TORT DEFORM- A BAD IDEA FOR IOWANS

Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent or some other party, I think we can all agree that those of us working in the fields of nursing, law enforcement, other first responders, construction, production, trucking, public safety and other jobs that require physical manual labor are the backbone of our state.  Without these hard working people our hospitals, factories and overall economy in Iowa would fail.  Unfortunately, in 2017, the Republicans lead by Governor Branstad passed HF 518 which made more than 20 changes to the Iowa workers' compensation system all of which are bad for injured workers.  These changes included:

            1. Insurance companies are now allowed to deny a claim and delay paying injured workers anything while they appeal the case which can take 5 plus years;

            2. If the insurance company is required to pay after the appeals process, instead of paying 10% interest, they now only have to pay 2% plus the one year treasury which has been around 2.5%;

            3. "Shoulder" injuries (which are about 50% of work injuries in Iowa) are now treated like a finger injury.  This means that an injured worker who sustains a "shoulder" injury, who ends up with permanent work restrictions and is terminated from their job is mostly likely looking at being paid $10,000 to $15,000 for their lifetime loss of earnings instead of a percentage of 500 weeks and unfortunately many more bad things for workers.  (Note: if you or a loved one have a work related "shoulder" injury we are doing everything we can to get to avoid this new terrible "shoulder" law and you should give us a call so we can talk to you about our strategy). 
 

Keep in mind that these changes were made when the number of claims and insurance premiums have been and continue going down. 

 

 

 

 

Source: NCCI- National Council on Compensation Insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: NCCI- National Council on Compensation Insurance

 

Do these charts of decreasing claims and insurance rates demonstrate that we have a crisis such that benefits should be taken away from hard working injured Iowans?  Also, keep in mind that you can no longer sue your employer for negligence and there is no compensation in the workers' compensation system for pain and suffering or loss of quality of life under the workers’ compensation system. 

Recently, the Republican Party stated that they are the party for working people.  However, Iowa Republicans have drafted legislation that will further strip away rights and reduce compensation to Iowans hurt at work and by the negligence of others. 

Why would the Republican controlled legislature and a Republican governor do this to hardworking Iowans who just want to provide for themselves and their families?  Because plain and simple, they put corporate and insurance company profits over people.  The people hurt by this bill are fellow Iowans who are our friends, family and neighbors who are left to suffer when they are hurt through no fault of their own. 

What can you do to help Iowa remain a great place to live? Please call your legislators (both Iowa House and Senate) on their cell phone, if available, or other phone number listed.  If you do not have the contact information for your representative go to www.FindIowaRep.com.  Just type in your address and click search as shown below from the page.

 

 

Tell you legislator:

            I live in your district and if you really support working people please leave our workers' compensation and civil justice systems alone. 

            We do not need or want the changes to these systems. 

 

Corey Walker
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With over 22 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.
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