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Welcome to Brown, Kinsey, Funkhouser and Lander’s updated website! Our firm provides legal expertise in personal injury, wrongful death, Social Security disability, worker’s compensation, real estate, estate planning/probate, and corporate/business law. Our blog will cover various topics within these practice areas in order to introduce some basic legal principles.

Call us at 641-423-6223 with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Iowa Workers' Compensation

Iowa has an administrative agency known as the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission that handles injured workers’ claims. A jury trial is not available for a worker’s compensation claim. An Arbitration Petition must be filed with the Commission in order preserve some benefits, specifically temporary disability/healing period benefits and permanent disability benefits.

There is a 90-day window in which an injured worker must inform the employer that the worker has been injured AND the injury is related to work. The employer can have actual notice of the injury, written notice of the injury and/or verbal notice of the injury.

There are also time limits for filing a worker’s compensation case so a person who suffers a work-related injury must take timely action. If no weekly disability benefits have been paid to the injured worker, the injured worker has 2 years from the date of injury to file a workers' compensation claim. If weekly disability benefits have been paid, then the injured worker has 3 years from the date of last payment to file a claim. Note that payment of medical benefits DO NOT count as weekly benefits.

Call today or schedule an appointment if you have questions.

 

Iowa Workers' Compensation Part 2

Employees are covered by the workers' compensation act. Independent contractors are not covered. The title of "employee" or "independent contractor" is a question of fact to be determined. A list of factors are reviewed, including but not limited to a.) how long the worker is employed, b.) payment method and c.) if the work is part of the employer’s regular business. The parties’ intent and/or any one factor does not control.

A person who has a work-related injury is generally entitled to three major benefits: 1.) medical benefits; 2.) temporary disability or healing period benefits (to compensate for time off work while recovering from the injury); and, 3.) permanent disability benefits (if the work injury results in a permanent functional impairment).

Iowa Code § 85.27 identifies that the employer is responsible to pay the medical bills stemming from a work injury. In theory, medical care remains open indefinitely. If the employer continues to pay medical bills, the employer gets to pick the doctor. Generally, if the injured worker receives medical care from an "unauthorized" doctor, the employer will not be responsible for payment of the corresponding medical bill.

Call today or schedule an appointment if you have questions.