Workers’ Compensation

What are 5 Risks of Not Having an Iowa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Review Your Iowa Work Injury Claim

Since 1997, I have represented hundreds of injured workers in Iowa and unfortunately many have had me review there case after they reached an agreement with the insurance company.  If you decide to not have a qualified Iowa Workers’ Compensation lawyer review your case there are at least 5 risks you are facing and they include: 1. Letting the time limits expire.  Iowa’s workers compensation laws have specific legal requirements for a worker to provide notice to the employer of the work injury (usually it is 90 days from the date of when the injured worker knew or should have known that they sustained a work related injury subject to some exceptions).  Other time limits commonly referred to as statutes of limitations also apply.  These ... Read More »

Can I get workers’ compensation if I was in a car accident while working that another driver caused?

A car accident while working that is caused by another driver gets paid by workers’ compensation or a third-party liability claim. Not all accident types that qualify for workers’ compensation happen at work; instead, some accidents may be caused while the worker is performing a work-related activity, like driving.  When will workers’ compensation pay for damages?  Under Iowa workers’ compensation law, workers’ comp insurance is designed to “provide certain benefits to employees who receive injuries, occupational disease, or occupational hearing loss arising out of and in the course of their employment.” It continues to read that benefits are payable regardless of fault, i.e., the employee will not have to prove the fault of their employer to recover damages.  As such, if an employee is in ... Read More »

Mistrust Among Injured Workers

The professional periodical CFO released a recent report that provided interesting insight into the impact of employer-employee relationships on workers’ compensation outcomes. The report reviewed the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) studies on work relationships and how mistrust among injured workers affected disability duration.  The object of the study was to identify predictors of worker outcomes to help employers and health care providers improve the treatment and communication that workers receive after an injury.  Studies Identify Trust as a Major Factor  The WCRI report noted: “The studies, Predictors of Worker Outcomes, found trust in the workplace to be one of the more significant predictors that have not been examined before.”  The method in which the researchers attempted to identify the level of trust or mistrust ... Read More »

Where can I read Iowa workers’ compensation laws?

The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation offers comprehensive information for the Iowa workforce. Understandably, Iowa workers’ compensation laws are extensive and there have been many legal cases over the years that have minutely tweaked aspects of workers’ comp law.  Here we will offer a short primer on the statutes and their meanings but if you were seriously injured in a workplace accident, consider turning your case over to a worker’s injury lawyer to ensure that you receive all benefits due you.  Who carries workers’ compensation?  All qualified employers must purchase insurance through a private insurance company or qualify as a self-insured employer. The insurer pays the benefits: [Iowa Workers Code § 85. 3, 87.1 &11]. If an employer fails to provide insurance coverage, injured workers ... Read More »

Maximum Workers’ Compensation Benefits Amount Rises

Workers hurt at work in Iowa and unable to return to work get temporary total or/and temporary partial disability benefits under Iowa workers’ compensation law. Beginning July 1, 2015, the maximum workers’ compensation benefits increased.  Previous Benefit Amounts  Under Iowa’s previous law, an injured employee’s maximum benefits rate was 80 percent of the employee’s average weekly wages, although that payment amount could not exceed the following values listed.  $1,226 for healing period benefits, temporary total disability, permanent total disability, and death $1,128 for permanent partial disability  The minimum benefits amount under the previous law was 35 percent of the statewide average weekly wage or the spendable weekly earnings of the employee, whichever was less.  New Benefit Amount  The new maximum benefits amount, enacted by the ... Read More »

Need to Prove Medical Condition is Work-Related

Under Iowa workers’ compensation law, workers hurt on the job are entitled to insurance benefits. However, whether you have an injury or a disease that you believe was caused by your job, you’ll have to prove it to receive workers’ compensation insurance benefits.  Here’s what you need to know about workers’ compensation in Iowa, and how to prove medical condition is work-related.  Medical Testimony  The easiest way to prove that your medical condition is a direct result of a job-related activity is through the testimony of one or more medical professionals. A medical professional can not only speak to the extent and degree of your illness, but also demonstrate why your job was the cause of the condition.  For example, a rotator cuff injury often ... Read More »

Can I get workers’ compensation if asbestos exposure caused my medical condition?

While the use of asbestos in building and insulation materials was banned in 1977, many homes and buildings constructed before that time were done so with asbestos-containing materials. As such, many workers—particularly construction workers—have been exposed to asbestos.  Often, this exposure is during renovation or destruction projects, as asbestos is most dangerous when disturbed. Continual exposure to asbestos, often over a period of many years, can cause serious diseases.  When work-related asbestos exposure causes medical complications, workers’ compensation insurance should offer financial assistance. Find out about workers’ comp for asbestos problems and speak to a workers’ compensation attorney about what never to do when applying for workers’ compensation.  Medical Complications Caused by Asbestos Exposure  Continued exposure to asbestos can cause severe and terminal illnesses. These ... Read More »

Can I get workers’ compensation for anxiety after a work accident?

An accident that is traumatic or that results in severe injuries can also cause mental health issues for the injured worker. Following an accident or injury, stress and depression are all common reactions. If you’re overly stressed following a work-related accident, workers’ compensation insurance may help to pay for treatment. Here’s what you should know about getting workers’ compensation for anxiety.  Employer Responsible for Paying for All Reasonable Medical Expenses  The first thing that’s important to note is that an employer (or the employer’s insurance company) handles paying for all reasonable medical expenses related to an injury. If you’ve suffered an injury to your mental health, you have the right to receive treatment for that injury.  Before the company pays for mental health services, a ... Read More »

Is a delivery driver accident eligible for workers’ compensation?

Workers who are injured in auto accidents while performing work-related tasks are eligible for workers’ compensation insurance. Sometimes, whether or not the accident was work-related is relatively easy to determine, such as in the case of a delivery driver accident. Unless they are independent contractors, then delivery drivers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  If the Delivery Driver is an Independent Contractor  If the delivery driver is an independent contractor rather than an employee, then the employer is not required to offer workers’ compensation benefits. However, the individual contractor has the right to purchase his or her own workers’ compensation. If purchased, this coverage would apply in a delivery driver’s accident.  If the Delivery Driver is an Employee  If the delivery driver is an employee, ... Read More »

How do I prove that my car accident at work happened while I was on the clock?

When you perform any workplace activities for which you are being paid, you are protected under workers’ compensation in the event that an injury occurs. If you were driving for work purposes and in a car accident at work, then your employer’s car insurance policy or/and workers’ compensation insurance should help to pay for your injuries. Here’s how to prove that you were driving for work purposes if you were injured in a car accident.  You Were in a Company Car  One of the easiest ways to prove that you were driving for work purposes is if the accident happened in a company vehicle. If the accident occurred in a company car, then that alone may be enough to prove that your employer’s insurance/workers’ compensation ... Read More »

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