If you or a loved one have been hurt at work, then you probably have questions like:
- What are my rights and responsibilities under Iowa Law?
- What are the common mistakes and how can I avoid them?
- What if my injuries are permanent and I cannot return to my job?
These are great questions and ones that the insurance adjustor is not likley to answer for you so we will answer them for you at no cost or risk. Note: the insurance adjustor is not required to help you and does not even have to tell you the truth.
Iowa's workers' compensation program is complex and can be difficult to understand. If you know someone else who has gone through their own workers' compensation claim, you may be familiar with their frustration. What you may not know is that some attorneys, including all of us here at Walker, Billingsley & Bair, will talk with you for free about your claim. It is helpful to talk with someone who has handled hundreds of workers' compensation and "third-party liability claims."
You don't want to go through this complicated process without a plan of action. If you have been injured on the job, here are some questions you should ask yourself before trying to negotiate with your employer and/or insurance provider on your own:
- Do you know how much you should be paid for mileage to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy?
- Do you know the difference between temporary total disability benefits (TTD) and permanent partial disability benefits (PPD)?
- Do you know how to calculate your rate based upon your average weekly wage (AWW)?
- Do you know how your impairment rating is calculated and if the rating you were given is correct?
- Do you know the difference between a scheduled member injury and an unscheduled injury also known as an industrial disability injury?
- Do you know if the Iowa Second Injury Fund applies to your scheduled member injury case?
- Do you know how workers' compensation payments affect Social Security disability benefits?
These are questions that can be answered by our experienced workers' compensation attorneys. As an injured worker you have the right to seek legal advice regarding your workers' compensation and/or third party liability claim.
We Ensure Your Rights Will be Protected for Your Injuries
If you were injured while...
- lifting something at work;
- doing repetitive work with your hands, arms and shoulders;
- falling in the parking lot because of ice;
- driving a company car, truck or another vehicle; or
- otherwise doing your job duties.
And have hurt your back, neck, shoulder, arms, or legs, sustained brain damage or have another workplace injury...
Before you sign any documents from the insurance company or make a mistake that could hurt your workers' comp case, you should educate yourself by requesting our work injury book at no cost!
At Walker, Billingsley & Bair our attorneys have written the book on workers' compensation. In our Iowa work comp book we explain:
Did You Know?
Facts About Iowa Workers' Compensation Law and Cases
The law requires every Iowa employer to obtain workers' compensation insurance for employees or for the employer to register with the State of Iowa as being self-insured, but...
- To claim benefits for workers' compensation, you must prove that your injuries arose out of and in the course of your employment.
- The insurance adjustor works for your employer and/or their insurance company and has no duty to protect your rights or even tell you what the law is.
All injured Iowa workers are entitled by law to 10 basic rights. These rights include:
- Lifelong medical care related to the work injury.
- Payment of medical care including mileage at $.545 per mile for mileage incurred after July 1, 2018. (Note: the mileage amount changes every July 1)
- Cash payments while you recover and cannot work because of your work injury.
- The above and your other rights are explained in more detail in our Iowa Work Comp. Injury Book
Iowans and injured workers with Iowa claims are beginning to realize that if they have been hurt at work that they should learn how to avoid making mistakes and what they should receive for their work injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured, then you should request our Workers' Compensation Injury Book at no cost, risk or obligation. Just click on the book now or call 641-792-3595. Our Guarantee- We are so confident that our book will help educate you that if you have been hurt at work and do not learn at least one thing, let us know and we will donate $1,000 to your charity of choice.
Our law firm handles workers' compensation cases and personal injury claims throughout the state of Iowa. We have four fully staffed offices located in Des Moines, Ankeny, Newton and Marshalltown along with by appointment locations throughout the state. If you are not local to us then we will come to you. After years of helping injured workers seek justice for their work injuries, we know how beneficial having legal counsel can be, but we also want you to get the facts about finding the right work injury attorney for your case which is explained in part below, but in more detail in our book.
- Does the attorney practice Iowa workers' compensation law? Look to see where their physical offices are located and make sure that are an Iowa based law firm, not just attorneys using office share space in Iowa.
- Is the attorney experienced in workers' compensation law? Look at what their former clients have to say.
- Will the attorney pay attention to my case? Did they attorney return calls? Look at an attorney review site to find honest reviews.
- Lastly, what results has the attorney had in Iowa work comp cases? Results matter and an attorney should be able to provide you with past results.
No one is happy they were injured at work and most people hope they never have to hire an attorney. We hope that you recover from your work injury and get back to work and life as usual. We provide this information so that you are informed and can make the best decisions regarding how to handle your case.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your work injury,
CALL US today at 641-792-3595 (phones answered 24/7)
Your call is free and there is no obligation to hire us. One of our work injury attorneys will answer your questions and start you in the right direction with your workers' compensation case. If you prefer, fill out our online contact form and get the information you need about cases of workers' compensation in Iowa.
Stories Of Survival
How Will I Make It?
My name is John and I live in a small town in northern Iowa with my wife and young son in a house that we just bought. Our families live nearby, and our life was good until one day at work in 2015, I developed back pain while lifting at work in a local factory.
Promptly, I reported the work-related injury to my employer, seeking medical care. Initially, I underestimated its significance, but little did I know how my life would be changed forever. The initial back pain went down to my legs, eventually leading to the diagnosis of a herniated disc in my back after testing.
After waiting what seemed like forever for medical care, I was allowed to see a back surgeon who thought that surgery consisting of a laminectomy/diskectomy on my lower back would fix my problems. This first surgery failed to provide relief. So, a second, more invasive lumbar fusion was suggested, only to yield limited relief. A third procedure, involving the implantation of a permanent spinal cord stimulator, followed offering some degree of pain relief.
However, both physically and mentally I will never be the same person again. Once physically fit, assisting loved ones with construction projects, engaging in local softball leagues, and contributing to our church, I now find myself unable to join in simple activities with my son and dependent on a cane for mobility outside my home. Sleep eludes me, often I have to sleep in my recliner. When I see my wife in the morning, I often ask her "How Can I Go On Like This."
While I was off work healing after my fusion surgery it was clear to my wife and me that I was not going to be able to return to my same manual labor job. I thought because I was hurt at work, my employer had to provide me with a job. However, after learning of my lifting restrictions, and having lost over a year of work due to my injury, I was informed that my employer had no intention of bringing me back.
I was unemployed, scared, and confused about the future of me and my family. We were behind on some of our bills and wanted to avoid losing everything we had worked so hard for. We just wanted to be treated fairly by the insurance company, but we did not understand what that meant under the
Given that we were facing a financial disaster we decided that we had better find an attorney to help us through the workers' compensation process. We did not have the money to pay an attorney an hourly fee and I was worried that hiring an attorney may look bad to my friends, my employer, and the insurance company.
Struggling to make ends meet with the weekly checks I received, we weren’t able to pay an attorney upfront. Also, I had never dealt with an attorney before so I was afraid about reaching out to an attorney and the potential treatment I might receive. Yet, I knew that my best interests were not upheld by my employer and their insurance company made me seek protection.
I began looking online wanting to find an attorney who was not only good at what they do but also demonstrated genuine care for their clients. I found Iowa attorney Corey Walker, whose positive reviews and client testimonials captured my attention.
Even though he was not local to me, I went ahead and called him even though I had doubts if he could help me or not. Corey promptly sent me a complimentary copy of his Iowa workers' compensation book and DVD at no cost. Corey's book and other information opened my eyes revealing many things I did not know about work comp. here in Iowa.
When I called Corey with questions, to my surprise he agreed to travel 3 hours to my home to meet with my wife and a few of my family members at no cost or risk. I did not know what to expect at our meeting with Corey. When he walked into our home, I immediately felt comfortable with him as he took his time to explain how the system works. He was very patient with all of our questions and explained that I did not have to pay him a retainer. He was only paid if he obtained more money than the insurance company voluntarily paid me, so what did I have to lose?
He was not like attorneys on TV as he did not try to pressure me or scare me into hiring him. There was no upfront cost or risk, so given all the prior great client reviews I was sure that he was the best attorney to help me and my family.
Corey requested my wage records and within 2 months he found that I had been underpaid by over $35 weekly. He was able to get me a check for the money they underpaid, plus interest and a new higher weekly check. He then filed a workers' compensation petition on my behalf, seeking lifelong benefits. Also, when the insurance company did not want to pay for the treatment that their own doctors recommended, he helped obtain the medical care by filing a petition for alternative medical care.
Corey was always committed to my cause. He sent copies of letters, returned my phone calls, and took his time to explain what and why of everything he was doing. I could not have asked for a better attorney to fight for my rights and help me through the process.
As our trial date quickly approached, Corey explained the different possible outcomes and sent a demand to the insurance company's lawyer in an attempt to settle the case and avoid years of appeals. He spent many hours working on the demand letter and helping us understand the best outcome for me and my family.
He kept us informed at each step of the negotiation process and after several weeks of negotiating just prior to my trial, we were able to obtain a lump-sum of money that allowed us to pay off our home loan and purchase a reliable vehicle while still having money in the bank for our future.
While I would never trade my health for the money that I received, with Corey's hard work at least I have a secure financial future. I cannot recommend him enough to other Iowans dealing with a serious work injury.
How Karen Who Worked in a Factory Almost Lost $50,000
Karen, was a 35 year old wife, mother of three, factory worker. She was a reliable worker, not missing a day of work for over four years. Unfortunately, when she was lifting a heavy part, her back gave way.
The excruciating pain led Karen to collapse to the ground. Karen immediately went to the medical office and reported the work-related back injury. The medical staff advised her to consult her family doctor, who subsequently prescribed pain relief medications and recommended a week of leave from work.
Despite following the doctor's instructions, Karen's condition got worse, leading her to revisit her family doctor after just two days. An MRI was ordered, which confirmed that Karen had suffered a herniated disc in her back. This diagnosis led to a referral to a surgeon for further evaluation.
The surgeon told her that surgery was her best option as the disc would likely not heal on its own. Karen was devastated because she had never had surgery and had always taken pride in her work.
Following the surgical procedure, Karen's recovery was positive, the doctor assigned her a 10% impairment rating and placed a permanent 30-pound lifting restriction. She was unable to resume her higher-paying position on the factory line and had to accept a lower-paying role instead. While she found some satisfaction in the 50 weeks of benefits provided to her, she was unaware of the extent of compensation, and that she was entitled to much more compensation for her injuries.
Thankfully, one of Karen's friends had experienced a workplace injury before and we had handled his case. Karen sought out the same assistance. Upon consulting with us, she learned that her case was worth much more than the initially received 50 weeks of benefits. She was entitled to industrial disability in which her impairment rating was only one of many factors. Karen eventually settled her case for more than twice as much as the insurance company had previously paid her.
Had Karen not taken the initiative to seek our guidance, she would have missed out on over $50,000 in owed compensation.
How a Nurse Named Sharon Almost Gave Away $200,000
Sharon, a dedicated nurse, sustained a back injury while aiding a patient at work. Known for her strong work ethic, she rarely missed work prior to the incident. The hospital's insurance provider covered her medical expenses, which included surgical intervention. The insurance company presented her with a settlement proposal based solely on her impairment rating.
Sharon not knowing the intricacies of Iowa's workers' compensation regulations, she sought information and requested a book that was offered at no cost to Iowans hurt at work. While reading, she learned that the impairment rating given to her by her doctor is only one factor in determining how much compensation she should receive.
Her case eventually settled, but if she had trusted her employer and their insurance company and taken their offer, she would have given away more than $200,000.
How an Insurance Company Tried to Cheat A Truck Driver Named Jim
Another client, Jim, was a hard-working truck driver and father of two children. While he was driving his employer's tractor-trailer, he was involved in an accident causing him to sustain two broken bones in his back. He was immediately transported to the nearest trauma center, where he remained for several days under medical care. Doctors told Jim that he was lucky that he was not paralyzed. Soon after, he was released from the hospital with instructions to follow up with his family doctor.
Jim informed his employer about the incident, and their insurance company representative reached out to him to take a statement. Jim truthfully detailed the events, and a few days later he received a letter stating that they were denying his claim and not paying his lost wages or medical expenses.
Jim was desperate when he called our office as he was not receiving any income. We conducted thorough investigations, obtaining the accident report, hired a private investigator, and contacted the insurance company about their previous decision. Once we intervened in the case, the insurance company ultimately recognized Jim’s claim was legitimate and began paying him for his lost wages. After missing several months of work, Jim made a satisfactory recovery, and we were able to obtain a “just” settlement for him.