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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Who should you contact if you have questions about your workers compensation benefits?
If you are handling your claim on your own, then you can contact the insurance adjustor assigned to your case. However, keep in mind that the insurance adjustor is not there to help you or assist you. They do not even have to tell you what the law is or even the truth about your case. So use caution when speaking with and agreeing to what the insurance adjustor tells you. If you decide to seek legal assistance with your workers compensation case then you would contact your attorney with questions about your benefits. You may or may not need an attorney in your case.
Learn More About Your Benefits and Rights as an Injured Worker
In our new book entitled Iowa Workers' Compensation, An Insider's Guide to Work Injuries that we tell you whether or not you need an attorney and how the system works in plain English. We offer the book at no risk or cost to Iowa injured workers because we have seen far too many hard working people make costly mistakes in their Iowa work injury claims that cost them thousands of dollars and sometimes their entire case. Request your copy to learn more.
What is Worker's Compensation in Iowa?
If you or a loved one have been hurt on the job in Iowa or if your claim is being handled under Iowa law, then you will need to be familiar with the Iowa workers compensation system. Generally, if it is determined that your claim is compensable (meaning that it arose out of and in the course of your employment) then there are 3 basic benefits that you should receive:
1. Missed work - If you miss work because of your work injury, then you should receive a weekly check while you are healing called TTD (temporary total disability). These weekly checks should continue until you either return to work or are placed at MMI (maximum medical improvement) which means the doctor thinks you are as good as you are going to get.
2. Medical care and treatment - Almost always, the workers' compensation insurance company will direct your medical care to the doctors and other healthcare providers of their choice. You should not be responsible for any charges related to medical care that the insurance company sends has you get. In addition to paying for your medical expenses, the workers' compensation insurance company should also pay you for your mileage. The amount owed for mileage changes each year, but is usually around $.50 per mile. You will need to document the date, which medical provider you saw, the address you went to and the total number of roundtrip miles.
3. Permanent benefits - If it is determined that your work injuries are permanent, you will likely receive a permanent impairment rating based upon the AMA Guides. There are many different ways to determine how much PPD (permanent partial disability) benefits you should receive which are explained in detail in other articles and in our book entitled Iowa Workers' Compensation, An Insider's Guide to Work Injuries that we offer at no cost or risk to you. Generally, keep in mind that the insurance company wants to pay you as little as possible for your injuries so before you even consider a potential settlement in your case, you should educate yourself and talk to a qualified Iowa workers compensation lawyer.
Know Your Rights As An Iowa Injured Worker?
If you or someone you know has been injured at work, Walker, Billingsley & Bair is here to help answer your questions. Iowa Workers' Compensation Attorney Corey J. L. Walker offers a book about Iowa work injuries at no cost, risk or obligation. The book is called “Iowa Workers’ Compensation- An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” which includes 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work. To order your copy go to www.IowaWorkInjury.com or Call Now 1-800-707-2552 (ext. 811) (24 Hour Recorded Message). Corey offers his Iowa work injury book at no cost because he has seen too many hard working Iowans from Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Ft. Dodge, Ankeny, Pella, and other towns throughout the state of Iowa hurt at work job make mistakes which cost them thousand of dollars. Iowans hurt at work are beginning to realize that the insurance company is not there to help them and that they should learn about Iowa's workers compensation laws. Finally, there is a book about Iowa work injuries that you can review in the comfort of your own home. For immediate assistance call 515-440-2852 and ask for Corey.
I think someone is watching me. Would an insurance company or my employer hire someone to video tape me, commonly known as surveillance?
The simple answer is "Yes."
When your injury is serious enough that it requires you to be out of work for an extended period of time, there is a good chance that you will be placed under surveillance at some point in time. Surveillance is when a private detective hired by the insurance company will videotape you at your home, when you leave your home, when you go to stores, etc. Because you may be under surveillance, you should stay within any restriction the doctors have given you, assume that you are being followed and act accordingly.
Take Action to Find a Lawyer Today
At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, our attorneys are ready to get to work on your workmans compensation claim today. We want to help you complete the necessary steps in a work injury case:
- Getting the necessary treatment.
- Filing a workers compensation claim
- Acting as your support system
I have an old injury that began bothering me when I injured myself at work. Will this injury be covered even though it is pre-existing?
Yes, if your work duties cause an aggravation of preexisting condition then you should be covered by workers’ compensation. However, this decision will depend upon your doctors saying that the work activities aggravated, accelerated, and/or made your preexisting condition worse. Work injuries involving preexisting conditions may be denied by the employer in an attempt to avoid paying benefits to the worker.
What If My Injury Doesn't Get Better?
However, the preexisting condition issue often comes down to if the aggravation is temporary or permanent. Frequently company doctors will say that the condition is temporary and that you returned to baseline (also known as your preexisting condition) after a work injury. Keep in mind that the opinions of the company doctors while important, are not conclusive and does not mean that you automatically lose your case.
My Workers Compensation Claim has been Denied – what should I do?
If you’re claim has been denied because of a preexisting injury, you will likely need an attorney. You have the right to have workers’ compensation pay for your lost wages if you can prove that your work has aggravated or accelerated a preexisting condition. Because advocating for yourself can be hard, our attorneys are here to help.
At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, we understand how frustrating it is when your employer denies your claim. We can help you get the benefits you deserve.
Our attorneys are passionate about workers in our state and are determined to work hard to get you your full benefit amount. To learn more, call us today at 641-792-3595 or fill out our online contact form.
If I am off work, how often will I receive my total TTD (temporary disability check) and what do I do if I don’t receive it on time?
You should receive your TTD (total temporary disability) check on a weekly basis. If you don’t receive it on time, contact the insurance adjuster to request an explanation. If you have an attorney then your attorney or their staff will contact the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance company can ultimately be subject to paying penalty benefits up to 50% for late checks.
Are my workers’ compensation benefits taxable?
No, generally they are not taxable and you should not receive a W-2 or 1099 for the workers' compensation money you receive.
I was out of work for 10 days, but they only paid me for one week. Can the insurance company do that?
Yes. You do not get paid for lost wages for the first three days you are out of work, unless you are out of work for 14 days or more and then the insurance company is supposed to pay you for the first three days. Learn more about what you should be paid here or in our Workers Compensation guide.
Does the permanent impairment rating include my pain and suffering?
How is my weekly workers' compensation check calculated?
Your weekly check is also called your rate. Your rate is determined by your wages before the work injury, marital status and exemptions. How your rate is determined is explained more here and in our Iowa Work Comp. book.
If you have questions and would like to speak with someone immediately, CALL 641-792-3595 and ask to speak with one of our workers compensation attorneys.
What if I do not like the doctors they send me to?
As a general rule if you want your employer or their insurance company to pay for your medical care and treatment, you will need to see the medical providers that they choose. It is possible to change your medical providers through a procedure called alternative medical care, but there are very specific legal requirements to be successful so you should at least consult with an attorney about your medical care issues. Click here to learn more information about your options for medical providers in Iowa workers compensation cases.
The work injury attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair want to answer the questions you have about your work injury case. Order our Iowa Work Injury Book at no cost or obligation to learn more about your rights as an injured worker.