Questions We Are Asked Each Week By Clients...

We are often asked questions like how much should the insurance company pay?  How are my weekly benefits calculated?, etc.  So we have put together some of the questions we here the most and the answers to them.  We hope this helps you avoid making a mistake in your Iowa personal injury, car accident, dog bite, work injury or other injury matter.

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  • What is light duty status in regards to Des Moines Workers' Compensation?

    Consulting a work injury lawyer in Des Moines is a good way to learn all about the Workers' Compensation process and your rights under these laws as an injured worker. Light duty status refers to assuming duties that accommodate an injury or disability sustained at work if you are unable to perform your former duties, and light duty is available. 

    After you have been injured at work, Workers' Compensation law dictates that you should be granted a “healing period” in which to recover from your injuries while receiving continued pay and medical treatment. Once you are no longer completely incapacitated, you may be able to return to work. 

    However, a lingering injury or disability could make it impossible for you to perform your old job. At this point, your employer should offer you a different or modified job to accommodate your injury if such a job exists; this different or modified job is known as “light duty.” 

    If this option is not presented to you and you feel that it should be, contact an experienced work injury attorney in Des Moines. The attorney will make sure your employer treats you fairly and that you're awarded compensation when not treated fairly. 

    Should I have light duty status? 

    Some employers are not overly fond of workers claiming the need to work less often or less strenuously. But whether you should be on light duty when you return to work must be determined by your doctor. Any restrictions of your working capacity should be put in writing and signed by the physician. If the light duty job pays less than your old job, the difference should be made up through your Workers' Comp benefits. 

    The attorneys atWalker, Billingsley & Bair are prepared to get you the compensation you deserve and the accommodation you need for as long as you may need it. Call us today for a free consultation with a Workers' Comp attorney: 1-888-435-9886. 

  • What can I do to preserve my vehicle as evidence when it is towed from the accident scene?

    Des Moines car accident attorneys recommend filing a car accident claim if you’re involved in a wreck. A claim can help you recover costs for damages, medical bills, lost wages and more. Unfortunately though, claims such as these are often made difficult when the vehicles involved in the collision are towed away and evidence is lost or destroyed. 

    To prevent this from happening in your claim, our Des Moines car accident attorneys recommend you do the following. 

    • Find out where your car is being towed immediately. Contact your lawyer and ask him or her to send a preservation letter to the tow yard, requesting that the vehicle remain intact and untouched. If this doesn’t work, your attorney can also file a motion in court to order the tow yard to preserve your car.
    • Get your car moved to a private, covered storage area. Not only do tow yards typically charge a high daily cost for keeping your car, but also they often will destroy or scrap a car very quickly because of space and time constraints. You can prevent this by housing the vehicle in your own private unit. This also staves off vandalism or any other tampering.
    • Just in case, take pictures. Always keep a disposable camera in your glove compartment. If you’re ever involved in a wreck, snap photos of your damaged car, the accident scene and more. In the event evidence is lost, destroyed or tampered with, you still have evidence to proceed with your accident claim. 

     

    Are you planning to file an accident claim? Call 1- (888) 435-9886 to speak to the Des Moines car accident attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair about your case, or learn more by ordering the free book, The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case.

  • Does Ames, Iowa follow OSHA standards?

    The purpose of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is to ensure workplaces are safe for employees by creating and enforcing safety standards nationwide. You may be entitled to workers’ compensation when your work site has violated a safety standard. To learn more, consult with an Ames work injury lawyer

    The Iowa State Plan 

    Yes, Iowa follows federal safety standards – although this state is among several others that operates its own program. Approved in 1973, the Iowa State Plan is monitored by OSHA to ensure workplace safety standards are “at least as effective as” the federal rules. Oftentimes, safety standards are identical to their federal counterparts. It is up to the state to set and monitor safety standards, as well as conduct inspections and investigations. 

    The Iowa State Plan covers all public and private workplaces, except: 

    • maritime activities;
    • federally owned military facilities;
    • bridge construction;
    • federal employers and employees; and
    • the United States Postal Service

     

    These exceptions are covered by the federal OSHA program. Other workplaces, such as field sanitation and temporary labor camps, are under the purview of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Standards Administration. To contact the Iowa Division of Labor Services, call 515-242-5870. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, additional information can be found on their website

    Contacting an Ames Work Injury Lawyer for Help with Your Workers’ Comp Claim 

    For help determining if you have a viable workers’ compensation claim, the law firm of Walker, Billingsley, and Bair can help. We will guide you through the process and assist with filing all the proper paperwork in a timely fashion. If your claim is denied, our attorneys have ample experience with the legal complexities involved and will advocate on your behalf. For a free copy of An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries: 7 Deadly Mistakes, contact us today at 888-435-9886.

  • What do I do if my Oskaloosa employer demands I return to work, but I don't think my work injury has healed enough?

    You need to seek an Oskaloosa workers' comp attorney immediately if you believe your work injury is not healed and your employer is demanding you return to work. Your employer’s actions may be just a game to terminate your workers’ compensation benefits. 

    Employers are much more familiar with the workers’ compensation system than most workers are. Employers may have aligned themselves with certain doctors who are not looking out for your best health interests but those of the company. 

    Anytime a treating physician advises you to go back to work when you know your work injury is not completely healed, a red flag should go off in your mind. This is especially true if your concerns about your injury go unheeded by the doctor. If no testing or x-rays are prescribed to check out the progress of your injury, you may not be getting the best medical advice. 

    Another red flag is if the physician attempts to coerce you to take a new job at the company that was especially created for you. There have been cases where an injured worker followed this advice just to find that a few weeks later the job was eliminated along with the employee and the workers’ compensation benefits. An employer must make reasonable accommodations for you to return to work and cannot force you to do so otherwise. 

    Contact an Oskaloosa Workers' Comp Attorney 

    The workers’ comp attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair know workers’ compensation law and can help advise you on your claim. For more information, get a free guide on Iowa Workers’ Compensation – An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries: 7 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Hurt At Work  by calling us today at (888) 435-9886 or 888-435-9886.

  • Where should my Newton truck accident injury claim be filed?

    When you're involved in a truck accident injury claim, it's a little more complicated than your average accident. Truckers are often driving out-of-state, which means that it can be hard to determine where you should be filing your accident claim. It's helpful if you can talk to a Newton truck accident lawyer and see what their opinion on the topic is. 

    There are a few different options to choose from and your decision will directly impact your case and how it is taken care of. 

    You can choose to file your truck accident injury claim in the state of: 

    • the accident location;
    • the headquarters of the trucking company; and
    • regular business operations for the trucking company. 

     

    They will be able to determine whether Iowa is the right place to file your claim and how to get the best outcome. The circumstances of your case are going to affect the best decision, which is why having a lawyer on your side can help you learn more about your options and file in the right place. 

    A lot of people don't realize that filing a truck accident injury claim can be done in a state outside of where the accident occurred. There are some instances where this is a better option, and that's why it is important to get the facts before you file. With a Newton truck accident lawyer, it will be easy to learn what you need to know. Contact us today to see how we can help with your injury claim at 888-435-9886.

  • Can I hold a manufacturer liable for my car accident if my vehicle was defective?

    Yes, you may be able to hold a car manufacturer liable if the vehicle is found to be defective. An Iowa car accident lawyer will be able to assess the circumstances surrounding your particular car accident more accurately, but generally, this holds true. 

    Product Liability in a Car Accident 

    All manufacturers delivering products to the public are responsible to provide goods that are free from defects. Product liability law requires proof the product failed and the buyer was harmed because of this failure for a viable lawsuit. 

    Not only may the manufacturer be liable, but the seller and distributor may be named as defendants in a lawsuit as well. 

    Defective Manufacturing, Design or Marketing in Car Accidents 

    A defect in manufacturing usually refers to a product that is inadvertently produced incorrectly. There is no intention to produce the product this way, it was committed in error. The defect may have occurred while the item was being produced or in the supply line, such as shipping or at the dealership. 

    Products with an inherent design defect mean they were manufactured as specified, but the actual item is dangerous. In either of these cases, a car manufacturer may be liable for releasing the vehicle or its part into the marketplace. 

    Additionally, a car manufacturer may have to answer to faulty marketing on a product that then causes harm to the public. This may be seen in a deficient instruction manual or warnings brochure that someone adheres to and is subsequently injured. 

    Contact an Iowa Car Accident Lawyer 

    If you or someone you know was injured as a result of a faulty vehicle or car part, you should contact a  car accident lawyer. The lawyers at Walker, Billingsley & Bair have been helping protect Iowans from defect products for years. Check out our free eBook: The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Ruin Your Case then give us a call at (888) 435-9886.

  • How long will my Newton Workers' Compensation benefits last?

    Under Iowa law, Workers' Compensation benefits will last until you return to work or 30 days after your employer notifies you that benefits will be ending. For workers in Newton, a Workers’ Compensation lawyer may be able to help with reinstating your benefits. 

    Notice of Benefits Ending 

    If you receive notice from your employer that your Workers’ Compensation benefits are coming to an end, an explanation must be included. By law, an Iowa employer is required to explain the reason for the change and provide you with information on filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. 

    Handling Disputes in Workers’ Compensation Claims 

    A dispute regarding a workers’ comp claim may usually be resolved if you and your lawyer discuss the circumstances with your employer and its insurance carrier. However, if issues persist, contact may need to be made with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner’s Office. You or your attorney will need to speak with the Workers’ Compensation Compliance Administrator to discuss the matter further. 

    Disagreements that cannot be resolved at this level will require you file a contestable case. The case will go before the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, who will make a ruling on your claim. 

    Contact a Newton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer 

    Issues with your workers’ comp benefits may require the skills of a knowledgeable Newton Workers’ Compensation lawyer. The attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair  understand the Iowa workers’ compensation system and can help you make informed decisions. 

    Request a copy of their free book Iowa Workers’ Compensation – An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries: 7 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Hurt At Work to learn more about workers’ compensation in the state. Call today at 1-888-435-9886.

  • How do personal injury lawsuits work in Des Moines, Iowa?

    Knowing how personal injury lawsuits work in Iowa is essential if you’ve suffered harm because of someone's intentional wrongful acts or because someone negligently caused an accident. A Des Moines personal injury attorney can help you to file a personal injury claim, but it’s good to first know the basics. 

    A personal injury claim starts when a plaintiff files a civil lawsuit. The plaintiff must state a cause of action, or some legal claim, and must request something (monetary damages) from the court. The plaintiff must follow all court rules of civil procedure in outlining the legal wrong and the action that he or she desires the court to take. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is usually best for lawsuits at this point to ensure that all legal requirements of the claim are met. 

    Once the plaintiff has filed suit, the defendant will need to respond. In most cases, defendants try to settle out of court so that the case doesn’t proceed to trial. Sometimes, however, the case will go to trial. If this occurs, then the plaintiff must prove his or her case in front of the judge or jury to be awarded damages. The plaintiff must prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence. 

    A plaintiff will need to prove several elements of a personal injury claim: 

    • He or she will need to prove that the defendant owed some duty. This duty can arise by virtue of their relationship (doctor/patient, store owner/customer) or as a general duty, such as the duty that drivers owe to all other drivers.
    • The plaintiff will need to show that the defendant breached the duty by being more careless than a reasonable person or professional would’ve been.
    • Next, the plaintiff will need to show that the breach was the direct cause of harm, and that harm occurred for which the plaintiff can be compensated. 

    A personal injury attorney can help prove all of these elements of a legitimate personal injury claim or lawsuit. 

    Contact a Des Moines, Iowa Personal Injury Attorney 

    To learn more about personal injury claims arising from an car accident, request your free copy of The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case or contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair at (800)-707-2552, ext. 512 (24 Hour Message). 

  • How much money can I expect from Iowa Workers' Compensation claim benefits?

    When you suffer a serious workplace injury it's only natural that you'll be concerned about your Workers' Compensation claim. However, the amount of benefits can vary greatly and is dependent on several factors, such as:

    • the nature of your injury;
    • your average gross weekly wages; and
    • whether you need vocational rehabilitation.

    If your injury results in a disability, for example, among the various benefits for which you may be eligible are

    • temporary total disability;
    • permanent partial disability; and
    • permanent total disability.


    While this can serve as a guide, the only true way to find out what you are owed is to contact an Iowa Workers' Compensation attorney. A workers' comp attorney who is highly skilled in these types of cases will guide you through the process.

    To maximize the value of your claim, it's important that you promptly report your injury to your employer and speak with an Iowa Workers' Compensation attorney as quickly as possible.

    Find Out More With an Iowa Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

    Since Workers' Compensation insurance companies have so much to lose and nothing to gain when an injury takes place, it becomes that much more important to contact a skilled Workers' Compensation attorney. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, we have the knowledge, experience, and skill necessary to make sure that you get what you legally deserve. Call us today at (888) 435-9886, and ask about our guide: Iowa Workers’ Compensation – An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries: 7 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Hurt At Work

     

     

  • Do my medical bills have to exceed a certain amount before the insurance company pays for an Ames car accident?

    If you sustained injuries in an Ames car accident, your medical bills do not have to exceed a certain amount before the insurance company pays. When filing your insurance claim, be sure to submit all of your medical expenses and demand that you get reimbursed. If negotiating with insurance companies is not your strong suit, a qualified Iowa personal injury lawyer can act on your behalf to help you recover compensation for your injuries.

    An insurance adjuster may try to separate your medical expenses into a diagnostic category and a treatment category. Diagnostics includes your emergency care, any tests run to diagnose your problem and specialist visits, while treatment includes medication, surgery, physical therapy and routine doctor visits. 

    The reason why the adjuster will try to reject part of your insurance claim is that the amount of general damages (i.e., pain and suffering, diminished quality of life) is based on your special damages (medical expenses). By reducing the amount of your special damages, the adjuster can save the company money on your total Ames car accident claim. 

    Many times, the adjuster will argue that only your treatment expenses are related to the severity of your injury; however, remember that you cannot get the treatment you need without the proper diagnosis. Therefore, diagnostics are just as important as treatment. 

    Submitting an insurance claim can be a complicated process. A qualified Iowa personal injury lawyer can help you determine the value of your injuries and submit the proper medical files and paperwork to back up your insurance claim. 

    Contacting an Ames Personal Injury Lawyer

    If you were injured in an Ames car accident, a qualified injury lawyer can help with your insurance claim. The personal injury attorney team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. That’s why we provide this FREE book; The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation. Call 1-800-707-2552 to order your free accident book today. Call 1-(888) 435-9886 for immediate legal assistance.