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Anchorage Legal Issues Blog

How to file a workers' compensation claim in Alaska

When you suffer an injury at work, your first concern is probably for your health and safety. However, what follows right after is the worry about the financial consequences of the accident. How will you pay for the medical bills? When can you go back to work, if at all? Will you have lifelong health problems or need long-term care?

Workers' compensation exists to address this situation. Your employer is responsible when you get hurt at work, and you are eligible to receive assistance to ease the financial burden. Here is what you need to do to receive these benefits.

Are prenuptial agreements good or bad?

Congratulations on getting engaged! Amid all the wedding planning activities, there is one thing to consider. Should you get a prenup before saying I do? The practice has become increasingly common, but you are unsure if it is the right thing to do.

Opposers argue that prenups discourage couples from working things out by making divorce easy, while supporters claim that prenups can provide marital security and prevent harmful contention if divorce happens. The truth is that prenups can be good or bad depending on your situation.

What benefits do you receive through workers' compensation?

When you receive an injury while working, it is imperative you report the incident right away to your employer, seek immediate medical care and follow your treatment plan. Taking these first steps can significantly increase the chances of your workers' compensation claim going through so you can receive benefits.

The benefits you are eligible for depend on the circumstances of your case. The following are the different benefit categories in Alaska.

  • Temporary partial disability: This applies to when your injury affects how much you can work but does not prevent you from working altogether. You will recover and be able to work normally again. Financial benefits will only last until you heal, with a maximum of five years.
  • Permanent partial impairment: This category covers injuries that are more severe and long lasting, such as an amputation. You receive a lump payment based on percentage of physical loss. If you are re-entering the workforce, payments will occur every two weeks instead.
  • Temporary total disability: Some injuries are serious enough to totally disable you, but thankfully not for the rest of your life. You can receive benefits during your recovery.
  • Permanent total disability: When you cannot work at all ever again due to the bodily harm you have sustained, you are eligible for long-term financial compensation. However, factors such as age, impairment, education, training abilities, industry and employment options all affect qualifying for this classification.

How breathalyzers may provide false positives

If police officers stop you and suspect a DUI, they will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test. People who get a result of blood alcohol content exceeding the legal limit of 0.08 percent often assume there is no point in fighting the charges that ensue. How can you argue with machine-generated, scientifically-backed results?

The truth is that breathalyzers can deliver inaccurate results for a number of reasons. Experienced defense attorneys know to examine all aspects of a case and build a solid strategy. Speaking with a lawyer, rather than just assuming the worst, may reveal you have a stronger defense than you thought.

3 biggest mistakes you can make in a divorce

Nobody gets married with the anticipation that they will eventually get divorced. You are optimistic and in love, but the unfortunate truth is that divorce is a frequent occurrence. Its commonness is likely little comfort if you are in the midst of a separation, but it is important not to lose sight of the future as you go through this process. Too many people become susceptible to stress and make regrettable mistakes.

There are several mistakes, in fact, that can seriously damage your case. Whether you are separating amicably or dealing with a contentious court battle, you should always be aware of the consequences your behavior may have. Avoid the following three errors that could be costly to your case.

"Love me, love my pet" and the new pet custody law

Alaska pet owners considering divorce will have more to consider when it comes to their pets. Pets are no longer mere pieces of material property subject to division in a divorce. While one usually thinks of children when considering custody issues, pets are not part of the equation.

As reported by the Washington Post, like children, a new law will require courts to consider the well-being of the family animals before deciding who has custody. Custody may be sole or joint. In addition, the court may award possession to one owner based not on the needs of either divorcing owner, but on what is in the pet’s best interest.

Could a DUI charge affect my custody case?

You are struggling with your ex to figure out child custody issues. For example, perhaps you want joint custody while your ex wants sole custody. You go out to a bar one night, have a few drinks, leave, and the next thing you know, you are being pulled over and charged with a DUI.

Can this charge affect your custody case? Yes, it can. 

Protecting your assets in divorce: Things to consider

If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse in Alaska, it is important for you to anticipate different outcomes. You may have certain beliefs and expectations about the process, but if you do not plan your separation carefully, you could end up with a settlement skewed towards your ex-partner. 

Unless you have a community property agreement, community trust, prenuptial or postnuptial contract, property acquired before the marriage can remain separate and out of your spouse’s reach. Alaska is an equitable distribution state. When it is time to determine the division of assets, the judge must use his or her discretion to give you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse what the judge believes is fair. This can lead to you or your spouse receiving an unequal share of certain assets. Here is a brief overview of how you can make your post-divorce situation more secure. 

Problems with field sobriety tests

If an Alaska law enforcement officer pulls you to the side of the road for any reason, and he or she has a reason to believe that you may have been drinking, you may have to take a standardized field sobriety test. This battery of three tests can indicate a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent. 

AAA points out that even though courts often consider test results to be scientific evidence, they may be flawed.

What to do if your workers' compensation claim is rejected

Alaska workers who file a claim for workers' compensation often count on the benefits to help them through the costs resulting from medical treatment or having to take time off from work. When the employer's insurance company denies a claim, it can be hard not to feel hopeless.

Fortunately, many workers whose claim is initially controverted have the option of going further to pursue their claim. Your attorney can provide individual guidance as to whether continuing to fight makes sense in your situation.

Kalamarides & Lambert
750 W 2nd Ave Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501

Phone: 907-205-4997
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