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Des Moines Injury Law Blog

Can someone suffer accident injuries and not know it right away?

It seems difficult to believe, but a person involved in a car accident could be injured and not realize it right away. This is the number one reason why you should always seek a medical opinion after any car accident -- even a minor fender bender. It is also a great idea to follow up with your health care provider within a few days of the accident just to see if any injury has started to manifest.

Following are some of most common car accident injuries that may take time to become apparent.

  • Concussion or brain injury symptoms often take time to appear. These can include vision or hearing problems, difficulty thinking or remembering and even personality changes.
  • Headaches can begin days after a car accident and may indicate a serious injury like a brain blood clot or severe concussion.
  • Back pain due to damaged vertebrae, nerve injuries or torn ligaments can take several days to appear.
  • Internal bleeding also takes time to become apparent in many cases, and it could be life threatening. Symptoms include abdominal swelling, fainting, dizziness, large purple bruising and pain in the abdomen.
  • Whiplash affecting the neck and shoulder area can also have delayed symptoms such as pain and stiffness in the area.

As an independent contractor, can I get workers' compensation?

Because only employees are eligible for benefits like medical coverage and payment for lost wages, it is always important to understand how your job classifies you. In the eyes of the law, independent contractors are not employees, and therefore, are not eligible to receive workers' compensation after suffering a work injury.

What is especially troubling is that some Iowa employers may treat independent contractors the same way they treat official employees. Worsening the problem, some employers may misclassify workers as independent contractors simply because it is in the company's best interests. For example, some independent contractors find themselves working in precisely the same way other employees work, but without the benefits.

Your options when a commercial vehicle insurer refuses to pay

Commercial vehicles fill Iowa's roadways at all times of the day or night. They are unavoidable in most cases, even if you drive during lulls in traffic. These large automobiles can result in significant property damage and personal injury if a commercial vehicle accident occurs. As a victim, you would naturally expect the vehicle's insurer to compensate you for your suffering, but this is not always what happens.

From an insurance company's perspective, it is first and foremost a business and its primary interest is adding to its bottom line, not taking away from it. As such, most insurance providers search exhaustively for reasons to deny accident claims. While it is never personal to insurers, it feels pretty personal to victims who have suffered severe injuries in a commercial vehicle accident.

Despite laws against it, truckers still text on their phones

Most people understand that distraction is dangerous to themselves and others when they drive motor vehicles. Choosing to read a new text message, type a response, take a photo or scroll through social media while driving can easily result in a crash.

After all, your eyes and your mind are focused on something other than the potentially fatal task at hand. When people fail to take the risks of driving seriously, everyone on the road experiences increased risk.

Postal workers in American face serious injury risks each day

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has expressed pride in its work ethic for decades. Unfortunately, such dedication to service can also come with job-related injury risks. After all, the USPS does not cancel its service for inclement weather or any other adverse event. This means postal workers in Iowa face injury risks every day in their efforts to make sure citizens always receive their mail.

You probably already know that letter carriers often suffer from animal attacks, car accidents and slips-and-falls, but these are just a few USPS employee injury risks. Workers stationed in post offices around the nation also suffer from serious injuries.

What can you do about workers' compensation retaliation?

Suffering an injury on the job is challenging, but if an employer begins treating you differently after you file a workers' compensation claim, it makes the ordeal even worse. While workers' compensation exists for your benefit, employers typically want to prevent workers from filing these claims.

Fortunately, ethical employers that care about their staff use safety awareness and training to reduce or prevent workers' compensation claims. However, as most people know, workplace accidents can occur despite the very best attention to safety. If an employer views you as an accident risk, he or she might resort to harassment or retaliation in an attempt to force you to quit your job.

Des Moines hit and run car accident leaves two hospitalized

Car accidents are always concerning because they have such a capacity for causing severe injuries or death. Hit and run car accidents are especially devastating, because they show how little regard some people have for the safety of others.

Fortunately, attempts to escape justice by fleeing the scene of a car accident have become more difficult in modern times. In nearly all cases, law enforcement personnel are able to find defendants and place them in custody where they belong.

Uninsured drivers can leave you in a precarious position

If you have a license and a vehicle, you probably already know that Iowa law mandates that everyone who operates a vehicle has an active motor vehicle liability insurance policy. However, just like with other rules intended to make the roads safer, not everyone abides by the state law mandating liability insurance.

Some people forget to pay their premiums and don't realize that their policy has lapsed. Others are unable or unwilling to a pay for the insurance and intentionally drive on the roads, well aware of the fact that there is no insurance to protect them or anyone else in the event of a crash. If you end up in a collision with someone who doesn't have insurance, you could find yourself in a difficult financial situation.

Types of workers' compensation benefits for injured Iowa workers

Injuries suffered in a workplace accident can be detrimental to your continued health, but they also endanger your finances. The workers' compensation system exists to help injured workers offset the financial costs associated with workplace injuries. For example, through workers' compensation, victims can access the medical care they need without worrying about its cost.

While nearly everyone knows about workers' compensation, many do not know exactly what types of benefits are available in Iowa. This post briefly highlights a few of these benefits. For those who need a more detailed explanation, an injury attorney is an excellent resource.

  • Disability benefits: When an on-the-job accident results in disability, workers' compensation helps you recover lost wages and other expenses. This includes partial or total disability as well as permanent or temporary disability.
  • Medical benefits: You already know that workers' compensation will pay the costs of receiving treatment for your injuries. What you might not know is that these benefits may also cover the cost of traveling to and from your health care appointments.
  • Wage replacement: When your workplace injury prevents you from returning to your job, you might be eligible to receive wage replacement benefits until you are fit enough to work.
  • Rehabilitation benefits: If you require vocational rehabilitation to return to your job, workers' compensation may cover at least a portion of your rehabilitation costs.
  • Death benefits: Dependent family members may also receive death benefits if a loved one dies in a workplace accident. These benefits apply to dependent children under the age of 18, and may cover dependent adult children up to age 25. In some circumstances, a spouse may also receive death benefits.

The link between sleep apnea and commercial vehicle accidents

We think most people would agree that no one should suffer discrimination because of a health condition. However, sometimes an existing health condition may threaten the safety of other citizens. Sleep apnea is one such condition and when people who drive for a living suffer from this illness, more commercial vehicle accidents may occur.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder characterized by brief interruptions in the breathing process while sleeping. These interruptions last several seconds and may occur hundreds of times during a sleep cycle. Unfortunately, the condition often goes undiagnosed and can lead to fatigue and sleepiness during waking hours.

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