Get Your Questions Answered Today By Burlington, IA Injury Attorney Nicholas Pothitakis

After an injury or accident, you probably have a number of general questions about who was at fault, whether you are owed compensation, and whether you need an attorney to assist you with your claim. Below, we've answered some of the most common questions that we hear at our law firm.
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  • What compensation do I have a legal right to if I experience a work related injury?

    You have the right under Iowa law to three types of compensation if you experience a work related injury:  Medical Benefits, Wage Replacement, and Permanency Benefits.

    1.   Your right to Medical Benefits include having your medical bills paid for treatment received due to the injury.  Your employer gets to decide what doctor you will see, however, they are responsible for bills related to your injury under Iowa Workers’ Comp law.   As well, they should be responsible for gas and mileage expenses of getting you to your physician’s office and back.

    2.   Wage Replacement Benefits is another compensation if you have to miss work because of your injury.  You have a legal right in Iowa to receive a salary close in amount to your take-home pay for every week that you miss work due to a work related injury.  The basis on which it “approximates” your take home salary is that is not subject to taxes.

    3.   Lastly, you have the right under Iowa law to have permanent partial disability compensation.  This amount is based on the severity of your Iowa worker injury and, in some circumstances, upon how this injury impacts your future income.  This is the compensation that is usually considered for determining an Iowa Workers’ Compensation claim settlement. 

    You are entitled to additional benefits if you have experienced a work related injury.  An attorney that is experienced in Iowa Workers’ Compensation law would be able to help you determine which benefits you may be entitled to.

     

  • What are some important recommendations to keep in mind if involved in an Iowa Workers' Compensation claim?

     1)      Know that the Iowa Work Comp insurance carrier is not your ally.  They are trying to settle the claim as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.   If they compensate you less than the full value of the claim, then this is definitely more cost effective and helpful for them. 

    2)      The weekly payments and the settlement amount they are inclined to pay may be inaccurate.  Just because the Iowa Workers’ Comp insurance company says it is right and just, doesn’t mean it is true.

    3)      Your right to Iowa Workers’ Compensation benefits does not cease because of the presence of a pre-existing condition or prior physical limitation.  Many of my clients were told that because they had a prior back injury that their new back injury or new aggravation at work is not eligible for Iowa Work Comp benefits.  However, that is not true.

    4)      Even though your workplace may choose your doctor for your first appointment, the employer is not allowed to be in charge of your subsequent medical care free from limitations.  In several cases, you are allowed to request a new physician when you are not satisfied with the one they have chosen.

    5)      Even though you are in discussion of a clime with the Iowa Work Comp insurance company, you still must meet the deadlines set by Iowa Workers’ Comp laws.  By law you must file a claim within two years of the date your injury occurred; or three years from the date of the final payment of weekly Iowa Workers’ Comp benefits.

     It is important to talk over these matters with an attorney who is accomplished in the field of Iowa Workers’ Compensation law.  Several Iowa Workers’ Compensation law firms, such as the Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C., will arrange a free initial meeting to discuss your case.

  • If I gradually sustain an injury at work based upon my work activities as opposed to one single specific incident, am I entitled to receive Workers' Compensation benefits?

    Workers' Compensation injuries in Iowa can either be traumatic incidents or what are called "cumulative injuries." Cumulative injuries are Iowa work injuries that develop over time based upon a work activity. Both traumatic injuries and cumulative injuries are compensable under the Iowa Workers' Compensation laws.

    Your employer and the Iowa Workers' Compensation carrier in many cases try to deny the cumulative injury (gradual) claims. It's important that in situations where you have a physical condition that you relate to your work activities that you discuss this with your physician when you initially seek care. It's also important that you inform your employer that your condition may be related to your work activities.

    You should prepare an incident report or accident form that is provided by your employer so that notice is provided to them of your potential Workers' Compensation injury claim. Your entitlement to benefits would be influenced by whether the doctors believe that your Iowa work injury condition was either caused or aggravated by your Iowa workers compensation injury activities. For questions such as these, it is important that you contact an experienced Workers' Compensation attorney.

  • Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?

    There are various ways that Personal Injury may result. Personal Injury may be caused by defective or dangerous consumer goods, motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls or even animal attacks. Personal Injury attorneys are experienced with recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of your case. They know before you pursue legal action if you have a potential case and what would be needed to make it stronger. Personal Injury attorneys work with experts in various areas that assist with intelligently investigating the technical and medical aspects of your case as well as investigators to complete all the details. Competent Personal Injury attorneys make certain all investigations in your case are completed to ensure everything is done precisely and correctly. If there is any possibility that you or a loved one was involved in a Personal Injury accident, it is imperative to contact a reliable Personal Injury attorney as soon as possible to guarantee all possible supporting evidence is acquired quickly.

    If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa auto / car accident attorney, representing clients in Burlington, Iowa at the Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C.. Give us a call at (888) 472-1778 or complete our inquiry form.

  • How do I know if I have a case if I have been injured by a dangerous or defective product?

    If you have been injured when using a product was in a defective or dangerous condition when you purchased it, you may be able to recover damages from the manufacturer or seller in a products-liability-based Personal Injury suit. The law on this is based on the responsibility of a manufacturer or other provider of goods to ensure they are providing safe products for the consumer. They will compensate users of the goods for injuries caused by defective or dangerous products if it is proven that placed them into the buyer's hands, making them accountable. Injured persons can be advised by competent Personal Injury lawyers that will know whether they may have a claim against a product manufacturer or seller and may assist them in recovery of the damages to which they are legally entitled.

    The "Product Liability" law governs the liability of the manufacturer (or other provider) for products that injure anyone that uses them. This includes both manufacturers and dealers, as they are the ones that are in the best position to ensure the safety of their products. Any product produced and sold that has been determined to be dangerous leads these to be held accountable for consequential injuries. In order to find if it is the manufacturer or dealer that is responsible for an injury, it is best to consult a knowledgeable, experienced Personal Injury lawyer. It is the Personal Injury lawyer that should advise anyone on whether or not a claim against a product provider should be filed as they have the experience and ability to assist clients in obtaining settlements to recover the compensation to which they are legally entitled.

  • What do I need to do to prove that I have been injured by a dangerous or defective product?

    Simply claiming a product was defective in design or production is not adequate for a product liability action. It has to be proven by the plaintiff that the manufacturer was at fault and the product caused the injuries. This includes that the product was used as intended by the manufacturer or the manufacturer should have been able to predict that the product could be "misused" and a warning should have been established in the literature or packaging of the product. The product's possible dangers are the manufacturer's responsibility. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to prove the product was the cause of the injuries with credible evidence. Design defects are much more difficult to prove. It often requires expert testimony and proof that the entire product line is subject to having the same defect, causing unreasonable hazards. Showing that the product was the single cause of the injuries may be complicated. If more than one cause is possible, it must be proven that the product defect was the main reason for the injuries.

  • How do I know if I need a lawyer after a slip and fall injury?

    Injuries incurred on other's property may be the legal responsibility of the owners or occupiers of the property. Depending on the rules and principles in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred, liability for damages including lost wages and medical bills, as well as pain and suffering may be recovered. A competent Personal Injury lawyer knows the Premises Liability Laws and will able to determine if damages due to an injury caused by a slip or fall may be sought. Common causes of slips and falls include ice and snow, spilled liquid, uneven stairs and broken steps. Slips and falls are usually complex. There are several legal issues and complications that need to be addressed. Personal Injury attorneys with premises liability experience are best qualified to advise you on your rights and the possibility to obtain positive outcomes in slip and fall cases. 

     

  • Do slip and fall laws vary from state to state?

    Licensees need to be warned of hidden dangerous areas, and the owner may not necessarily need to have these areas fixed. Trespassers may recover damages if they may prove the owner knew others would enter his or her property without permission. Even though proper warning signs need not to be placed in the case of trespassers, it is still wise to do so in case children wander onto your property. Children that are injured on your property are more likely to recover damages, even if they are trespassers. This fact increases the property owners duty to warn in the case of children.

    The condition of the property and activities of the owners, visitors and licensees are given consideration in some states. Reasonable care must be given to any visitor or licensees, but not to trespassers. Owners must continually inspect property and repair or place warnings on any dangerous conditions. The injured party must show neglect to the standard of reasonable upkeep by the owner to prove a premises liability case and prove the owner had knowledge of the danger. The injured party must also show that they took reasonable care for their own safety. It is very difficult to prove owners knew of dangers and that injured parties took reasonable care to avoid the danger.

     

  • What is a slip and fall injury?

    When someone slips on a foreign substance or due to a dangerous condition, and injures themselves when falling, they have a slip and fall Personal Injury case. Common causes of these are icy sidewalks, often in front of a business, or grocery store slips on various food items that have fallen on the floor. Owners of the property may or may not be liable for the damages due to these injuries. Even though they have a duty to maintain the property and exercise reasonable care to protect their consumers and other visitors, conditions of the property should be easily perceptible, as the injured parties have a responsibility to protect themselves against injuries.

    The owners or possessors of the property may also avoid liability by showing that the danger had occurred without reasonable opportunity for the owner or possessor to clean up or fix the condition before the injuries occurred. This time frame may vary in each individual case, and it is the injured party that has to establish that the owner or possessor of the property had a reasonable period of time in which to find out about the danger and to place a warning about it or fix the problem.

  • How do I know if I need an attorney after an animal bite or attack?

    In any case of animal attack, a Personal Injury attorney is best suited to examine the details in order determine the possibilities of filing a lawsuit to obtain damages from injuries incurred. The laws in each state vary slightly and Personal Injury attorneys experienced in animal attacks understand the intricacies that will determine what is needed to prove negligence.