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What Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation in Iowa?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2017 | Worker's Compensation

Generally when you are injured at your workplace or you fall sick and you have to receive medical treatment and take time off work to recover you are legally entitled to receive workers compensation. This is paid by your employer whether it’s their fault or not.  It covers the cost of your medical treatment and any loss of earnings while you recover. You are not able to claim for pain and suffering as you are with personal injury compensation claim. Additionally, you are not entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer either. Your only recourse for the effects of a workplace injury is to fight to ensure you get workers compensation as it’s your legal entitlement.

The sorts of injuries and illnesses common in an Iowa workplace include:

  • Head injuries when falling from a height, e.g. on a construction site
  • In juries like broken bones from the use of heavy equipment in the course of your job, e.g. a crane
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome from typing non-stop
  • Black Lung Disease, from working in a coal mine
  • Back injuries from slips and falls on unexpected obstacles
  • Burns from hot fat in a restaurant or hotel kitchen
  • Repetitive stress syndrome from using the same motion continuously
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome developed through exposure to stress.

If the injury took place while driving a company vehicle in the course of your work duties or while at a business meeting related to your job you are still entitled to claim workers compensation for your injuries.

Injuries That do not Entitle you to Workers Compensation

  • If you are involved in an accident while on your way to work or returning home and you are injured, however seriously, you will not be able to claim any workers compensation even if it takes months to fully recover.
  • Another example of when you are unable to qualify for workers compensation is when you take part in an activity while on a business trip and it’s not in any way related to your job. For example, while operating a jet-ski in San Francisco Bay after your business meeting is over.

Proving Your Injury was Work Related

One feature of an injury that occurs at work is you do not need to delegate fault for the injury. You are still entitled to compensation whoever is found to be at-fault. More important is proving the injury happened while you were working and not when you were somewhere else. This may be particularly difficult if you become ill with a serious disease such as mesothelioma, which is linked to exposure to asbestos. Even if you did not work directly with the substance many workers have worked in buildings where it was used as insulation and when walls become damaged fibers leak into the atmosphere which you could inadvertently breathe in. You will need an experienced workers compensation lawyer to fight on your behalf for workers compensation in a situation like this.

What If Your Employer is not Covered by Workers Compensation Insurance?

All employers in Iowa are required by law to take out workers compensation insurance unless they opt for self insurance.

So your employer will be contravening Iowa state law if it doesn’t have workers compensation insurance cover. You have 2 choices in these circumstances.

  • You can take your employer to court
  • You may be able to file a claim for workers compensation with Iowa’s special fund which is set-up to fund workers compensation claims when no insurance is present.

If you are facing any difficulties with your employee in relation to your workers compensation insurance you should contact, Walter P. Thomas an experienced Iowa workers compensation lawyer at the Telpner Peterson Law Firm.