A little history on my situation. I live in a remote area of Alaska (Dutch Harbor) and was working two jobs. One was as a school bus driver and the other as a part time garbage truck drive and mechanic. I got injured working at my part time job when the jack stands under the semi truck I was working on collapsed and the truck fell on my leg. It crushed my left leg and I am unable to walk on it without crutches. Because there is only a medical clinic in Dutch Harbor they flew me to Anchorage to take care of my medical needs. The injury happened on January 5,2007 and I have been here in Anchorage at a hotel since that date. Because of the type of injury the healing is very slow and I am told will take several years for me to heal. My problems and questions are as follows.
First is trying to get information from the insurance company on what type of paper work is needed for them to pay me all that I am entitled to for my workmen's comp. Right now they have me on a compensation of right around $1000.00 a month. I don't know how they came up with that amount but it is no where near enough money to pay my bills. My rent alone in Dutch Harbor is $800.00 a month so that leaves me with only $200.00 to live on for the rest of the month. I believe that I should be entitled to more money then that to pay my bills but do not know what the insurance adjuster needs in order to evaluate my compensation. Several calls and emails to the insurance adjuster have gone unanswered and I am very frustrated trying to find out answers. Mean while all my bills are pilling up and I am unable to pay them as I have no income.
Second I am concerned that I will not be able to return to work doing the same job. Because I was working for 2 different companies I am afraid that I will loose my job as a school bus driver while I am healing. Also the doctor has told me that there is a good chance that I will have limited range of motion in both my knee and ankle and may never be able to straighten my leg out completely or bend my ankle to walk properly on it. So I am afraid that I will not be able to continue working as a mechanic or even as a driver if I can not operate a clutch. So I was looking into some information on reemployment benefits and am confused.
I am trying to figure out when you can apply for an evaluation for reemployment benefits and how to go about doing that. I am also trying to figure out if I apply for reemployment benefits and they approve me for training of another job will I have to move in order to get the training. There are not many opportunities in Dutch Harbor to train.
Right now I am just so frustrated because I am stuck here in a hotel in Anchorage and have no help figure all of this out. I am trying to do this all on my own and I am getting nowhere. The company I work for has been very good to me and has really helped me out a lot with several things. So I am scared of hiring a lawyer and causing the company some hardships because of my injury. If I hire a lawyer to help me do they go after the company or do they go after the insurance company who doesn't seem to want to pay? If I hire a lawyer does it actually help or just throw more red tape into the whole process? I am new to all of this and just trying to find some answers.