Benefits available under Iowa workers' compensation law - A Basic Overview
A basic overview of the benefits the company is required to pay in an Iowa work comp claim. The information in this guide should not be used as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney regarding your case. Most attorneys offer free consultations, so don't hesitate to call one.
Medical BenefitsIf the company admits your claim, it controls your medical care and picks the doctor that treats you. This is not the company's absolute right though--if you can show that the doctor they picked is not qualified to treat your injury or is providing inadequate care, we can sometimes file a petition for alternate medical care to switch doctors or get you the testing or procedures you need. Alternatively, if the company doctor discharges you from their care--basically saying "you're as good as you're going to get"--then you can usually start to see doctors of your choice. On claims that the company denies, you are usually free to treat with the doctor of your choice, but if you do not follow the correct procedure you could end up being stuck with medical bills. This is too complicated of an issue to explain fully in this guide, and each case is unique, so if you have questions on medical care, please call us and we will provide individually tailored advice for your situation
Temporary BenefitsIf you are unable to work or are working less because of your injury, Iowa law provides that you are entitled to weekly workers' compensation benefits if certain conditions are met. You generally have to be off work with a doctor's excuse or restrictions in order to qualify for benefits. So typically the best advice is to continue to go to work unless the company tells you to go home or a doctor takes you off work. If you are having issues with the company not following your doctor's restrictions, you should call us right away. Under no circumstances should you quit your job or not show up to work without first talking to a lawyer--you could jeopardize your right to temporary benefits. As with medical care, each situation is unique and we are happy to listen and then give advice for yours--and we don't take a fee on temporary benefits the company voluntarily pays.
Permanency BenefitsAfter you are done treating for your injury--when the doctors say they have nothing further to offer or you're as good as you're going to get (you might hear doctors use the term "MMI" or "maximum medical improvement")--the law provides you permanency benefits if you have lasting effects from the injury. Sometimes the company will voluntarily pay those benefits to you, but often times the employer pays less than what the injured worker is entitled to under Iowa law. You should never sign a settlement for permanency benefits without talking to a lawyer--most lawyers don't charge a fee to discuss your situation, and we don't take a fee on permanency benefits the company voluntarily pays.
Other BenefitsThere are other benefits that may be available in an Iowa workers' compensation case. The benefits listed above are not meant to be a full list. Not all potential benefits can be listed here because each case is unique. Again, many lawyers offer free initial consultations so you should not hesitate to call one if you have questions. There is no substitute for legal advice tailored specifically to your circumstances.