If you have been injured while working, your employer may be responsible for paying for your medical treatment and wages you lose from time you are required to be off work. If your employer or their insurance company has denied your claim, we can help you determine if you are owed benefits.
Even if your employer has accepted your claim, we can help you make sure you are getting all of the benefits you are entitled to. This is especially important if your employer is asking you to accept a payment to settle your claim. Agreeing to terminate your right to future benefits and medical is an important decision that should only be made after consulting with an attorney.
If you are still employed, we can handle your case with care to preserve a good relationship with your employer.
There are many issues that can be disputed in a workers’ compensation case. These are some of the most asked questions:
Am I covered by Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation Law?
If you are an employee of an employer in Iowa, or were hired in Iowa, even if you do your work outside the state, you are likely covered by Iowa law. If you are an independent contractor you are likely not covered by the workers’ compensation law.
What should my employer and their insurer be paying me?
If your injury or condition is related to your employment, then your employer should pay for your medical treatment related to the work injury. Your doctor cannot charge you for the treatment, or for the portion of the bill that was not paid by the insurer. Your employer should also pay for your time off work. The “rate” they pay is approximately 66% of your gross income, depending on your marital status and the number of dependents. If you have to leave work for a doctor’s appointment, your employer should pay you for that time. When you have reached your maximum medical improvement, your employer should ask your doctor for a “rating” and they should pay you for any permanent condition related to your employment.
How long do I have to notify my employer of my injury?
It is important to notify your employer (your supervisor or human resources contact), as soon as you are injured, or realize your condition is related to your employment. If you do not notify your employer within 90 days, you may lose your claim.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The statute of limitations to assert a claim for weekly benefits is two years after the date of your injury, or three years after the last weekly payment from the insurance company. Your right to medical care continues for life unless you have settled your claim and agreed to terminate those benefits.
What should I do if I do not agree with the doctor?
You should ask the insurer for another opinion or another doctor if you do like the treatment you are receiving. If your doctor has provided a “rating”, you can choose a doctor to provide you a rating and the insurance company has to pay for it. You should consult with an attorney about this process.
What should I do if I think I need more or different treatment?
If you think you are not getting the treatment you need to get better, you should ask your insurer for alternate treatment or doctor. If they deny your request, you can proceed to file an alternate care petition. If you do not take these steps, and simply proceed to get treatment on your own, the insurance company may not have to pay for it. If you are in this position, it is good to consult with an attorney to protect your rights.
What if my employer wants me to settle my claim?
There are a number of types of settlements for your claim. In addition to determining if you are receiving a fair amount for your claim, you should also consider whether you want to cut off your right to future medical benefits. If you think you may need treatment in the future, you should ask for money for that treatment. The types of settlements are here.
If you have other questions not answered here, please contact us here.
Helpful links for additional information: