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Workers’ Compensation Attorney Lawyer Do I Have a Case?

Workers’ compensation pays monetary and medical benefits to employees who are injured or get ill on the job, as well as cash benefits to the survivors of employees who are killed on the job. Benefits are paid regardless of culpability, and they are the only recourse for employment injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is different from filing a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death claim. A workers’ compensation claim is filed with the insurance company through your place of employment, and this is your only recourse against your employer in the event of a workplace injury. The personal injury attorneys at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling can help prepare and file a workers’ compensation claim. Schedule a free case evaluation with our Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys at our law firm.

How to Know if You Have a Workers’ Compensation Case?

Workers’ compensation payouts are available for the majority of workplace injuries. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney if you have any questions or concerns about whether your injury qualifies you for benefits. A single incidence, such as a fall or being struck by an object, causes many work comp injuries. These are the most straightforward work-related injuries to recognize.

In certain circumstances, the injury occurs over time as a result of cumulative trauma or repetitive stress. If you have cumulative trauma or repetitive stress due to your job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Many workplace injuries are the result of a pre-existing physical issue becoming worse. If your job aggravates a pre-existing ailment, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation payments under Iowa law and workers’ compensation law to cover your medical bills and related medical expenses.

Time Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claim in Iowa

Workers’ compensation injuries must be reported to your employer within 90 days after the date of the incident, according to Iowa law. In cases involving cumulative trauma, recurrent stress, or aggravations of preexisting conditions, determining the date of injury can be extremely difficult.

While alerting your employer about a job injury verbally can satisfy the notification requirement, it is preferable to provide written notice of the injury. If you have any questions or concerns regarding meeting the standards for delivering notice of your injury, please contact our office.

You must also file a petition for any workers’ compensation injuries within a certain amount of time, according to Iowa law. A petition is a legal document that begins the workers’ compensation lawsuit process by being submitted with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. If you were never paid weekly benefits for your injury, you must submit a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the date of the accident.

Common Examples of Workers’ Compensation Cases

When an employee gets hurt on the job or develops an occupational sickness, it is usually considered a workers’ compensation injury and is covered by your company’s insurance policy. Stress or other psychiatric problems, self-inflicted injuries, injuries caused by fighting or horseplay, injuries sustained while committing a crime, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while breaking workplace standards will typically NOT be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ compensation covers any injuries that occur while a worker is performing their employment responsibilities. Workers’ compensation injuries are most common in labor-intensive industries, although they can happen to anyone in any workplace. The following are some examples of injuries and accidents covered under workers’ compensation claims:

  • Muscular injuries such as sprains, tears, and strains
  • Broken bones
  • Fractured bones
  • Lacerations
  • Deep cuts
  • Impact and puncture injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Heavy machinery accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Repetitive stress (carpal tunnel, arthritis, tendonitis)
  • Back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Electrocution
  • Construction injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Other serious injuries

Keep in mind that workers’ compensation typically does not cover contractors or subcontractors, so if you are not a direct employee of a company, an attorney may advise you to seek compensation directly from the liable party. Therefore, for these types of injured employees, they are likely eligible to file a personal injury claim against the liable party.

What Happens After Your Claim is Accepted?

There is a chance your claim can get rejected, but most workers’ compensation claims are accepted as long as they meet the basic criteria—sustained an injury at work while employed by the company. If your claim is accepted by a workers’ compensation insurance carrier, then the following steps should be taken:

  • The first stage is for the work comp insurance company to pay for your medical treatment.
  • Second, if you are unable to work for an extended period of time, you should be compensated for your time off. If your injuries allow you to work but at a lower wage, your workers’ compensation insurance company should pay you temporary partial disability benefits or permanent disability.

The workers’ compensation insurance company should get an impairment assessment for your injuries after your condition has attained maximal medical improvement. Based on that impairment level, the insurance company should pay you voluntary permanent partial disability benefits.

Checking a Workers’ Compensation Claim Status

If you have a workers’ compensation claim in Des Moines, you should contact your attorney, who will speak with the workers’ compensation insurer, as well as your employer or the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation.

You could also call the workers’ compensation insurance company managing the claim if you don’t have an attorney handling your case. You can also call the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation at 50319-0209, 1000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. The phone numbers are (800) JOB-IOWA or 515-281-5387.

Workers’ compensation claims can take either weeks or months to get approval. It is best to keep in constant contact with your personal injury attorney in charge of your workers’ compensation claim. They will be able to provide you with status updates and provide you legal advice on what to do if your workers’ comp claim is denied.

Des Moines Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Contact the law offices of Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling located in Des Moines, IA, today for a free consultation. We will get started on your claim right away once an attorney-client relationship has been established. One of our experienced Iowa workers’ comp lawyers is ready to handle your case.

Our contact information can be found online, or you can call us at (515) 444-4000 The Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys and personal injury lawyers at MSMC can help injured workers with their personal injury claim, workers’ compensation claim, or discuss benefits with the insurance company.