Unfortunately, countless people are injured on the job each year in Alaska. Even though safe work practices and programs are designed especially to help employees avoid accidents, injuries still happen at alarming rate.
If you suffered an on-the-job injury, you may be uncertain about what to do next. How can you regain your health, pay your medical bills and protect your rights? The best idea is to talk with an attorney skilled in workers’ compensation cases. He or she can help you understand your options and avoid dangerous mistakes.
Here are three of the most common mistakes to avoid:
1. Failing To Report The Injury – First and foremost, the most important thing you can do is to report the accident or injury within 30 days. Although this seems like the obvious thing to do, too often, workers fail to inform their supervisors in a timely manner or fail to report it at all. Some employees are afraid of losing their jobs (even though it’s against the law for an employer to retaliate against employees who report workplace injuries). Others don’t realize how serious their injuries are until significant amount of time goes by – and by then it’s too late to file a workers’ compensation claim.
2. Changing Doctors Without Permission – If you change physicians more than once, the cost of the treatment may not be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance company. You may be liable for those bills yourself.
3. Quitting Your Job – If your workplace injury prevents you from doing your job, you may be tempted to simply quit and look for employment elsewhere. However, this isn’t necessarily a wise step to take. Consult a lawyer about your rights and options before you tender your resignation.
Learn more about avoiding pitfalls in the workers’ compensation process in Alaska. Information is power, and you can take action to help protect your rights and your future.