gavel-booksFor many years, I have been proud of my role as a trial attorney in making a difference in people's lives.  I have helped people overcome tragedy and I have helped people begin new lives.  I have helped people obtain the medical care that they need and money to pay their bills when someone harmed them.  I have held the police responsible for police brutality and for injuring innocent bystanders.  I have held the State responsible for allowing children entrusted to its care to be abused and, on one occasion, murdered.  I have held a hospital responsible for its malpractice resulting in a death.  And I am not alone.

I am proud, as well, of my association with the Alaska Association of Justice and the American Association of Justice.  The Alaska Association of Justice is an organization of trial attorneys, like me, who endeavor to make a difference in people's lives.  For more information about AAJ, see: https://www.alaskajustice.org/index.cfm.

The American Association for Justice is likewise an organization of trial attorneys who endeavor to make a difference.  Some of the cases in which these attorneys have been involved include holding Firestone responsible for bad tires which resulted in its redesign, holding Jeep responsible for bad design in early Wranglers that caused them to roll, holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for selling drugs which they knew were dangerous, and holding toy manufacturers responsible for selling dangerous toys.  When you hear about a big verdict or settlement against a corporation, you can be assured that the corporation has the incentive to change its product. Time and again, products have been designed to be more safe because a manufacturer was sued by a trial lawyer.  For more information about the American Association of Justice, see: http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/justice/hs.xsl/16.htm.

Keenan Powell has more than 30 years experience representing injured Alaskans in Anchorage and the Valley. For a free consultation, fill out the contact form or call 907 258 7663.

 

 

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Television news is reporting a case of a young woman, Nancy Means, who last month sued the Municipality of Anchorage for false arrest.  It is reported that in 2011, her car broke down and a Anchorage Police officer pulled over.  He asked her name and to see her drivers license, which he is entitled to do and then he asked for her telephone  number.  She refused to give him her telephone number and was arrested for DWI although later tests proved that she didn't have any alcohol in her system.  The charges were dropped after she hired an attorney.

The municipal code, specifically AMC 08.30.020A states that it is unlawful to provide a false name, address, drivers license or date of birth or any other false information necessary to the proper issuance of a citation or complaint.  AMC 08.30.010 makes it unlawful to resist arrest by in order to resist an arrest, there must have been some other crime  committed.

Although the police routinely ask for them for their reports but it is not required by law, there is no specific language in the Municipal Code requiring a person to give their telephone numbers to the police. Given the recent history with APD, specifically the many years during which it turned a blind eye to Officer Anthony Rollins sexual harassment and assaults of women he arrested, the jury may well find the APD officer who asked an 18 year old woman for her number and then arrested her on a bogus charge of DWI was out of line.  APD has something to worry about.

Keenan Powell has more than 30 years experience representing injured Alaskans in Anchorage and the Valley. For a free consultation, fill out the contact form or call 907 258 7663.

 

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When you’re off work as result of a work-related injury, you receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) which is about 80% of what your net. The exact figure, known as your “compensation rate”, is determined by looking at the two years before you were injured, picking the best of those two years and then applying a formula that was developed by the Workers Compensation Board.

Most workers feel that the amount they receive is unfair because it is not as much as they were bringing home and most people need every dime they earn to pay the bills. The Board’s justification for the ruling is that it is equally unfair to everyone and no one should be singled out for particularly unfair treatment.

You can seek to have your TTD increased if the amount is incorrect or if when it was calculated it failed to take into consideration a second income or benefits. As a rule, most people’s income will be determined by their net wages earned in the two years before the injury.

The formula is adjusted every year so every year there is a new bulletin published setting out the compensation rates. To access the bulletins, visit the Workers Compensation Board’s website: http://labor.state.ak.us/wc/bulletins.htm.

If you have any questions regarding your case, the Law Office of Keenan Powell provides free consultations regardless of whether or not you have been controverted. To contact Keenan Powell, use the contact form on this page or call 258-7663.

For more information about Workers Compensation, see: http://www.keenanpowell.com/faq-wc.html.

The State of Alaska Division of Workers Compensation released 2012 Annual Report: http://labor.alaska.gov/wc/forms/2012AR.pdf.

It shows that the insurance companies are paying their attorneys more than they were paid in 2011.  The insurance defense attorneys received 10.3 million dollars in 2012.  Doctors were paid more too: 176 million dollars in 2012.  But employee's disability benefits (temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial impairment, permanent total disability), that amount went down 2.5% despite the fact that compensation rates were raised (See Bulletins 10-04 and 11-06 at the Board's website).

That means fewer employees are getting less money while defense attorneys and doctors are getting paid more.  In the words of Father Guido Sarducci, "Coincidenza?"

 

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When things go the way they are supposed to: you report your injury to your Employer.  Your Employer reports the injury to his insurance company and the Alaska Workers Compensation Board. The insurance company adjuster contacts you with a claim number to give to your medical providers.  You send your doctor’s work releases to the insurance company and the insurance company sends you temporary total disability as long as you are off work.  You get the medical treatment you need and go back to work.

When things don’t go right.  The first problem I’ve seen, time and again, is the Employer refuses to report the injury to his insurance company and the Alaska Workers Compensation Board.  If that happens, contact an attorney immediately.  You will need an attorney to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled.

What kind of benefits are you entitled to?  Reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your work-related injury, for as long as you need it.  That could mean the rest of your life.  You are entitled to be compensated for time lost from work, whether you’re off full time or part time.  You are entitled to a PPI rating if you’re injury is permanent.  You may be entitled to retraining.  You are entitled to be compensated for your travel for treatment, even if it is few miles.  Gas is expensive.

For more information, check out FAQ page: http://www.keenanpowell.com/faq-wc.html.  With more than 30 years of experience representing injured Alaskans, Keenan Powell is currently accepting workers compensation cases.For a free consultation, call the Law Office of Keenan Powell: 907 258 7663.

SettersphotoWhen you are in a car accident, you are required to stop, check to see if anyone is injured (call 911 if someone is badly injured), and render aid.  You are also required to exchange your name and insurance information with the other driver.  If any witnesses stopped, you should obtain their names and telephone numbers as well. The police will not take the witnesses names and numbers any more (new Municipal policy) nor will the police make a report unless someone is obviously injured at the scene.

As soon as you can, you must report the accident to the police department, call your insurance company and report the accident, call the other driver's insurance company and report the accident.  You'd be surprised how many at-fault drivers don't report their accidents to their own insurance company.

For more information, visit FAQ page at  keenanpowell.com: http://keenanpowell.com/faq-mva.html.

Keenan Powell has more than 30 years experience representing injured Alaskans in Anchorage and the Valley. For a free consultation, fill out the contact form or call 907 258 7663.

 

First Friday: Jones/Haneline Photographs and book signing by Stan Jones, author of the Nathan Active mystery series, and mosiac art by Kay Haneline. Friday December 6 5 PM-8 PM. First Friday at Cosmic Café, 701 W 36th Ave, Anchorage, AK

First Friday: “Lyon and Lyons”. Painting by Linda Infante Lyons. Encausting paintings by Cheryl Gibbs Lyon. December 6 5PM-10PM. First Friday at Linda Lyon’s Studio, 3701 Mountain View Drive on the corner of Price Street, Studio #103, Anchorage, AK.

Christmas in Spenard, December 03, 2013 until December 26, 2013,6:45 p.m. Tap Root, Spenard Rd, Anchorage AK.

Alaska Youth Orchestra Fall Concert, December 03, 2013, 7 p.m., Discovery Theatre, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Anchorage AK. The finale of the concert is a performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 Finale. The concert will also include a guest appearance by the Alaska Dance Theatre.

UAA Percussion Ensemble-Hot World Grooves Concert, December 5th, 2013, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
UAA Fine Arts Building Recital Hall, 3640 Alumni Drive , Anchorage, AK 99508
Local: 907-332-3234, Website: http://music.uaa.alaska.edu.

Anchorage International Film Festival, December 6th, 2013 - December 15th, 2013, Various venues. Website: http://www.anchoragefilmfestival.org.

Native Peoples' Bazaar, December 7th, 2013, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Alaska Native Medical Center
http://anmc.org/auxiliary/anmc-craft-shop. Authentic traditional Alaska Native art and handicrafts. There will be a vintage table and collectors table as well as masks, baskets, dance fans, ivory, whalebone carvings, slippers, jewelry, dolls, Christmas ornaments and gift certificates available. Cash and checks only. Credit and debit cards are not accepted. Entertainment includes singing, drumming and dancing. Admission is free.

When the Board orders an SIME (Second Independent Medical Evaluation), the Employer is obligated to pay the doctor, provide transportation and pay per diem to the Employee. These arrangements must be made and conveyed to the Employee no later than 10 days before the SIME appointment. 8 AAC 45.090.

The “per diem” is the amount of money to which the Employee is entitled for meals and incidentals. The proper amount depends on how long the Employee is out of state and where the Employee is set. The Alaska Workers Compensation Board had adopted the federal standards for establishing per diem. http://labor.state.ak.us/wc/bulletins/13-01.pdf.

The federal per diem rates are found at the government website: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877.

For instance, if an Employee was sent to San Francisco for 24 hours for a SIME, the Employer should send the Employee a check for $71 to cover meals and incidentals. http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/100120.

If the Employer fails to provide timely notice of the travel arrangements, that is 10 days or more in advance, then the Employee is not obligated to attend the SIME. The reason for the 10 days notice is apparent. It allows the Employee time to arrange time of work or babysitting or dogsitting or any other arrangements that need to be made.

If the Employee does not attend the SIME because the Employer did not make travel arrangements timely, the Employer is obligated to pay the doctor’s missed appointment fee. If the appointment is missed, the Employee call the Board and/or request a prehearing to inform the Board designee so that another appointment can be made.

The Law Office of Keenan Powell provides free consultations regardless of whether or not you have been controverted. To contact Keenan Powell, use the contact form on this page or call 258-7663.

For more information about Workers Compensation, see: http://www.keenanpowell.com/faq-wc.html.

When you start looking for an attorney to handle your workers compensation claim, you will quickly find out that attorneys will ask you to pull together a number of records to review. At the very least, he or she will want to see all of your medical records since your date of injury, the report of the insurance doctor (EIME), if one exists, and the controversion notice, if one exists. Depending on the circumstances, the attorney may want to request more documents in order to review your case.

There are two basic reasons why attorneys ask for the file before deciding whether to accept the case: first, in order to evaluate the case properly, and second, it is a test.

It is difficult for an attorney to determine whether he or she can help the claimant without reviewing the file because Workers Compensation law, and the process, is complicated and each case is unique. Many claimants have seen a number of doctors before they call an attorney, so obtaining their medical records can be a complicated and tedious process. Moreover, where many doctors will give their patient a copy of the file for free, they charge attorneys up to $75 or more for the records, even if there is only one visit. It’s easy to see that if attorneys went to the expense and time to collect documents for every person that called, he or she would not have time to devote to pursuing his client’s claims.

The second reason for asking claimants to gather the records is that, it is a test. If a claimant does not have enough motivation to collect the files, then he or she probably doesn’t have enough motivation to see the case through. If he or she cannot or does not follow directions, then he or she will be a difficult client to work with because the claimant must cooperate during the case in order to proceed.

So if you are serious about your workers compensation claim, collect the records which are asked of you. All of them.

The Law Office of Keenan Powell provides free consultations regardless of whether or not you have been controverted. To contact Keenan Powell, use the contact form on this page or call 258-7663.

For more information about Workers Compensation, see: http://www.keenanpowell.com/faq-wc.html.

 

It has come to my attention that Alaska National is sending out medical releases to injured workers asking them to release medical information from 1998 forward.  Further the medical releases are phrased in such a way that the provider will release all medical records from that date.

This is not the law.  Alaska Workers Compensation law is very clear.  The insurance company is entitled to medical information relating only to the injured body part from two years prior to the date of injury in most circumstances.

In the event that the injured body part was injured previously, then the insurance company would be entitled to medical records from two years prior to the first treatment date.

It is imperative that an injured worker respond to the request for medical releases timely.  If the releases are overbroad (see information beyond what the insurance company is entitled to) then the injured worker must file a petition for protective order with the Alaska Workers Compensation Board.  The form is available on the Board's website: http://labor.state.ak.us/wc/pdf_list.htm.  Use form 07-6111.  You must print the form, fill it out, file a copy with the Board and send a copy to the insurance company.

If you fail to execute the forms and return them on time, or instead file a petition for protective order, the insurance company is entitled to cut off all of your benefits, time loss payment and medical benefits included, until the issue is resolved.  Nothing will happen in your case,

For more information, see http://www.keenanpowell.com/faq-wc.html

Contact Keenan Powell through the contact form or call: 258-7663. Toll free: 888-368-5678.