Workers get injured on the job every day. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. workers incurred 2.6 million injuries in 2021 alone. If you were hurt at work, you could be entitled to workers’ comp benefits such as medical expenses, income loss, disability, and others.
However, depending on your case, there could be several options for recovering what you need to rebuild your life after a serious work injury. A work-related injury lawyer at Walker, Billingsley & Bair could help you get fair compensation. Let us review your case and determine what action to take to pursue compensation. Get started now and schedule a free case consultation or call 641-792-3595.
Finding the Right Work-Related Injury Lawyer for You
Finding a good work-related injury lawyer can take a little time and involve doing some homework.
Make sure they are attorneys who have physical offices and practice work injury law in Iowa. Lawyers from other states will sign up Iowa cases and then pass the case to an Iowa attorney and take a fee from the case. This means you do not know who the real lawyer is working on your very important work injury claim.
Maybe a coworker or someone you know got injured at work and can recommend a great injury lawyer to you. You could also ask friends and family for attorney referrals. If you have previously worked with an attorney even if they work in a different field of law, you can contact them to ask if they personally know a lawyer who deals with work injuries.
Internet research can be helpful in finding a work injury lawyer. You can check their website and other reputable websites for Testimonials and Client Reviews.
Look to see what the lawyer's prior clients say about their services, either in written and/or video testimonials. There should be a link to these on the lawyer's webpage usually in a tab called Testimonials.
You can also find what type of results they have obtained for their past clients. While every case is different it should give you a good idea of how the attorney has successfully represented other work-related injury cases in the past. If they don’t have a link to their Results this may be a red flag!
You can also check if the lawyer has written any Books or has a Video Series informing you on work injury laws and how they can assist you.
What to Look for in a Work-Related Injury Lawyer
An excellent injury attorney will be personable and be happy to talk about their experience in the field. They should be able to review your work injury claim in your free consultation and inform you of your legal options.
Get to Know Your Work-Injury Lawyer Personally
Most work-related injury lawyers offer free case consultations. These consultations allow you to meet with them or their legal team without any cost, giving you the opportunity to talk about your case and pose any questions you may have. It's recommended to make the most of these free consultations as they provide a chance to personally meet with the attorney or law firm.
Open and honest communication is key to a successful relationship with your injury lawyer. During your initial interactions, be sure to ask about how often an attorney will contact you and in which ways you will be able to reach them (Text, Call, Chat). Even the most accomplished lawyers can be frustrating to work with if they fail to return calls or reach back in a timely manner. Answers to these questions are pivotal in determining if an attorney can meet your needs.
It is also important to know how you will be treated by the lawyer and their staff. Do they follow the golden rule, and will they treat you like they would want to be treated if they were injured? Do the lawyers have so many cases that when you call they have no idea what you are talking about because your case is just a file in a pile on their desk?
Make sure you find a lawyer with whom you feel most comfortable and trust to take on your important case.
Questions You Could Ask at the First Consultation
Asking questions can be a good way to get to know a work injury attorney and make the most of your free consultation. Questions like the following will help you understand your case and get to know the attorney better:
-How long have you handled work-related injury cases?
-What are the outcomes you have achieved in cases like mine?
-Have you won work-related injury lawsuits at trial?
-Who in your firm will handle my case?
-How often can I expect updates on my case?
-What strategy will you take when handling my claim?
-What do you think my case is worth?
-How much will I have to pay your firm to handle my case and when will I have to pay that fee?
-What are my costs if I lose?
-Will you assist me in paying my medical bills?
-Will you bill me for asking questions after the free consultation is over?
You will most likely have other pressing questions relating to your individual work accident and injury. Make sure to take notes before the consultations, recording important questions and concerns you would like addressed during the meeting. Try to bring relevant documentation, such as medical reports, accident reports, and workers’ comp claim information. This way they can give you accurate answers to all your questions.
Your Best Steps After a Work Accident
If you get injured at work, you will need to take some important steps to protect your legal rights and benefits or compensation.
Report Your Injury Immediately
It is crucial to report an injury to your employer or a supervisor as soon as possible. In Iowa, an employee is required to report an injury within 90 days from the date when they knew about the injury. Your claim could potentially be damaged if you wait too long to file a workplace accident report.
Fill out an Injury Report
Filling out a written injury report is an important way to protect your legal rights. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are obligated to provide employees with workplace injury reports.
Filling out an injury report is critical as this can serve as evidence later on when it comes to applying for injury benefits or negotiating a settlement for your injuries. Even if your employer tells you that it is unnecessary, insist on filling out an injury report. Do not forget to also receive a copy of the report to keep for your own records.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Seeking medical care is essential for protecting your rights and your health, even if they are only minor injuries. Not all potentially serious medical conditions present symptoms right away such as a Traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the Mayo Clinic, TBI symptoms can show up days or even weeks after the injury occurred.
Seeing a doctor as soon as possible ensures that any undetected injuries are diagnosed and treated. This will also provide you with a medical report that can be used as future evidence, especially if your employer’s insurer disputes your injuries.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Even though in general, the statute of limitations to file your Iowa Workers' Compensation claim is 2 years from the date of your injury, you should submit your claim as soon as possible after an accident. 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.
We recommend that you file the report, it will create a solid base for your work accident claim. It will provide the exact date of injury, the 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.
Contact a Work-Related Injury Lawyer
For more detailed answers to the above questions and much more request a copy of our book “Iowa Workers’ Compensation- An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” which includes 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work and the Iowa Injured Workers Bill of Rights.
We offer the book at no cost or risk to injured workers in Iowa because we have seen firsthand injured workers make costly mistakes before they knew about their rights and obligations. Finally, you can read about Iowa's workers' compensation laws in the comfort of your own home with no pressure.
If you, a loved one, a friend, or a co-worker have questions about an Iowa work comp claim feel free to give us a call at 641-792-3595, Contact Us Online, or Chat Here Now. There is no cost or risk and everything you tell us will remain confidential.
What can an attorney do for you?
-Educate you about Iowa injury laws because they vary from state to state
-Gather documentary evidence including police accident reports, medical records, and bills
-Review and analyze the legal issues
-Talk to your physicians and obtain written reports from them to support their case and fully understand your condition
-Contact the insurance company to put them on notice of the claim, if this has not already been done
-If a suit is filed, prepare you, witnesses, and healthcare providers for depositions
-Prepare written questions and answers and take the deposition of the defendant and other witnesses
-Conduct a scheduled conference to set a trial date
-Prepare a demand package to send to the defendant in an attempt to settle the case
-Prepare for a possible mediation and/or settlement before trial
-Prepare for trial
-Prepare medical, demonstrative, and other exhibits for trial
-Prepare you and witnesses for trial
-File motions and briefs with the court to determine what will be allowed into evidence at trial
-Take the case to trial with a workers' compensation judge
-Review and analyze the verdict to determine if either side has good grounds to appeal the case
-Make recommendations as to whether or not to appeal the case
-And much, much more. . .