  To make an appointment, use the contact form on this website or call:  907 258 7663.

gavel-books

The short answer is: because it's your job to convince the Alaska Workers Compensation Board, the insurance company's attorney and any attorney you are asking to represent you that you  indeed have a work-related injury.

If you file a Claim with the Alaska Workers Compensation Board, then you need to obtain all of your medical records from all of your health care providers who treated you for your injury and you need to file a copy of the records with the Board. You also need to send a copy of them to the insurance adjuster or opposing counsel.  You need to do this because it's your job to show that you have a work-related injury.  You need to attach these records to the Board's form called a Medical Summary: wc6103 - Medical Summary.  You need to keep a copy of the Medical Summary and the records you attached to it for your own records.

If you want to hire an attorney, the first question the attorney will have is: "Is this a work-related injury?"  And the second question "What is the proof this is a work-related injury?"  The answer is in the medical records.

It is the practice of most attorneys in Alaska to ask an injured worker who comes to them for representation to gather and provide all of the medical records relating to the treatment of the injury in question, and sometimes two years of prior medical records. That is so the attorney can determine whether this is a case he or she wants to accept.

So if you are sincere about asking an attorney to represent you, then you need to gather and provide him or her with all of the medical records relating to the treatment of the injury in question.  Under the laws of the State of  Alaska, you are entitled to them.  All you have to do is call your providers and ask them for the records.  Some of them will ask you to come in and sign a release.

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans for the past 9 years handling hundreds of cases.  A sample of verdicts she has obtained for Employees is found at  http://www.keenanpowell.com/settlements_wc.html.

There is absolutely no fee for a consultation, all consultations are free.  If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on this website or call:  907 258 7663.

bigstock-Silhouette-1113353The three top reasons insurance companies controvert claims are:

1.  Your doctor recommended surgery.  Insurance companies hate to pay for surgery.

2.  Your doctor determined you a chronic pain patient, that you will need pain medication to treat your symptoms.  Insurance companies want to close out claims.

3.  Your employer sabotaged your case. I’ve seen employers deny the accident happened, even if a supervisor witnessed it and I’ve seen employers hide evidence. I’ve seen employers refuse to file the required Report of Injury. Why? They don’t want their rates going up.

For every move the insurance company or your employer makes to deny you benefits, there is a counter move. Know your rights!  If you’ve been hurt at work, you need to talk to an attorney.

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for over 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans handling hundreds of cases. www.keenanpowell.com. To make an appointment, use the contact form on this website or call:  907 258 7663.

All consultations are free.

 

medical stuff

 

Doctor shopping is when an injured employee goes from doctor to doctor looking for a different opinion.  It is frowned upon in Workers Compensation.  If the Board finds you have been doctor shopping, the penalty is that the new doctor’s medical opinion will not be considered by the Board and, generally, that means he isn’t going to get paid either.  It can ruin your case.

 

An injured employee is entitled to one (1) change of physician as a matter of right but s/he must inform the insurance company of the change within fourteen days of making the change.  Give the notice in writing and keep a copy for yourself.  It is best if you fax the notice to the insurance company so you can have a fax confirmation sheet proving the insurance company received the fax.

 

It is not considered a change of physician if one physician refers you to another.  Make sure they referral is in writing.  You may need to prove later a referral was made. There are many other exceptions:

 

  1. If the Employer sent you to the first physician you saw and you subsequently pick a physician, that does not constitute a change.
  2. If you are seen at a hospital or emergency care facility, that is not a change.
  3. If you see another doctor in the same clinic as your doctor, that is not a change.
  4. If you move more than 50 miles away from your doctor, you can pick another one.
  5. If your doctor dies or moves away, you can pick another doctor.
  6. If your doctor refuses to treat you, you can pick another doctor.

 

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans for the past 9 years handling hundreds of cases.  A sample of verdicts she has obtained for Employees is found at  http://www.keenanpowell.com/settlements_wc.html.

 

There is absolutely no fee for a consultation, all consultations are free.  If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on this website or call:  907 258 7663.

 

tools

 

1.  Employers don’t like to file Reports of Injury.  On the job injuries raises the Employer’s insurance rates and can disqualify them from bidding for federal contracts

2.  Employers must file Reports of Injury.  Whether they like it or not, they must fill out the Workers Compensation Report of Injury form and file it with the Board 10 days after the injury is reported to them by the worker.

3. Employers will owe the Injured Worker a penalty if it fails to report the injury timely.  The amount of the penalty is based upon the benefits paid to the Injured Worker.  It is 20% of the benefits that were unpaid when due.

4.  Insurance companies don’t like Workers Compensation claims. It eats into their profits.

5.  The “Nurse Case Manager” is hired by the insurance company to keep an eye on the Injured Worker and to “coordinate” medical treatment.  That means she tells the doctor what the insurance company will and will not pay for thereby directing treatment.

6.  It’s against the law for the insurance company to direct medical treatment.  The insurance company is not allowed to tell the doctor what he can or cannot do.  Your treatment is a decision between you and your doctor, alone.

7.  It is against the law for the insurance company to deny or refuse to pay for treatment that your doctor ordered unless they can prove they have a “good faith” basis for the refusal.  Some insurance companies drag their feet without formally controverting benefits. Meanwhile the Injured Worker can’t get the treatment he or she needs and can’t get back to work.

8.  A “good faith” basis for the refusal usually means the insurance company’s doctor (so-called “IME”) says the treatment your doctor recommended is not reasonable or necessary or not related to your work injuries.

9. There is no such thing as an “Independent Medical Evaluation”. The insurance companies regularly employ doctors who will say what they want to hear, that is, give them a reason to deny your treatment.

10. You can fight the insurance company.  You can file a Claim with the Alaska Workers Compensation Board.  You can hire an attorney.

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for over 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans handling hundreds of cases. www.keenanpowell.com.

All consultations are free.  To make an appointment, use the contact form on this website or call:  907 258 7663.

 

 

 

workmenThe calculation of compensation rates for temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD) or death benefits is different for seasonal employees than for year-round employees.  Year round employees are calculated based upon the best earnings they made in the preceding two calendar years.  But seasonal employees are calculated on the 12 months preceding their injuries. Further all income from all sources must be taken into consideration, so if the injured worker had more than one employer in that twelve months, that income must be considered as well.

If the injured worker's income was unstable in the preceding two years and circumstances changed just before he was injured (for instance, if he was going to school for a couple of years and then got a really good job), then he would be entitled to have his compensation rate determined based on how much other employees are making in the job in which he was injured.  But the insurance companies will pay only the minimum rate. The injured worker will need to file a claim to obtain the correct amount of money.

Keenan Powell has practiced  law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans.

All consultations are free.  If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on www.keenanpowell.com or call:  907 258 7663.

 

 

bigstock-Silhouette-1113353

 

Under Alaska Workers Compensation law, an injured employee is entitled to mileage reimbursement for traveling to doctors, physical therapists etc for treatment.  This year's rate of reimbursement is $.56 per mile.  That means that if you drive 5 miles one way to the physical therapist (10 mile round trip) for only 13 visits, the insurance company owes you $72.80.  Did anyone tell you that? POV_Rate_Table.

Probably not.  The way you get the reimbursement is to demand it.  You need to provide the date of the visit, where you started from, where you went and the round trip mileage.  The insurance company needs to pay you or controvert you benefit within 30 days otherwise it owes you another 25%.  Attached is a form I developed that I use in my cases to demand travel benefits.  Travel log.  Feel free to use it.

Keenan Powell has practiced  law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans.

All consultations are free.  If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on www.keenanpowell.com or call:  907 258 7663.

gavel-booksWhether your case is personal injury or workers compensation, all consultations are free at the Law Office of Keenan Powell.  The reason consultations are free is because injured Alaskans need to know what their rights are as soon as possible.  They need to know what to expect.  They need to know if they're being treated fairly.

Keenan Powell has practiced Personal Injury and Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for more than 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans.

All consultations are free.  If you want to set up a meeting, use the contact form on www.keenanpowell.com or call:  907 258 7663.