• Iowa City Workers Compensation Attorneys
  • Phone: 641-792-3595
  • Directions

When workplace injuries happen, navigating the legal complexities can be overwhelming. That's where our Iowa City workers' compensation attorneys come in. Whether you were injured at the University of Iowa, UIHC, Public Works, Schools, or MercyOne, our dedicated experts will advocate for injured workers' rights, ensuring fair treatment and proper compensation.

Can You See Your Own Doctor After a Work Injury in Iowa?

In Iowa, while you have the technical right to see your own doctor after a work injury, there are significant limitations to this. Generally, your employer and their insurance carrier have the authority to direct your medical care to physicians they approve. If you seek treatment from a doctor not authorized by your employer, you may find yourself responsible for the medical bills.

Employer-Directed Medical Care

According to Iowa workers' compensation laws, employers have the right to choose the medical providers for injured workers. If you are dissatisfied with the care provided, it’s crucial to communicate your concerns with your employer. In certain cases, you can request alternative care, but this request can be denied, necessitating an appeal to the workers' compensation commissioner.

Independent Medical Examination (IME)

If you disagree with the impairment rating given by the employer's chosen doctor, you have the right to an IME at the employer’s expense. However, this examination will also be with a doctor selected by the employer.

Petition for Alternate Medical Care

Should you feel the need to seek alternative medical care, you may file a petition. This legal process requires you to demonstrate why the change is necessary, and it often involves navigating complex legal hurdles, which is where a qualified workers' compensation attorney can be invaluable.

Refusing Recommended Medical Care

You have the right to refuse any recommended medical treatment, but doing so can affect your workers' compensation claim. For example, if a company doctor suggests a surgery you don’t want, refusing it without proper legal advice could jeopardize your claim.

Dealing with Bulging Discs

Bulging or herniated discs are common workplace injuries. Many people have asymptomatic bulging discs, meaning they show no symptoms and continue to work normally. However, if you experience pain radiating to your arms, legs, or other parts of your body, this could indicate a more serious issue requiring immediate medical attention.

Symptoms and Treatment

A bulging disc can cause severe pain, weakness, and numbness, particularly if it presses on spinal nerves. Treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications, epidural injections, or surgery.

Workplace Impact

Tasks that exacerbate the pain, such as lifting, bending, walking, or extended sitting or standing, should be avoided. If your job involves these activities, your ability to work might be significantly affected, making it essential to seek appropriate medical care promptly.

Workers' Comp and Laminectomy

A laminectomy is a surgical procedure often required for severe back injuries that have not responded to noninvasive treatments like medication, injections, or physical therapy. This surgery involves removing part of the vertebrae to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

When Laminectomy is Necessary

Laminectomy may be necessary when severe pain persists, or there are symptoms like weakness, numbness, bladder/bowel dysfunction, or unsteadiness. In some cases, a spinal fusion is performed to stabilize the spine.

Recovery and Prognosis

Recovery from a laminectomy varies, with some workers returning to light-duty work within weeks, while others may need months. The prognosis also varies; some patients experience significant pain relief, while others may have persistent symptoms requiring further treatment.

Workers' Compensation Coverage

If your laminectomy is due to a work-related injury, workers' compensation should cover your medical expenses. Eligibility for disability benefits depends on the injury’s specifics and your recovery time.

Types of Disability Benefits

- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): For workers missing more than seven days of work.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): For workers returning to lower-paying jobs during recovery.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): For workers with permanent impairments, based on factors such as age, work experience, and functional impairment.

Getting Legal Assistance In Iowa City

Navigating the complexities of Iowa workers' compensation laws can be daunting, especially during the recovery process from a workplace injury. Seeking guidance from a seasoned Iowa CityWorkers' Comp attorney is invaluable in ensuring your rights are protected and maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Legal professionals play a pivotal role in gathering evidence, preparing documentation, and advocating for your interests throughout the claims process. Don't risk missing out on the compensation you deserve – enlist the support of a qualified attorney to navigate the complexities with confidence.

The Iowa Workers' Compensation attorney team at Walker, Billingsley & Bair know the importance of protecting your work injury claim from the get-go. That's why we provide this FREE book; Iowa Workers' Compensation - An Insider's Guide to Work Injuries: 7 Deadly Mistakes To Avoid If You Are Hurt At Work. To learn more about what our legal team will do to help you protect your Iowa work injury claim, contact Walker, Billingsley & Bair to schedule a no-cost consultation - 641-792-3595.