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Michael R. Hoffmann

Michael Hoffmann’s Answers

4 total

  • How do I get short term disability or workers comp for mental illness?

    My bother has just received a document from his employer that he is not mentally able to work. The letter states, "Because of the ongoing concerns ----------will be placed on sick leave for no more than ten days (I believe that is all he has left....

    Michael’s Answer

    I'm sorry, I cannot address your short term disability question as I practice primarily Iowa Worker's Compensation law.
    However, as to Iowa worker's compensation, there are three classes of mental injury, (1) physical-mental, (2) mental-physical and (3) mental-mental. The normal standard for recovery under workers’ compensation is proof by a preponderance of the evidence that the injury arose out of and in the course of employment. Mental injuries were traditionally viewed with skepticism due to the belief that they could be feigned. A legal causation standard of unusual stress developed for mental-mental injuries as a means of determining the legitimacy of claims. This last requirement of legal causation may not be required in the event of a sudden traumatic event, such as claim involving a robbery or suicide, or, possibly, other circumstances supporting the legitimacy of the claim.
    These can be difficult claims to prove, and are dependent on the specific facts of each individual situation.
    I strongly urge that he to seek Iowa counsel as soon as possible since he may have only 90 days from the date of injury, which might be the last day of work, to give his employer notice of his injury, and only two years to file his claim.

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  • Is signing a power of attorney in a Workers Compensation case a bad idea?

    I just signed on with a small W.C. firm in Illinois. When I started signing papers he came up with a power of attorney, I hesitated but signed anyway. He said that when the time came this gave him power to take a settlement that was really good,...

    Michael’s Answer

    I agree with Mr.Connell, but would add that a limited POA is also useful to avoid the delay of back and forth mailing when weekly checks are being paid. I keep a firm balance in my TA, so as not to have to wait on these smaller checks to clear before distribution, and not run the risk of a stop payment (yes, I've had a carrier do this without notice) leaving an overdraft. I've also set up overdraft protection that cascades to the TA from my firm account, then from my personal account, to be sure the TA always has sufficient funds.

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  • How much is a 5% whole body rotator cuff and torn bicep injury workmans comp case worth in the state of iowa?

    I haul equiptment for a large construction company,that i have worked for for 8 years and while taking a roller off of my trailer,while my ramps were only pieced together, causing my roller to go off the side of my trailer . I hung on to the steer...

    Michael’s Answer

    Mr. Hamel is correct. There is no formula for calculating the value of your injury in weeks of compensation payable. Thus, even if an average weekly wage, and rate of compensation can be calculated, no one can give you a precise dollar value of your claim.
    In the words of the Iowa Department of Workers' Compensation:
    When an injury results in a permanent disability to a part of the person that is not a scheduled member, it is referred to as an industrial disability that is compensated according to the percent that the disability reduced the person's earning capacity. These typically include back, neck, shoulder, and hip injuries. Factors to be considered in determining industrial disability are: any change in the employee's earnings caused by the injury; employee’s medical condition prior to injury, immediately after the injury and presently; the situs of the injury; its severity and the length of healing period; the work experience of the employee prior to the injury, after the injury and potential for rehabilitation; the employees qualifications intellectually, emotionally, and physically; age; education; motivation; functional impairment as a result of the injury; loss of earnings caused by a job transfer for reasons related to the injury; and inability because of the injury to engage in employment for which the employee is fitted.
    There are no specific guidelines that indicate how each of the factors is to be considered.

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  • Can work comp judge lower my lawyer fee of 35% i signed for it was desperate for help saw most lawyers get 10 to 15%

    there is settlement offer of 100,000 i owe him 2000 in fees so far i went first lawyer i went to he took advantage i feel after said and done i would only get 63000

    Michael’s Answer

    All fees or claims for legal, medical, hospital and, in death cases, burial services, at the agency level in Iowa, are subject to the approval of the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner. That said, I do agree with Peter on all points. If this was a disputed claim, and the attorney charging you the 35% got you this $100,000 offer, the fee will probably be approved as having been well earned. Also, I know of no one in Iowa charging 10-15% for such a case.
    If, on the other hand, all you were looking for was someone to draw up a settlement already offered to you, and accepted by you, you should consult other counsel.
    Whatever you do, be sure to give anyone you consult all the details.

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