OUR LAWYERS HAVE MORE THAN 100 YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE: WE FIGHT FOR WORKERS' RIGHTS AND WE KNOW THE WORKERS’ COMP SYSTEM
Have you been injured on the job? Work-related injuries can affect any part of the body, such as the back, shoulder, hand arm or knee. Hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can also be caused by the work environment. If you are injured in Iowa, even if your employer is in another state, you have rights under the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act. Attorneys at Rush & Nicholson use our experience to fight for workers’ legal rights and to get fair compensation for them. We investigate every injury, no matter how small, to get you compensation for workplace injuries and illnesses, including:
Prompt & Appropriate Medical treatment
Full Compensation for permanent disability
Full or partial temporary benefits
Dependents' recovery for worker's death
The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act requires an employer to provide reasonable medical care and cash benefits if the employee misses work or is left with permanent disability. You must establish that your condition “arose out of” and “in the course of” your job. You do not have to prove your employer was at fault. Your employer cannot avoid responsibility by claiming you were negligent. A prior injury or health condition does not disqualify your claim. Work injuries can include making a prior condition worse.
Also, keep in mind not all work injuries are immediate or obvious. Working conditions or the work itself can cause an injury to build up slowly over time or worsen a pre-existing condition. Some injuries, like hearing loss or ringing in the ears (“tinnitus”), may take years to develop into a problem. Heavy, physical work, done over and over or lighter work done quickly and repeatedly can also cause a work injury.
Iowa law requires timely action by the employee:
- Reporting the injury: If the employer does not already know about an injury, an injured employee must report the injury to the employer within 90 days after the injury. The 90-day period begins when the employee knows, or should know, that the injury is serious and is work-related. This applies regardless of any shorter time the employer may state in its company policy.
- Filing a contested case: If no weekly benefits are paid, the injured employee usually must file a claim with the agency within two years of the injury. If not filed within the time allowed, benefits may be denied. If weekly disability benefits have been paid, the employee has three years from the date of the last payment to file a claim with the agency. If the claim is not filed within the time allowed, additional cash benefits may be denied.
The statute of limitation may not apply to medical treatment reasonably necessary to care for the injury. The attorneys at Rush & Nicholson are knowledgeable about reporting requirements and deadlines. They can help you if your claim is denied for failure to comply.
To fight a denial, a claim is filed with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Agency. A denied case usually leads to a hearing before a deputy workers’ compensation commissioner. There is no jury trial. Rush & Nicholson can help you through the entire complex process if needed: to hearing, an appeal to the Iowa workers’ compensation commissioner, and an appeal through the court system, even to the Iowa Supreme Court.