Burlington Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Representing Injured Employees in Burlington and Throughout Iowa
When you are injured at work, you deserve fair compensation to cover your losses, including lost wages and the bills for any necessary medical treatments. Fortunately, workers in Iowa have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. However, the process of successfully filing a claim is often more complicated than it needs to be, and many Iowans struggle to access the money they are entitled to under the law.
For over 20 years, our team at the Pothitakis Law Firm has made it our mission to protect your rights and achieve the highest possible financial recovery for your workers’ compensation claim. Having secured over $100 million for our clients, our Burlington workers’ compensation lawyer understands how to level the playing field and strategically approach these cases. When you hire us, you will be working with a neighbor and friend. We are proud to be a part of the Burlington community and help its residents get the compensation they deserve for workplace injuries. Our legal professionals are deeply invested in the outcome of your case and will provide attentive, compassionate advocacy from beginning to end.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
“Workers’ compensation” is an insurance policy that the grand majority of Iowa employers are required to carry. These policies are designed to cover job-related injuries or illnesses sustained by employees. When an employee is injured, their employer files a claim, and the insurance company issues monetary compensation for injury-related expenses. Employers must pay for these policies themselves and cannot require employees to contribute.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in Burlington, Iowa?
Any private employer operating in Iowa with at least one part-time or full-time employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are very limited exceptions to this rule, so if you work for an Iowa employer and are injured while on the job, there is a good chance you are covered by their policy.
Iowa workers’ compensation policies tend to cover three types of conditions:
- Accident-Related Injuries. This includes all injuries that may occur because of a single incident and its consequences, such as slipping and falling or being hit by industrial equipment. Physical and mental injuries can be covered.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries. These injuries do not happen instantaneously and can take months or even years to form as a result of an employee performing their job responsibilities.
- Illnesses. An occupational illness develops because of an employee’s exposure to harmful chemicals, toxins, or allergens at their workplace.
To successfully file a workers’ compensation claim, you must be able to demonstrate that your condition is “work-related,” meaning it was sustained while you were on the clock, at your workplace, or as a direct result of your job. Injuries sustained outside of work do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. You will have a much more difficult time obtaining benefits if you cannot readily prove the connection between your injury and your job.
Unlike in personal injury cases, fault does not generally matter in a workers’ compensation claim. You do not need to prove your employer (or anyone else) was negligent, and you may be able to get benefits even if you were partially or entirely responsible for the accident. You cannot get workers’ compensation benefits if your injuries were caused by intoxication or if you were deliberately trying to harm yourself or someone else.
Determining whether you are eligible for benefits after an accident is not always easy. Our Burlington workers’ compensation attorney can review your case, advise whether you qualify, and walk you through your options.
What Benefits Can I Get Through Workers’ Compensation?
The types of benefits you can potentially receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries. Iowa does enforce caps on disability benefits: You can get up to 80% of your weekly earnings or $1,864, whichever is lower.
In Iowa, workers’ compensation benefits cover:
- Medical care, including ongoing treatments, medications, and equipment
- Temporary partial disability (if you can only work in a lower-paying position)
- Temporary total disability (if you temporarily cannot return to work)
- Permanent total disability payments (if you cannot return to work at all)
- Lost wages
- Death benefits (paid to the deceased’s survivors)
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Burlington, Iowa?
Strict time limits apply to Iowa workers’ compensation claims. Waiting too long to take action could impair your rights, so do not wait to discuss your case with our Burlington workers’ compensation lawyer.
You have 90 days from the date of a job-related accident or the date you discovered a job-related injury or illness to inform your employer, but it is in your best interest to notify them as soon as possible. Your notification should be made in writing.
After you have notified your employer, you must start receiving benefits within two years of the date of the injury-causing accident (or the date you discovered a job-related injury or illness). If you do not start receiving benefits during this two-year window, you must file an appeal before the initial statute of limitations expires.
If you have at any point received workers’ compensation benefits for an injury, a different statute of limitations applies if you are seeking new benefits for that injury. You will have three years from the date of your final payment to receive additional benefits for the injury.
Though you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when you suffer job-related injuries, actually obtaining the money you deserve is often easier said than done. You should not assume that your employer or their insurance company is acting in your best interest. In many cases, these parties will do everything in their power to pay you as little as possible.
By hiring a seasoned legal representative, you level the playing field. Our legal professionals at the Pothitakis Law Firm can provide knowledgeable guidance at all stages of the application process and are prepared to assist you if your claim is denied. We will work to ensure your injuries are fairly evaluated and that you receive the full amount of what you are owed under the law.
$1 Million Workers Slip and Fall
After hearing, the Deputy Workers’ Compensation Commissioner entered an award fully in favor of the Claimant finding him permanently and totally disabled. The Decision resulted in an award with the present value of in excess of $1 million. In addition, the Defendants were ordered to pay the Claimant’s medical expenses for the remainder of his life.
$450,000 Partial Commutation
In 2013, our client was a truck driver who was fatally injured in a tragic auto accident. He was married at the time and as a result his wife was entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Those benefits would end upon her death or shortly after she were to remarry. The surviving spouse was finding it difficult to live on the weekly Workers’ Compensation benefits and for other reasons wanted to have the money paid in a lump sum.
Workers’ Comp Appeal Results in Settlement
Pothitakis Law Firm pursued this claim for in excess of three and a half years. Mr. Pothitakis conferenced with the claimant’s doctors and obtained reports over those years to put the claimant in the best position to obtain a favorable result at hearing. When the initial decision was inappropriate, Pothitakis Law Firm filed an appeal and was successful on that appeal.