Iowa workers compensation laws provide that generally workers compensation benefits are to be paid weekly. Usually, the insurance company will pay your impairment rating weekly. However, sometimes they will pay it all at once depending on the company or if a settlement is reached. There are several things that you need to know about impairment ratings and what the workers compensation insurance company should pay:
1. You should not have to sign any documents for the insurance company to pay you the impairment rating.
2. In many cases you should receive much more than just the impairment rating and agreeing to a settlement even over the phone could result in you losing thousands of dollars in benefits.
3. There are ways to receive a lump sum payment, plus interest without losing other potential claims.
4. Before you even being discussing settlement you should learn if your case is an industrial disability injury (benefits based upon your impairment rating, restrictions, age, etc. and a percentage of 500 weeks) , a scheduled member injury (your impairment rating is multiplied by the body part injured, for example a 10% leg impairment is 10% X 220 weeks = 22 weeks) , or a case which qualifies for Iowa Second Injury Fund Benefits or otherwise is considered an industrial injury even though your original work injury is to a scheduled member.
If you agree to a settlement before you know what type of benefits you should receive you may cost yourself thousands of dollars. For example, entering into a compromise settlement for a lump-sum payment in a scheduled member injury case will not allow you to later bring a claim for Iowa Second Injury Fund benefits.
5. Before you consider any settlement offer you should learn more about Iowa's workers compensation laws and consider talking to an attorney. At the very least you should request a copy of our Iowa Workers' Compensation book that we offer at no cost, risk or obligation. We have met with too many clients who came to see us after they reached a settlement with the insurance company and we have had to tell them that they threw away thousands of dollars because they did not understand the Iowa workers compensation system. Our book is available at www.IowaWorkInjury.com or Call Now 800-707-2552, ext. 811 (24 Hour Consumer Awareness Message).