Get Your Questions Answered Today By Burlington, IA Injury Attorney Nicholas Pothitakis
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How long will it take to settle a claim?
This is a question that our office is asked all the time--and for good reason. On top of daily living expenses, those with injuries have medical bills, lost wages, and oftentimes have years of expensive medical treatments and therapies ahead of them. Unfortunately, there just isn't a clear-cut answer. It could take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
The amount of medical treatment needed is the primary determinant of when a case will settle. A patient must receive the maximum benefit of treatment and a long-term diagnosis before settlement takes place. In the most traumatic cases, this means waiting longer, but it's necessary to recover for current and future medical expenses.
Preparing the documentation to send to an insurance company can draw the process out. The extent of the injury, preexisting conditions, and the amount of work missed all require a great deal of documentation. Something seemingly simple, like getting a response for medical records, can sometimes take repeated letters and phone calls. The insurance company will play a part in how long a case takes to settle. Some are more reasonable than others, but they will often refuse to pay a fair settlement. At that point, a suit may be filed.
There are many factors that influence the length of settlement. If you or a loved one has been injured, feel free to call our office for a confidential consultation.
What are my rights if my employer retaliates against me for filing a Workers' Compensation claim?
Several states protect workers from an employer who discriminates against an injured employee by harassment or unfair termination. In these states, workers may sue their employer for "retaliatory damage" in civil court if the worker has been discriminated against or terminated because he or she filed a Workers' Compensation claim. The injured worker must show that it was more likely than not that the termination was unjustified. It is important to note that the worker does not have to show that the Workers' Compensation claim is the sole reason for his or her termination, but that the decision was based significantly on the claim. The worker may also experience retaliation in the form of a demotion or pay cut. It will be necessary to discuss this type of case with an attorney experienced in Workers' Compensation to determine the best course of action to take.
I may have injured my back at work. What is my responsibility in reporting this work injury to my Iowa employer?
If you injured your back at work, you will need to report this injury to your Iowa employer within 90 days of the occurrence of the injury. You should provide this notice in writing to your employer. Under some circumstances Iowa law provides for extensions to this 90 day notice time limit. Seek counsel from an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney who can help you receive the benefits your are entitled to by Iowa law.
I injured my shoulder at work and cannot return to work and do my normal work duties. What benefits can I receive from Iowa Workers' Comp?
When an Iowa worker sustains a work injury and they are not able to return to work and normal work activities, the worker is entitled to receive what is called Healing Period (HP) benefits or Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. These are benefits that workers receive while they are recovering from a work injury in order to make up for lost wages. However, the Iowa worker is not entitled to these benefits if the Iowa employer is able to provide appropriate lighter work during this healing time.
I injured my shoulder and back working at an Iowa company. My shoulder injury occurred in one incident at work. My back injury was caused by continuous bending and lifting at work. How long do I have to file an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim?
The deadline for filing an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim is within two years from the occurrence of the injury when no weekly benefits have been paid or within three years from the last date weekly benefits were paid. Since your shoulder injury occurred during a specific incident, then you will have two years to file a claim for this Iowa injury. Your back injury would be considered a cumulative injury because it came on gradually and over time during your employment at your Iowa company. Your have two years from when you realize that the back injury is a condition serious enough to have an impact on your employment. If you received weekly benefits then the deadline for filing a claim is three years from your last payment.
For a dispute in an Iowa Workers' Compensation case, who makes the decision on what is owed?
Disputes in Iowa Workers' Compensation cases are decided by the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner within the Iowa Workforce Development.
If my Iowa work injury was not caused by one traumatic incident or accident, will I still be eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits?
Yes, you may still be eligible to receive Iowa Workers' Compensation benefits if your Iowa work injury was caused by repetitive or cumulative trauma at work over a time period. Some examples include: back injuries, shoulder injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are not sure if your injury would be eligible, contact an attorney who specializes in Iowa Work Comp. Many firms, such as Pothitakis Law Firm, offer free initial consultations to discuss your case.
I have to seek medical care for my Iowa work injury. Who chooses the doctors who will treat me?
It is your employer who decides who you will go to for your medical care and they must provide care reasonably suited to treat your injury. If you are not happy with your medical treatment for your work-related injury, you may request alternate care from your employer. If alternate care is not approved by your employer (or the Work Comp insurance company), then you have the right to file a petition for alternate care with the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner.
What is your fee for talking about my case?
Initial consultations about your case are free.
How much does it cost for the initial consultation about my case?
Nothing. The first time we discuss your case will be free.