All employers in Alaska must carry workers compensation benefits. Meaning, almost every employee injured has a right to get benefits. In most cases, an injured employee waits for his/her condition to stabilized and have all the information about any expenses that could be incurred before seeking for the workers’ comp benefits. Unfortunately, sometimes the unexpected happens. The condition gets worse than what the doctor initially anticipated or one becomes more disabled than expected. In such a case, one may be able to reopen their claim and get more benefits. If you’re in such a situation, there is hope, you can get the benefits you deserve. It’s always important to know your rights when it comes to the settlement process and whether you may have any legal right to claim benefits if your medical condition worsens.
What Do I Need To Reopen My Workers Compensation Case?
Suppose you are covered by workers compensation insurance. In that case, you are allowed to be compensated for your medical bills, lost income or any other loss emanating from illness or injuries you may suffer in the job. However, when it comes to reopening of workers’ compensation cases, every state has its own rules. Failure to follow the law may lender you incapable of getting the award you deserve. In any case, having the best attorney in Anchorage evaluate your case is the best option to have the right compensation in case of work-related injuries or illness. Besides, the lawyer can also advise on any laws related to reopening of workers compensation cases in Alaska. The workers’ compensation judge have mandates to open a case once closed, but this should be done within a certain period of time depending on the laws of each state. Some of the reasons why you may have your case reopened include:
- An injury has gotten worse.
- A victim becoming more disabled than expected
- There was a legal mistake in the court award.
Once you have decided to reopen your case, you will need the right evidence. Remember the process is similar to having a dispute over your workers’ compensation claim. You will need the right medical reports from your treating doctor. In the report, your doctor should include how your condition has worsened and how this is related to your original injury or illness. Additionally, the doctor should give out details on the medical treatment you should receive.
Can I Get Extra Benefits After Settling My Workers Compensation Case?
Once your case has been approved and you have received workers compensation benefits, it becomes very difficult to reopen your case. This could be because of the stringent laws in your state and the type of settlement you received. For instance, if you have received a full lump sum for your benefits and you have released your employer from any other liability; you may have an issue while trying to reopen your case. Having the right information for injured workers in Alaska is the way to ensure you receive benefits and avoid any dispute that may arise. Unfortunately, some settlements are final, meaning even if your medical condition worsens, you may not have a chance to reclaim. However, you can seek legal guidance on how to seek compensation for your future medical treatment. The main idea is that you can only be allowed to reopen your case in case of unique circumstances, such as benefits based on fraud or court’s mistakes. If your claim has been denied, or you have a dispute, you can file a claim to dispute with Alaska’s Workers Compensation Board ( AWCB). The claim should be filed within two years of your injury or the date on which you received the last benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance company.
What If I Can’t Reopen My Workers Compensation Claim?
If you are in a situation where it seems impossible to reopen your workers’ compensation claim, it may be the best time to seek legal help. You can be able to file a new claim with the help of a workers compensation lawyer. For instance, if you had received benefits after suffering from a back injury, and later the injuries became aggravated from a work-related event, you can file a new claim. In such a situation, your injury will be considered as an aggravated injury that may have worsened your medical condition. Again, to receive benefits for your new injury, you must follow the set guidelines by Alaska.
If your work-related injuries have unexpectedly deteriorated, you need to seek compensation for medical expenses to be incurred. You will need to reopen your case or file a new claim to retain your legal rights to get the best medical treatment. Reopening a workers compensation claim in Alaska is extremely difficult. You will need the help of an experienced workers compensation attorney to evaluate your case. It’s better to retain the one who assisted you in your original claim. He/she may be in a better position to know what can work best for you.