Frequently Asked Questions About Alaska Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation can be a confusing and daunting system. Many workers have little experience with work injury benefits, and it’s common to have many questions. Find the answers and information you’re looking for in these FAQs prepared by experienced injury attorney Ben Crittenden.
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How are workers’ compensation attorneys paid in Alaska?
Workers often have the same main concerns after some condition at work has left them injured or ill. First, how can they recover as completely and quickly as possible? And second, how will they pay their bills and maintain their financial stability during recovery? These are important and valid concerns, and injured workers and their families may need help finding the right answers. It can be difficult, however, to know where to find these answers, and too often, injured workers fail to seek legal advice because they are worried about the cost of an experienced and effective lawyer. A good attorney can be affordable, though. Here we explain how a workers’ compensation attorney is paid.
A Fee Agreement That Protects Injured Workers
Most workers’ compensation attorneys, including Anchorage attorney Ben Crittenden, use an agreement known as a contingent fee. A contingent fee means clients only pay if the case is successful. If the attorney does not get compensation for the injured worker, the worker owes the attorney nothing. If the case is successful, the attorney is paid directly from the award provided by the insurance company. The injured worker does not have to reach into his own pocket to provide a retainer nor or to pay for other work the attorney does on his behalf leading up to the decision by the workers’ compensation board. At times, there may be nominal fees, such as filing fees, incurred by the worker as the claim progresses.
While some attorneys charge a percentage of the award, attorney Ben Crittenden charges on an hourly basis. If the claim is successful, Ben will bill his client only for the time he spent on the claim. All details of billing and payment will be clearly explained by Ben when you meet to discuss your case.
The Cost of Not Hiring an Alaska Workers’ Compensation Attorney
While the thought of paying an attorney may be unappealing, the cost of NOT hiring an experienced lawyer may be even greater. Workers’ compensation benefits provide vital medical care and compensation that injured workers and their families rely on during a difficult time. Your employer and their insurance company will likely attempt to reduce their own liability or deny your benefits altogether. If you have been injured or fallen ill on the job, you need these benefits. Without an experienced advocate in your corner, you may miss out on the care and compensation you deserve.
Additionally, while this is not a court of law, the decisions of the state workers’ compensation board are binding, and it can be incredibly difficult to change their decision once it is handed down. Get the help you need right from the start. Call Anchorage-based attorney Ben Crittenden or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page today. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn more about your rights.
Am I eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if I was responsible for the accident that caused my injury?
Before the adoption of the workers’ compensation system, work injuries could be a nightmare for both employees and employers. While workers struggled to get the medical care they needed, employers were left short staffed and faced negligence lawsuits. To help both sides move forward as smoothly as possible, the workers’ compensation system evolved on two main tenets: workers could not sue their employers, but would get medical and lost wage benefits regardless of fault.
When You Are Responsible for Your Injuries
Workers’ compensation benefits are provided much like no-fault insurance. If an injury occurs at the workplace, regardless of whose actions are to blame, the injured worker can obtain benefits. As long as the injury results from the course of employment, there is no issue with fault. Injuries commonly occur when employees plan improperly, fail to adhere to safety guidelines, or simply lose focus. These behaviors will not typically keep an injured worker from receiving the medical care and wage replacement benefits they need to recover as fully as possible.
Exceptions to the No-Fault Workers’ Compensation Rules
There are, however, certain situations in which an injured worker’s behavior can negatively affect his eligibility for benefits. In Alaska, there are two key exceptions to the no-fault rules. Workers may be denied benefits if the injury is caused by either:
- The worker’s intent to willfully injure or kill another person.
- The worker’s intoxication by drugs or alcohol.
Learn More About Your Rights as an Injured Alaska Worker
Too many times, injured employees fail to even file for the benefits to which they are entitled because they worry their role in the injury will be an obstacle. This is typically not the case and attorney Ben Crittenden helps Alaska workers understand their rights and find the most effective way forward after a work injury. Even if you aren’t sure if you are eligible for these benefits, contact Ben today to discuss your unique situation. He can help you determine what to do next and provide the guidance you need to be successful during this difficult time. Call his Anchorage office or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch directly with Ben, and take the first step to as full a recovery as possible.