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Scott D. Brown
John P. Lander
Kim R. Snitker
Travis M. Armbrust
Kaitlyn J. Ausborn
Brown, Kinsey,
Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C.

214 North Adams,
Mason City, Iowa 50401
Phone: (641) 423-6223
Fax: (641) 423-9995
WORKERS' COMPENSATION - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Sue My Employer Instead of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?


Can I Sue If My Employer Disputes My Claim?


Can My Employer Retaliate Against Me for Seeking Workers’ Compensation Benefits?


What Are My Rehabilitation Rights?

"Contact an Iowa workers' compensation lawyer representing clients in Waterloo, Iowa today to schedule your free initial consultation."

Can I Sue My Employer Instead of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?



Generally, the answer is no.  The system of workers’ compensation benefits was established as a trade-off.  Employees gave up the right to sue their employers in exchange for the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits no matter who was to blame for their injuries.  The law in most states requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for the benefit of their employees.  In exchange for carrying that insurance, employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits from employees who are injured at work.

One exception to this general rule is that employees can sue their employers for any injury that resulted from intentional behavior on the part of the employer.  This exception applies to employers who were intentionally seeking to harm an employee.  Another exception is that employees may sue their employers for non-physical injuries, such as emotional distress or discrimination.

Additionally, in most states, employees can sue third parties that are responsible for their work-related injuries.  For example, if an employee was injured by a piece of defective equipment, he or she may bring a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the equipment.  In many states, an employee who is successful in a lawsuit against a third party may have to pay back their employer or their employer’s insurance company for the workers’ compensation benefits that they have paid out on the employee’s behalf.  As an alternative, the employer or the insurance company may join in the lawsuit against the third party and try to obtain compensation for the cost of the workers’ compensation benefits.  If you think that you may have a claim against a person or company other than your employer, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to determine how to proceed.

Please review the content on this site for more detailed information that applies to state laws and individual situations. It is important to review your questions with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you are receiving all of the rights and benefits that you are entitled.
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If you would like to schedule an initial consultation contact an Iowa work comp attorney, representing clients in Waterloo, Iowa at the Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C.. Give us a call at (641) 423-6223 or email us at
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Mason City, Iowa Attorney practicing in Iowa primarily in Workers' Compensation & Personal Injury. Lawyers at the Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C. are dedicated to serve their clients in Iowa, including the cities of Mason City, Algona, Allison, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Clarion, Dakota City, Des Moines, Eldora, Forest City, Fort Dodge, Garner, Grundy Center, Hampton, Marshalltown, Mount Pleasant, Nevada, New Hampton, Northwood, Osage, Toledo, Vinton, Waterloo, Waverly, Webster City and West Union, and the communities that make up Cerro Gordo, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Howard, Humboldt, Kossuth, Linn, Marshall, Mitchell, Polk, Story, Tama, Webster, Winnebago, Worth, Wright counties.
© MMXIV Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser & Lander, P.L.C. Email: Address: 214 North Adams, Mason City, Iowa 50401 Phone: (641) 423-6223
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