Filing for Workers’ Compensation in Iowa
In the state of Iowa, nearly all injured employees are covered by workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you do not need to prove that your employer or anyone else was negligent in order to receive benefits, and it is mandatory for all Iowa employers with at least one employee. However, while you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you may have trouble actually recovering the compensation you need and deserve.
Should I Hire an Attorney for Workers Compensation?
Chances are hiring an attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim would greatly benefit you. There are several reasons you should consider hiring an attorney when filing a workers’ compensation claim especially if you face any of the below scenarios:
- Your claim has been denied
- You have a preexisting condition
- You have a workers’ comp hearing
- You are unable to get the treatment you need
- Your permanent disability rating is in question
- You’re already receiving other government benefits
Understanding Your Rights as an Employee in Iowa
Attorney King not only brings extensive legal experience to his practice of law, but he also comes from a working class background. He knows that many hard-working Iowans rely on their paychecks to get by and that suddenly being out of work can be incredibly stressful. He is here to ensure your rights are not violated and that you can take advantage of your rightful workers’ compensation benefits.
Your rights as an injured worker in Iowa include:
- The right to seek and receive medical treatment after a work accident or injury
- The right to seek benefits without being retaliated against or terminated
- The right to receive compensation for lost wages and medical benefits
- The right to receive compensation for permanent disabilities
- The right to have a hearing if your claim is disputed or denied
At King Law, PLLC, Attorney King represents workers who have experienced debilitating back injuries, neck injuries, shoulder injuries, and repetitive stress injuries, among others. He can assist you in understanding your employer’s responsibilities, issues with returning to work, and what to do if your claim is denied. Reach out to the firm today to learn more during a complimentary case evaluation.
The Workers’ Compensation Process
Although every case is different, it is important that you understand what to expect out of the workers' compensation process. Attorney King can meet with you to discuss what you can expect based on your particular circumstances, as well as your rights and all of your legal options.
Generally speaking, the workers’ compensation process in Iowa typically involves the following steps:
- Reporting the Injury: You should report your injury immediately, but you must notify your employer of your injury within 90 days of the accident or onset of pain.
- Obtaining Medical Care: You should seek medical treatment immediately after you have been injured and ensure records are made of your injuries or the work relatedness of your medical condition.
- Filing a Workers’ Comp Insurance Claim: Your employer will then need to report your injury to their insurance carrier, as well as to the Workers' Compensation Commissioner, although this may not occur in all instances. If your employer fails to report your injury, you can report it yourself.
- Receiving a Claim Decision: Your employer and its carrier will then inform you whether it is denying or accepting liability for the injury or medical condition from which you suffer.
If your employer accepts the claim, there can still be a significant amount of paperwork and steps that need to be taken. This includes filling out a report of injury, obtaining opinions from your doctor, and more. Your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company have a duty to investigate your claim, but know that they will be looking for reasons to deny your claim at every turn. They have a duty to provide reasonable medical care and investigate your maximum medical improvement (MMI). They also have a duty to determine whether the injury has caused any permanent functional impairment and you have a right to an independent medical examination by a doctor of your own choosing under Iowa Code section 85.39.
As an experienced lawyer with more than two decades spent practicing law, Attorney Mark King focuses on protecting injured workers and their families. You have rights; let King Law, PLLC fight for those rights and for the benefits you are owed.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied by the insurance company, do not despair; you still have the right to contest the denial and prove your case. It is vital that you have a Des Moines workers' compensation attorney on your side to protect your rights. It is also important that you act sooner rather than later, as the early days following your injury are often the most crucial.
If your claim is denied, you will have a period of time to file a petition within the statute of limitations. Petitions for workers' compensation are assigned to a specific judge and then set for a hearing. The hearing will give you and your employer an opportunity to be heard, before the judge provides a decision to accept your claim or uphold the denial.
Being injured at work can be an overwhelming experience. However, with King Law, PLLC on your side, you can rest assured that a competent and highly respected attorney is fighting to protect your best interests. With past experience defending employers and insurance companies, Attorney King has an in-depth, firsthand knowledge of the tactics they use to dispute workers’ compensation claims. Now, he uses this knowledge to fight back, working to maximize his clients’ cases and help them obtain the fair benefits they need to get back on their feet.
When you turn to King Law, PLLC, you are treated as a real person navigating an extremely challenging time in your life. You can expect to receive caring, personalized legal services and attentive representation at every stage of the legal process.
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