Hurt On The Job? Speak With Our Fort Dodge Area Workers’ Compensation Lawyers.
The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act is designed to provide certain benefits to employees who sustain injuries, occupational illnesses or occupational hearing loss. Benefits are payable regardless of fault and are administered according to Iowa law. Suppose you have been injured or become ill as a result of something you encountered at your workplace. In that case, you may be entitled to benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.
At Johnson, Mulholland, Cochrane, Cochrane, Yung & Engler, P.L.C., our attorneys help clients in Fort Dodge and throughout North-Central and Northwest Iowa file workers’ compensation claims. Attorney Neven J. Mulholland can help you determine whether you have a case for a workers’ compensation payment.
The Benefits Iowa Workers’ Compensation Provides
Iowa workers who get injured on the job can get several types of benefits through workers’ compensation to support their recovery, including:
- Medical benefits
- Wage replacement
- Payments for temporary, permanent, partial and total disability
The cap for disability benefits is 80% of an injured worker’s weekly wages. The maximum amount in disability payments a worker can receive per week is $1,864. Families who had a loved one pass away from a work accident can get death benefits and compensation for funeral costs.
Who Is Eligible For Benefits Under The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act?
Iowa law requires most business owners to carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have at least one employee. Therefore, most workers classified as employees are covered. Our firm in particular, represents many injured factory workers and manufacturing workers.
There are some important exemptions, however. The following individuals are generally ineligible for benefits:
- Agricultural workers
- Independent contractors
- Employees who are related to the business owner
- Employees who earn less than $1,500 per year
- Employees whose injuries are covered under a system other than workers’ compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits may provide payment for all reasonable and necessary medical care costs incurred to treat the work-related injury. Those who are unable to work temporarily or who are permanently disabled may be entitled to compensation for their lost weekly wages.
What Types Of Injuries Qualify For Benefits Under The Act?
Nearly any type of injury is compensable as long as it arose “out of and in the course of their employment.” An incomplete list of examples of accidents and injuries includes:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries (such as carpal tunnel)
- Construction accidents
- Workplace slip-and-fall accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Explosion and burn injuries
While preexisting injuries and conditions are not covered as a matter of course, you may be eligible for benefits if your preexisting condition was exacerbated by your work.
How Workplace Accidents Unfold In Different Industries
Construction, manufacturing, farming, nursing, maintenance and transportation are major industries in our area. We’ve helped many people who work in these industries get the benefits they need to recover when they get hurt at work.
Construction accidents usually come in the form of slips, trips, falls, getting hit by falling objects, structural failures, and incidents involving heavy equipment and machinery.
Slips, trips, falls, strikes from falling objects, and equipment issues also happen frequently in manufacturing. These workers also run the risk of exposure to toxic materials and cumulative effects like repetitive stress injuries and hearing loss. Employers can be responsible for failure to maintain a safe workplace and the injuries that result from this negligence.
Agricultural workers are also at risk of getting hurt by heavy equipment and machinery and falling from elevated surfaces. They can also develop sicknesses from prolonged exposure to pesticides and other harmful materials. Working around large, heavy and potentially aggressive animals is also a source of risk in this industry.
Nurses and other health care workers experience similar accidents to other industries like slips, trips and falls. Overexertion is another large contributing factor to accidents and injuries in this industry. A unique threat to nurses is patient violence. Contact with sharp objects and other potentially dangerous equipment also contributes to injuries.
Maintenance workers are prone to slips, trips, and falls on the job. Exposure to toxic substances, repetitive stress injuries and electrical injuries also commonly afflict workers in this industry.
Transportation workers are most frequently injured by the mode of transportation itself, such as collisions, rollovers, being run over or backed over, crashes and more. These workers are also at risk for repetitive stress injuries, back injuries and exposure to harmful substances.
What Are The Time Limits On Filing A Claim?
The statute of limitations for filing an Iowa workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of injury. However, you’ll need to ensure you properly and promptly report the injury to your employer soon after it happens. This is one of many steps you’ll need to take to protect your work injury claim and preserve your right to seek benefits.
How An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You
Claiming benefits was designed to be easy, but injured workers too often encounter resistance from their employers and the workers’ compensation insurance companies. We work with clients who have become sick or injured at work in North-Central and Northwest Iowa. When you contact us, our attorneys will help you understand your rights and guide you through the workers’ compensation benefits claim process.
We know the ins and outs of Iowa’s workers’ compensation law, and can help to ensure that our clients receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled for the injuries and illnesses they have suffered on the job.
Discuss Your Legal Options With One Of Our Knowledgeable Attorneys
If you have been injured on the job, please remember that you have rights. We can help you whether you were hurt by dangerous or defective machinery, or exposure to hazardous materials at your workplace. We’re here to help you. Call our offices in Fort Dodge at 515-639-3124 or Gowrie at 515-346-6346. You can also submit an online contact form.