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I herniated two discs in my back at work and the insurance co wants me to go back to work. I am still in extreme pain.

Iowa City, IA |

I hired and an attorney, went to physical therapy for 6mnths and am still unable to do daily activities . The pain is so great I have to take narcotics. The doctor said I am healed and can go back to work. I am unable to function in daily life. The work comp payments were stopped and I had to go on COBRA insurance. I have no income and am taking money out of my IRA. What can I do to makethis doctor admit that I am still injured and in need of treatment and insurance?

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Attorney answers 3


One reason you hire a workers compensation attorney is to keep your comp benefits coming as long as you need them. You are entitled to a hearing to contest a denial by the insurance company. If you have already had a hearing and lost, there is an appeals process. Your question does not state whether any of these steps have been completed. You should be talking to your lawyer about these matters.

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Under the Iowa Workers Compensation Laws you are entitled to a second opinion. Under Iowa Code section 85.39 the Insurance Company has to pay for that second opinion, now that the doctor they chose has indicated you have no permanency or impairment. You should immediately talk to your lawyer about getting you to a doctor that can help you. The problem in Iowa with medical care is that the insurance companies decide who you originally go to for care and some of their chosen doctors may not have your best interests at heart. The second opinion you are entitled to can be with any doctor you choose, which helps you to obtain an opinion from a disinterested physician. Once the new doctor gives an opinion, this may help to move your case forward so that you can obtain benefits and more appropriate medical care.


It sounds like you are currently represented and you should talk to your current attorney about obtaining a 2nd opinion under Iowa Code Section 85.39. There are a handful of doctors in Iowa who do these and selecting the correct one for the job is very important. If you attorney is experienced in workers' compensation law then he/she should be able to give you a few names. If your claim has been admitted then the insurance company should paid for the examination, your mileage and lost wages to attend the appointment. Note: often it takes several months to get in to see one of the qualified doctors. Another option would be to go see a doctor on your own to see if they recommend additional care which may allow you to proceed with a petition for alternative medical care which your attorney should be able to explain to you in detail.