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Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help You

Most workers in Iowa and Nebraska are covered under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance in the event of an injury on the job or a work-related temporary or permanent disability. Policy coverage includes:

  • Full injury-related medical care provided by an approved physician or health care provider
  • Wage or salary pay while out of work recovering from a temporary partial or total disability
  • Income ‘gap’ benefits after returning to work at restricted capacity and reduced earnings
  • Permanent income benefits or lump-sum settlement for permanent partial or total disability
  • Job skills training for a new job if unable to return to work in a former capacity

If you were injured on the job in Iowa or in Nebraska, you deserve to know a lawyer who will have your back. Carter Law Offices, P.C., in Des Moines and Omaha has been assisting injured workers with their workers’ compensation benefits and settlements for more than 25 years. We are proud of our record and commitment to the individuals and families who turn to us when they are facing an uphill battle against their employers and large insurance providers.

Call us to discuss any workers’ compensation concern, including:

  • Why you should hire a lawyer, even if your case seems straightforward
  • Denied initial claims and the appeals process
  • What level of benefits you may be entitled to receive
  • Your workplace accident and your injuries
  • Work-related repetitive stress injuries
  • Returning to work before you are ready
  • Changing medical providers

We will go through all the important details of your case with you.

Why Do I Need A Lawyer?

When it comes to the workers’ compensation system, injured workers and their employers have very different objectives. Injured individuals are focused on maximizing their compensation to ensure they get the quality medical care, wage replacement and disability benefits they deserve. Employers, on the other hand, are generally focused on saving money by minimizing their employees’ benefits.

If you have suffered a work injury or an occupational illness, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options. Your attorney is obligated by law to look out for your best interests – your employer is not.

30 Years Of Experience On Your Side

The workers’ compensation system is one of the most complex areas of the law. The rules, regulations and deadlines are abundant and strict. It is crucial to work with a qualified attorney who understands the nuances of the system and is able to use this knowledge to your advantage.

At Carter Law Offices, P.C., we can help you file a claim with the Iowa Industrial Commission to ensure you receive temporary benefits as soon as possible and that your permanent disability rating accurately reflects your situation. We can also help you appeal a wrongful claim denial, challenge information contained in medical reports, negotiate with insurance companies and fight to protect your rights in court. With an experienced attorney by your side, you will be treated differently throughout the entire process.

Construction Accident Claims

We are particularly proud of our record of helping builders and subcontractors in the construction trades throughout Iowa. If you suffered an injury while working on a construction site, trust our lawyers to work aggressively on your behalf.

Third-Party Liability

We will review your work injury and accident to determine whether you have a valid claim against a third party to sue for additional damages on top of workers’ compensation. Third-party lawsuits may be filed against the property owner, a negligent manufacturer of a defective product or a negligent subcontractor working on the site.

What If My Claim Is Denied?

If your initial Iowa workers’ compensation claim was denied by your employer’s insurance company, don’t panic. Filing a successful initial claim requires a variety of reports and records and the insurance companies can be sticklers for precise details. A significant number of initial claims are denied because of technicalities. Other common reasons for appeal relate to pre-existing conditions you may have on your record.

In the event your claim was denied for a specific reason having to do with the nature of your workplace accident or work-related injury, you have several levels of appeals options available to you.

We Do Not Represent Workers’ Comp Insurance Companies – Only Workers

Your first step in the appeals process should be to bring your denial notification paperwork to a qualified workers’ compensation law firm. In Des Moines, you can trust the attorneys of Carter Law Offices, P.C., to work aggressively on your behalf. We are proud of our record of helping injured workers and their families through every level of the appeals process, including trial, when necessary.

First Level Of Appeal

Our first step will be to review your initial application and gather all necessary records, reports and medical information required by the insurance provider. We then re-submit your claim to the insurance carrier. In many cases, having one of our experienced attorneys negotiating on your behalf is enough to push your claim toward approval and settlement.

Second Level Of Appeal

If the insurance provider again denies or reduces your claim, we take your claim to a hearing, where we fight aggressively to win an arbitration award with the Iowa Deputy Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.

Third Level Of Appeal

If the arbitration does not go in your favor, you have the option of filing an Appeal with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, in which specific arguments are presented regarding why the Deputy Commissioner missed a specific legal point that affected the decision. The Appeal will be restricted to reviewing a specific part of the decision, in order to correct the oversight or error made during the decision process.

Fourth Level Of Appeal

If necessary, the final level of appeal is to petition for a hearing with the District Court for the State of Iowa, which can review all aspects of the case and overrule the original hearing decision. Do not take your initial denied claim as the final word. Our Iowa workers’ compensation appeals lawyers are here to advocate for you.

Types Of Benefits

Attorneys at Carter Law Offices, P.C., in Des Moines and Omaha have been on the side of injured workers in Iowa for many years. One of the most frequent questions we hear from a worker or family member following a workplace accident or work-related disability concerns the levels of benefits available through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider.

Medical Care Benefits

Under Iowa and Nebraska workers’ compensation law, the injured worker is entitled to receive diagnosis, treatment and ongoing medical care and physical rehabilitation services for all conditions directly related to the work-related injury.

For example, the medical provider must be a qualified, licensed professional officially approved by the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission. There may be some exceptions permitted if there is no approved medical provider in the geographic region of the injured worker’s residence.

The injured worker is allowed to change medical providers, but the new provider must also be on the approved list of providers.

Disability Benefits

Pay benefits are calculated at approximately two-thirds of the amount of average weekly earnings dating back 52 weeks from the date of the workplace injury or work-related disability.

  • Temporary total disability (TTD): You will receive approximately two-thirds of your average weekly pay while you are out of work for medical reasons directly related to your accident or disability.
  • Temporary partial disability (TPD): If you are able to return to work at a reduced work capacity and reduced pay, you will receive approximately two-thirds of the reduced pay differential while you are earning less than your previous pay. For example, if you were earning $20/hour prior to your injury and have returned to work in a temporarily limited capacity earning $10/hour, your weekly TPD benefits will pay you approximately $6.66 for your hours worked that week.
  • Permanent partial disability (PPD): The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission publishes an annual schedule of disabilities and the settlement amount awarded for each disability. You have the right to negotiate a settlement amount higher than the amount offered by the insurance company (based on the published schedule). You may also qualify for job retraining to assist you in securing other employment.
  • Permanent total disability (PTD): If your injury or disability does not allow you to return to work, you have the right to negotiate a settlement amount higher than what the insurance company offers. Your settlement may be paid in installments over time or in a lump-sum payment.
  • Death benefits: The surviving spouse and surviving family members of a worker fatally injured in an accident or as the result of a work-related medical condition are also eligible to receive death benefits based on the workers’ average weekly earnings.

Your work-related disability should not prevent you from supporting your family.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

We do not charge upfront fees for our workers’ compensation services. Call 515-644-4871 or 402-979-8675 or message us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our workers’ comp attorneys today.

We represent clients in Des Moines and throughout Iowa, and we are also equipped to handle cases in Nebraska, Minnesota and Georgia. Workers’ compensation cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. You pay no attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.