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 will the Iowa Workers' Compensation insurance company offer me for my work injury?

    After a work injury in Des Moines, your Iowa Workers' Compensation insurance company may be offered one of several settlements. To understand what you may be offered in an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim, speak with a Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney who will work with you to make sure your claim is handled fairly and efficiently.

    While there are different types of settlements you may be eligible to receive through a Workers' Compensation claim in Iowa, your settlement will depend on the unique circumstances of your work injury in Des Moines. A Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney can explain these differences to you.

    If you have suffered a work injury in Des Moines you may be offered one of the following: 

    • Agreement for Settlement - all parties may decide upon an amount and once approved it will serve to protect an employee's future rights and secure their compensation.
    • Compromise Settlement - if there is a dispute about the benefits, once it is filed and approved, parties will no longer have rights to any future benefits for the injury settlement.
    • Contingent Settlement - dependent upon a specific event, such as when Medicare has to approve the settlement as well. If the specific event doesn't happen, the approval and settlement may be voided.
    • Combination Settlement - establishes a claim with an agreement of settlement and eliminates the remaining balance of the claim with a compromise settlement.
    • Lump Sum Payments - while not typical, sometimes a lump sum payment is awarded. May include a lump sum payment of all remaining future benefits and a partial lump sum payment, which covers part of the remaining future benefits.  

    A Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney can answer all of your questions concerning your Workers' Compensation claim in Iowa, while you focus on recovering from your work injury in Des Moines.

    Contacting a Des Moines Workers' Compensation Attorney

    The Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair know the importance of protecting your work injury claim from the get-go. That's why we provide this 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 what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa work injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation - 1-888-435-9886.

  • What are the time limitations to file an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim?

    In general, the statute of limitations to file your Iowa Workers' Compensation claim is 2 years from the date of your injury. This means you must either have started receiving benefits or have filed an application for arbitration within this time frame. While this may sound simple enough, there are actually a number of deadlines that you must meet when filing an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim.

    Before you can even file an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim, you must file a report with your employer. This statute of limitations is 90 days, which begins when you either sustained the injury or realized you had sustained the injury.

    At this point, when your injury causes you to miss work for more than 3 days or is considered permanent, your employer has 4 days to file a report of injury with the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. Since these statutes of limitations can easily get confusing, you may find it best to get the help of a Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney.

    This way, while you focus on healing, your Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney can keep your claim on track, to prevent you from missing the deadlines prescribed by Iowa's statute of limitations.

    If you have been injured at work there are certain things you need to do.  If you plan to file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer for your injuries, it needs to be done in a timely manner as there are time limitations on certain aspects of a workers’ compensation claim. For instance, if you are hurt on the job you should inform your employer as soon as possible so it is documented.  By law your employer must be notified of your injury or have knowledge of your injury within 90 days of it happening.  It is always best for you and your employer if you tell them right away instead of waiting.

    What Happens After I Report My Injury?

    After your employer is notified of your injury they must fill out a first report of injury and then file it with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. This report must be filed within four days of the employer having knowledge or notice of the employee’s injury. If your employer fails to do so, you will still have a workers’ compensation claim, but it might make it more difficult down the road when you need to know specifics about the date of injury. It’s recommended that you file the report, because it helps to give your claim a solid base. It will provide the exact date of injury, time the injury happened, where it happened, and how it happened. In addition, your employer will have signed it which proves the date that you informed your employer of your alleged injury. 

    What Are the Time Limitations After I Report My Injury?

    If you are injured at work and have a workers’ compensation claim you generally have two years from the date that you were injured to file a petition against your employer, otherwise, you may be denied benefits and then your claim will be worthless. You may be given additional time to file a petition if you have received weekly workers’ compensation benefits. If you have received benefits, your time to file a petition may be extended up to three years from the date of the last weekly benefits check issued to you.  However, we always recommend that you at least have an attorney review your case well within the two-year time frame, because the risk of losing your case on a time limit is too great to even take a chance.


    Having a Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney familiar with your case can also prove helpful in the future, even if benefits have already been paid. This is because you have 3 years once your benefits have been paid to file for additional benefits (this does not apply to necessary medical expenses).

    If you miss the statute of limitations to file your Iowa Workers' Compensation claim, your claim could be denied. Since you don't want to risk such important compensation, a Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney can take every step to get you the financial help you need and deserve.

    Contacting a Des Moines Workers' Compensation Attorney

    The Des Moines Workers' Compensation attorney team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair know the importance of protecting your work injury claim from the get-go. That's why we provide this 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 what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa work injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation - 1-888-435-9886.

  • Will my future medical bills to treat my injuries be paid by my Iowa Workers' Compensation?

    If you have suffered from a work injury in Des Moines and your Workers' Compensation claim is approved, your future medical bills may be paid. According to Iowa law, if you were injured while on the job, your employer's Workers' Compensation coverage is responsible for paying for all medical care necessary to treat your work-related injury. 

    This includes all forms of care and treatment, such as: 

    • hospital treatment;
    • medical treatment;
    • physical therapy;
    • nursing;
    • diagnostic testing;
    • surgery;
    • rehabilitation; and
    • pain management. 


    When your employer and/or their insurance company is responsible for your work injury in Des Moines, they will get to choose your medical providers. The right to medical care and treatment may continue for the rest of your life for conditions related to your work injury or occupational disease.

    On the other hand, if you have suffered from a work injury in Des Moines and your Workers' Compensation claim is denied, your future medical bills will not be covered. Just because your claim was denied does not mean that you don't have a case. With the help of a Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer, you can appeal the denial of your claim.

    In an appeal, your Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer can present evidence that pertains to your case, submit the testimony of experts and do their best to help you get the money that you deserve.

    Contacting a Des Moines Workers' Compensation Lawyer

    An injury in the workplace can have devastating consequences. The Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. 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 - 1-888-435-9886.

  • What will happen with my Iowa Workers' Compensation if I don't make a full recovery and cannot return to my former work?

    If you have suffered from a work injury in Des Moines, and your injury prevents you from returning to work, then you may claim Permanent Total Disability (PTD). This may become available when a job-related injury results in a permanent disability, and you cannot return to gainful employment. If you have been permanently disabled by a work injury in Des Moines, PTD benefits may be payable as you remain totally disabled.

    Other types of Workers' Compensation after a work injury in Des Moines include: 

    • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) - this may become available when a work injury in Des Moines results in more than 3 calendar days of disability. In this case, TTD benefits will become available on the 4th day of disability, and continue until the employee is capable of returning to work or placed at MMI- maximium medical improvement by the injured workers doctors.
    • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) - this may become available if the employee returns to work while healing at a lesser paying job because of a work injury in Des Moines.
    • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) - this may become available when a work injury in Des Moines results in a permanent disability, even if the employee returns to gainful employment making the same or better money. 


    The amount of your permanent disability benefits will depend upon a number of factors including the location of your work injury (arm or leg versus your back, neck, or hip), if you sustained a scheduled member injury and have previoulsy had a prior scheduled member injury (note: the first scheduled member injury does not have to be caused by a work injury to qualify for 2nd injury fund benefits), permanen restrictions, wages, etc.  Your Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer can help advise you on what types of benefits you may be eligible for.

    If you have suffered from a work injury in Des Moines, you may be eligible for compensation through an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim. To file a claim, you can get the professional help of a Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer. In a Workers' Compensation claim, a Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer may help you to negotiate an acceptable settlement.

    Contacting a Des Moines Workers' Compensation Lawyer

    An injury in the workplace can have devastating consequences. The Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. 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 - 888-435-9886.

  • Is the weekly amount that I am being paid by my Iowa Workers' Compensation correct?

    If you have suffered from a work injury in Des Moines, there are a number of ways that your weekly Workers' Compensation rate may be calculated. These vary depending upon if you were paid by the hour, salary, etc.  Also, the amount of permanent compensation you receive is determined by the type of injury that you have suffered, how long your recovery will take, and how your injury will affect your future earning capabilities.

    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.


    When you claim compensation because of a work injury in Des Moines, some factors that are considered include for an industrial injury (work injuries to your back, neck, brain, shoulder, RSD/CRPS, depression, PTSD, etc.): 

    • your ability to return to work;
    • any permanent disabilities or restrictions;
    • your education;
    • your age;
    • whether surgery was necessary after your accident; 
    • the wages that you may lose in the future; and many other factors.

    If you have a scheduled member injury only such as an injury to your arm, leg, hand, foot or eye then the compensation for permanent disability is generally only based upon your impairment rating subject to a few exceptions like the Iowa 2nd Injury Fund.

    With so much information to take into account, there really is no "standard amount" of compensation that you should receive; it will all be specific to your case. Therefore, before you accept a settlement, you should get the professional advice of a Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer.

    A Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer can investigate your work injury and do their best to estimate the value of your claim. This way, you will have an idea of how much money you deserve. Your lawyer can also help you to negotiate your financial settlement with the responsible insurer.

    Contacting a Des Moines Workers' Compensation Lawyer

    An injury in the workplace can have devastating consequences. The Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. 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 - 888-435-9886.

  • How will I know if the Iowa Workers' Compensation insurance company's settlement offer is fair for my injuries?

    The only way to really know if your Iowa Workers' Compensation settlement is fair is to have it evaluated by a Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer who has a full understanding of your accident, injuries and the long-term effects it will have on your ability to work.

    If you have suffered a work injury in Des Moines, and you have filed a Workers' Compensation claim, there are several different types of settlements that you may receive. Some of the types of settlements include: 

    • An Agreement for Settlement - You and your employer agree to the amount of compensation.  This usually involves continuing weekly benefits and ongoing medical care. 
    • A Compromise Settlement - There is a dispute over your entitlement to benefits and a settlement is filed with the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. In this case, approval of a compromise settlement ends both parties' future rights to any benefits for the settled injury including future medical care and treatment.  This usually involves a lump-sum payment.
    • A Contingent Settlement - A settlement is contingent upon specified terms. If these terms are not met, the settlement may be revoked. This is generally used when a court or Medicare must also approve a settlement.

    With so many possibilities for compensation after a work injury in Des Moines, it is difficult for you to know whether a settlement is fair. Therefore, the best thing to do is to get the professional advice of a Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer. A Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer can investigate the details of your work injury in Des Moines, and do their best to estimate the value of your claim.

    Contacting a Des Moines Workers' Compensation Lawyer

    An injury in the workplace can have devastating consequences. The Des Moines Workers' Compensation lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. 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 - 888-435-9886

  • Should I consult an Iowa attorney to discuss my construction injury claim?

    If you have been injured in a construction accident in Iowa, then YES, you should definitely consult with an Iowa construction accident lawyer. If you suffered the injury as an employee and you are having trouble collecting the full amount of Workers' Compensation owed to you, a personal injury attorney who has a thorough understanding of Iowa's Workers' Compensation laws may be an invaluable asset to your claim.

    Additionally, if your injuries were caused by a liable third party-apart from your employer, an Iowa construction accident lawyer can help you look at the potential of filing a third party liability claim. 

    In a third party injury claim after a construction accident in Iowa, you may recover damages including: 

    • your medical expenses;
    • any pain and loss of your body in the past and future that you suffer; and
    • any past, present, or future wages that you have lost because of the construction accident in Iowa. 

     

    Common Causes of a Construction Accident in Iowa

    A construction accident in Iowa can be the result of defective equipment, falling materials or debris, chemical leaks or explosions, or any type of contractor negligence. Furthermore, a serious injury can occur because of electrical defects. In fact, electrocution is one of the most common injuries to occur on construction sites.

    Another common construction accident in Iowa is a fall from a scaffolding or ladder, or into an open hole. Any of these accidents may be the result of negligence of a third party, such as an independent contractor. Negligence may also be placed on an equipment manufacturer or a materials supplier.

    If you have been injured in a construction accident in Iowa, an Iowa construction accident lawyer can investigate your case and help determine the liable parties.

    Contacting an Iowa Construction Accident Lawyer

    A construction accident in Iowa can leave the victim with serious injuries. The Iowa construction accident lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. 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 - 888-435-9886

     

  • Are there laws regarding Iowa truck drivers sending or reading text messages while driving?

    There are federal laws that prohibit commercial truck drivers from texting while driving.

    In January of 2010, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a federal ban on texting for all commercial truck drivers. 

    As a result of this law, if a truck driver was texting while driving, they may be subject to criminal penalties, including a fine of up to $2,750.

    In a statement about the ban, Secretary LaHood said:

    "... We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe. This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving."

    As a result of this law, if truck drivers are caught texting while driving, then they may be held liable for damages caused in an Iowa truck accident. As such, your Iowa truck accident lawyer will look at this possibility as they investigate the nature of your Iowa truck accident.

    If you have suffered personal injuries in an Iowa truck accident-particularly if the driver was found to be texting while driving-then you may be able to claim damages for your medical expenses, any pain that you may have suffered and any wages that you may have lost.
     

    Contacting an Iowa Truck Accident Lawyer

    The Iowa truck accident lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa truck injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation - 888-435-9886.

     

  • Will my health insurance policy or paid sick leave limit my recovery for my Iowa motorcycle accident?

    If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Iowa, and you have filed an Iowa injury claim, then NO, neither your health insurance policy nor your paid sick leave will limit what you can recover from the liable party. It makes no difference whether you paid for medical care out of pocket or it was paid for by your health insurer.

    Nor does it matter if your missed time at work was paid for by sick leave or vacation pay, you may still be eligible to receive a full recovery in an Iowa injury claim. You will need to keep in mind that if you receive a settlement award from a liable party, your own insurance company may require you to reimburse some or all of what it paid to treat your injuries.

    In these cases, it helps to have an Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer involved in your Iowa injury claim, to make sure you're getting the most comprehensive settlement offer possible, and that unnecessary deductions aren't garnished from it.

    An Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer will likely seek some of the following damages in your Iowa injury claim, including:  

    • medical expenses;
    • physical or emotional pain suffered as a result of your injuries; and
    • past, present or future lost wages. 


    To learn more about damage recovery in an Iowa injury claim, or to negotiate a settlement with the responsible insurer, you'll want to consult an Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer. An Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer can serve as your representative in settlement negotiations to advocate that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled, while you focus on recovery.

    Contacting an Iowa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

    The Iowa motorcycle accident lawyer team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair work hard to level the field between injured Iowans and insurance companies. That's why we provide this complimentary book; The Legal Insider's Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: Seven 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 and schedule a no-cost consultation - 888-435-9886.

  • Besides staying focused and obeying traffic laws, is there anything else I can do to prevent a motorcycle injury?

    Staying focused and making sure you obey all traffic laws is the most important thing you can do to prevent yourself from injuries, there isn’t much else you can do to prevent injury. However, you can help protect yourself from sustaining a severe injury by wearing protective gear and clothing while riding your motorcycle. Items such as a jacket, pants, helmets, gloves, and boots can be very protective. The most injured body parts are the head, arms, and legs. In order to protect these areas you should make sure the gear you chose to wear is durable and can possibly offer padding of some sort. There are different materials you can pick from such as leather or synthetic materials. You don’t have to be uncomfortable when you ride, you can still find comfortable items that will offer the protection you need.