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Third Party Liability for Scaffolding Accidents in Des Moines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that approximately 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of workers in the industry, work on scaffolds as part of their jobs. What’s more, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that scaffolding accidents cause more than 60 deaths and 4,500 injuries each year.  In Iowa, workers’ compensation insurance will usually provide medical and disability benefits for a worker who’s injured on the job in a scaffolding accident. In some cases, though, the worker may also be able to file a third-party liability claim for damages.  Who is a third party?  Workers’ compensation law prohibits employees from filing a lawsuit for damages against their employers when a workplace accident and injury occurs. However, third-party liability claims are allowed ... Read More »

Des Moines Attorney is the New Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner

Christopher Godfrey vacated the position of Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner in August 2014 over a legal dispute that is still pending. Michelle McGovern was acting commissioner since that time. But recently, Governor Terry Branstad appointed Joe Cortese, a Des Moines attorney, to head the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation.  Joe Cortese Appointed Workers’ Compensation Commissioner  Joe Cortese is a workers’ compensation attorney – and partner since 1985 – at a law firm in Des Moines. With more than 30 years of experience, Branstad has been quoted as saying that he feels confident that Cortese is a solid choice for the role. The position was effective beginning February 16, 2015.  The Role of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner  The role of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner ... Read More »

Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation in Des Moines

The majority of employed people in Iowa are covered under workers’ compensation laws, which provides medical, death, and disability benefits in the event that a worker sustains a work-related injury or occupational disease. Workers’ compensation for independent contractors is not available in the state.  At times, independent contractors may be misclassified, and should be considered employees under the law.  Do independent contractors get workers’ compensation?  According to Iowa Code 85.61, an independent contractor is not an employee. However, if a person is under contract as an independent contractor, but functions as an employee, then that person may be considered an employee under Iowa law. Independent contractors are not covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation coverage; however, they may be covered under a workers’ compensation coverage ... Read More »

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