Workers’ Compensation & Employee Rights

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Workers’ Compensation Attorney Serving Des Moines, Iowa

Are you feeling lost and overwhelmed after an injury at work and wondering what comes next?

At Loney & Schueller, we understand how daunting a work-related injury or illness can be, and we want you to know that we’re here to help. Our West Des Moines workers’ comp lawyers can guide you through the process of claiming your rightful benefits that injured workers in Iowa are qualified to receive.

From filing the workplace injury claims paperwork to representing you in court to negotiating a settlement agreement, we handle it all so you can focus on your recovery. Contact our workers’ comp law firm today for a free consultation, and let’s pursue the benefits you need to get your life back on track.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that employers must purchase on behalf of their employees. It provides medical care and financial benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. If you’re a covered employee who gets hurt or sick because of your job, workers’ compensation should cover your medical expenses and part of your lost wages. The system is designed to help you meet your needs while you heal.

The critical factor in qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits is that your injury or illness happened as a consequence of your work duties. For example, you cannot receive workers’ comp benefits for injuries sustained during your daily commute, but you could receive benefits for an injury sustained while you were running an errand for your boss.

To begin your workers’ compensation claim, you need to report your injury to your employer promptly and file paperwork. If your employer approves your claim, you can focus on your recovery while the insurance handles the medical bills and pays you a portion of your pre-accident wages. Families can claim death benefits if someone dies from a work-related injury or illness.

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Comp Benefits in Iowa?

Under Iowa work comp statutes, most employees—both part-time and full-time—qualify for workers’ compensation benefitsHowever, the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) does list a few types of workers who do not qualify for benefits under Iowa workers’ compensation law, including:

  • Independent contractors
  • Sole proprietors
  • Members and partners of limited liability companies, unless they purchase a policy that specifically includes them

What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?

Workers’ compensation in Iowa provides several types of benefits to employees who have been injured at work. Here is an overview of the benefits you may be entitled to.

 Medical Benefits

Workers’ compensation insurance will cover all necessary medical expenses related to a work injury. This includes treatments like the following:

  • Emergency care
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital stays
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy

Workers’ comp will also pay reasonable travel costs for your medical treatment. Employees might also qualify for lost wage payments if they must leave work for medical appointments.

 Disability Benefits

Workers’ comp will also pay affected employees the following disability benefits based on the nature and extent of their injury or illness:

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): These pay up to 80 percent of the employee’s pre-accident wages while they are unable to do any kind of work.
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): If an employee returns to work in a lower-paying role due to their injury, they can receive two-thirds of the difference between their pre- and post-accident wages.
  • Healing Period (HP): These benefits are paid during the recovery period from an injury that leads to a permanent impairment.
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): This applies if an employee’s injury results in permanent limitations but they can still work in some capacity, with payments typically based on the part of the body affected and degree of impairment.
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD): An employee may receive these benefits when they cannot return to any gainful employment due to their injuries.

According to the DWC, a disabled employee’s weekly benefit amount is set at 80 percent of their average weekly wage.

 Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

These benefits pay an injured worker to participate in a vocational rehabilitation program so that they may return to the workforce in a different capacity.

 Death Benefits

If a worker dies from a job-related injury, their dependents may receive financial support and burial expenses.

Time Limits for Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claims

You must report a work-related injury to your employer within 90 days of when you knew or reasonably should have known you sustained an injury. If you miss this deadline, you will likely lose your right to any benefits for your injury or illness.

There’s also a deadline by which you must claim your benefits or file an arbitration claim with your employer. If you don’t file an arbitration claim within two years of your injury, you will likely lose your right to workers’ comp benefits.

Most Common Causes of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

As a general rule, the type of injury or illness you develop at work shouldn’t matter in a workers’ comp claim. All that matters is whether the injury or illness happened at work or as a result of work-related activities. That said, some of the most common causes of work-related injuries and illnesses in Iowa include:

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls: These can occur on wet floors and uneven surfaces or due to obstacles in walkways, leading to sprains, fractures, or more severe injuries.
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries: Tasks that involve repetitive motions can cause injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.
  • Back Injuries: Lifting, carrying, or moving heavy objects improperly can result in strains or more severe injuries to the back and spine.
  • Exposure to Hazardous Materials: Contact with chemicals, dust, or toxic substances can cause various health issues, including respiratory problems and skin conditions.
  • Machine-Related Injuries: Accidents involving machinery can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries like amputations or blindness.

How Our Law Firm Protects Employee Rights in Iowa

Our workers’ compensation attorneys proudly champion the rights of employees injured at work throughout Iowa. We can explain your rights and help you pursue the comprehensive benefits you’re entitled to receive. We’ll guide you step-by-step through the claims process, from filing the initial paperwork to aggressively advocating on your behalf if your employer or their insurer disputes your claim.

Beyond working to maximize your financial recovery, we can help you get medical treatment and manage return-to-work processes so that you’re not rushed back when you need more time to heal. With Loney & Schueller, you gain a partner committed to your recovery and long-term well-being. Trust our work injury attorneys to protect your rights and help you move forward after a work-related injury. Call us today or reach out online to learn more about our compensation claim assistance services with a free consultation.

Get All The Compensation You Deserve. Call Our Attorneys Today.

Contact us online, or call us at 1-515-225-4485 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Des Moines personal injury attorney. We handle injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no attorney’s fees unless we are able to recover compensation on your behalf.

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Contact Us for A Free Consultation

Our law office is conveniently located at 50th St. and I-235 in West Des Moines. We have successfully represented thousands of personal injury and Iowa workers’ compensation clients. Call 1-515-225-4485 for a free consultation. You never pay attorneys’ fees until we win and recover for all of your losses either in a favorable settlement or trial verdict.

What Our Clients Say

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Randy vigorously negotiated my case and I received a lump sum payment in excess of $200,000. He worked extremely hard for me and made sure I was taken care of. I am more than pleased with the outcome of my case.

Rusty from St. Augustine, Florida

Without Eric’s help and guidance I am not sure where I would be. I thank the person who referred Eric to me every day. I recommend that others use Eric for their workers’ compensation cases.

Terry of Iowa

Sarah also obtained a settlement from homeowner’s the insurance company. I would certainly recommend Sarah to represent you with regard to injuries received due to a dog bite.

Shane of Des Moines, Iowa