Let's start at the very beginning: Just what is a workers' compensation case in Iowa? A workers' compensation case is any type of claim where a person has been injured or killed while on the job. The legal requirement is that the work injury arose out of and in the course of employment. The law does not require that a person is compensated for every work injury. You must prove that you were on the job working when you were injured. However, please keep in mind that there are special exceptions like falling in the employer's parking lot which is also considered a work injury, horseplay which is not considered a work injury, etc.
Under Iowa Law, you need only prove that a work injury caused a material and substantial aggravation of a preexisting condition for it to be considered a work injury. That means just because you have had a prior injury to the same body part, you may still be entitled to benefits.
Also, if you previously sustained a scheduled member injury (arm, leg, etc.), whether or not it was work related, and then you sustain another scheduled member injury then you may be entitled to additional benefits under the Iowa Second Injury Fund. If you qualify for 2nd Injury Fund benefits then the extent of your permanent disability benefits will be based upon the factors used when determining industrial disability just like a back, shoulder, neck or brain injury.
If you are able to prove that you sustained a work-related injury, there are 3 basic types of workers' compensation benefits available:
1. Medical Benefits- Lifetime medical benefits for medical treatment, including doctors' appointments, prescriptions and mileage expenses related to your work injury.
2. Healing Period/Temporary Disability (TTD/TPD) Benefits- These are the weekly payments made to an injured worker while they are healing from their work injury and are either not able to return to their job, is only able to work a limited number of hours or is not making as much as they were before the work injury work.
3. Permanent Benefits- At some point, the doctors will say that you have healed as much as possible which is also known as a maximum medical improvement (MMI). At that point, your benefits change from temporary to permanent. If your medical condition heals and you are left with no permanent problems, then you probably do not have a claim for permanent disability benefits. If you have a permanent impairment rating and/or permanent restrictions, then you are likely owed permanent disability benefits. You need a workers' compensation lawyer who understands the specialized workers' compensation laws.
If you or a loved one have 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 workers' compensation 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 comp. book at no cost because he has seen too many hard-working Iowans from Des Moines, Ankeny, Marshalltown, Ft. Dodge and throughout the state of Iowa hurt on the job make mistakes which cost them thousands 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 workers compensation that you can review in the comfort of your own home with no risk or pressure. For immediate assistance call 515-440-2852 and ask for one of our work injury attorneys.