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 a permanent impairment rating?
This is a number that is assigned to your injury usually based upon the AMA Guides to Permanent Impairment which is a book written by a group of doctors from throughout the country. If you have a scheduled member injury (hand, arm, leg, foot, eye, hearing loss) then generally the impairment rating is the main factor in determining the amount of money you receive for your permanent disability. Whereas, if you sustained an unscheduled member injury (back, neck, shoulder, brain, mental health, nerve injuries such as CRPS- Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome or RSD- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or respiratory and circulation injuries like occupational asthma or Reynaud’s syndrome) then your impairment rating is only one of many factors including your ability to work, lifting and activity restrictions, lost wages, etc. There is a significant difference in the amount of compensation you are suppose to receive between a scheduled member and unscheduled member injury.
If I Do Not Agree with the Company Doctors Impairment Rating What Can I Do?
At some point in your treatment the doctors will say that you will not make further improvement, also known as reaching MMI- maximum medical improvement. At that point the doctor should determine your permanent impairment rating. If you disagree with the impairment rating, under Iowa Code § 85.39 you have the right to have an IME- independent medical examination. The IME will be conducted by a doctor that you choose who will provide his/her opinions concerning your permanent impairment rating and restrictions. There are several doctors that I can recommend depending on the nature of your injury.
Do all Attorneys who Advertise that They Handle Workers Compensation cases have the same skills, tools and experience to handle your case?
No. Any Iowa attorney can advertise they handle workers’ compensation cases even if they have never represented a single injured worker. One thing to look for is if the attorney advertises “practicing primarily in workers’ compensation”. If the attorney advertises “practicing primarily in workers’ compensation” then the attorney completes a minimum of 15 hours of CLE- continuing legal education hours per year involving workers’ compensation and spends at least 40% of their time practicing workers’ compensation law. Another thing is to ask the attorney for a list of some of the cases they have handled, results they have obtained for their clients and testimonials from former workers’ compensation clients to find-out the attorney’s track record.